AD| I was recently contacted by Jaques of London to select some toys for Leo. I took this as a chance to get some wooden shape sorters as I know there are many developmental benefits of shape sorters for babies and young children.
Before talking about the products I picked out, I wanted to talk a bit about shape sorters and how beneficial they are for a child’s development.
Shape sorters are a popular toy, we’ve all seen shape sorters and probably played with them ourselves when we were younger, but do you know the benefits of shape sorters?
The benefits of shape sorters
There are lots of different benefits to playing with shape sorters and they go behind just entertaining your child a while! Here are a few of them:
Shape sorters help children to solve problems all on their own by trying to work out which shape fits in which hole.
Encouraging children to keep trying when they are not getting the right shapes in the hole is a great way for them to practice patience. Don’t forget to praise when they get it right!
Develop fine motor skills
Shape sorters are great at helping children develop their fine motor skills as they attempt to pick up the shapes and get them to fit in the right holes.
Develop hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is the ability to perform movements with the hands while being guided by the eyes. This skill is practised a lot when children use shape sorters.
Learn shapes and colours
Shape sorters give children the chance to learn the names of shapes and colours as they play. You do lots of things to help them, such as reinforcing things like ‘let’s try the red square next’
What age are shape sorters good for?
Start introducing a baby to a shape sorter as soon as they start grasping objects. Even if all they can do is hold the shapes, it’s a great way for them to explore them and you can tell them about the shape as they do. They’ll soon move on to bashing shapes together, throwing them, taking them in and out of the box and then will be able to do more and more as they grow. Leo started playing with the shapes at around 6 months old.
Activities you can do with a shape sorter
As you can see, shape sorters really are great for your child’s cognitive development! There are lots of activities you can do with them too and it’s so much fun to reach a shape sorter milestone as they learn more skills. Here are some ways you can help and encourage your child with a shape sorter:
You can match the shapes to holes by letting your child drop the shape into the correct hole. You can also play colour matching games if there are multiple shapes of the same colour. Ask them to pick out all the red shapes, for example.
Ask your child to sort all the colours into different piles. I love this way of using a shape sorter puzzle!
You can each take a turn such as ‘my turn’ and ‘your turn’ to encourage turn-taking, this is a great way to play shape sorting for toddlers.
Give your child the shape sorter box and request that they ask you for the shape before you give it to them
Get them to count the shapes, or even count the sides of the shapes. For example – a triangle has 3 sides.
Ask them to find certain shapes and colours and place them in the shape sorter. For example ‘can you find the square’ or ‘can you find a red object’.
Jaques of London sell lots of Educational Toys and I knew I wanted these shape sorters right away! I was close to buying them myself. Leo already has three other wooden toys from Jaques of London (one from a previous collaboration and two bought).
The Shape Sorter is a great toy for babies around one-year-old. Leo had a lot of fun exploring this shape sorter, he first tipped them all out and tried to get the lid back on. I showed him the pieces and when through the names of each piece with him. I also matched up the colours for him and in time, I will be encouraging him to put the same colours together on his own.
He’s not yet able to put the shapes in the holes, but he watched me do and he banged on the box with the shapes and lid. We took the lid off and I would hand him a shape and keep one for myself. I then put my shape inside the box and he copied me by dropping his shape in the box too. This shape sorter features 100% FSC Approved wood as well as water-based brightly coloured paint for hours of safe play.
I know we will be able to play with this toy for a long time as I can change up the style of play as he grows. Eventually, he’ll be able to sort the shapes himself so we can do some different tasks with the shapes and colours.
I’d love to get some more of Jaque’s of London Toys for 1 year olds over his birthday and Christmas.
Leo also loved his Animal Safari Toy. This beautiful wooden truck comes with 6 animals. The animals included are a zebra, an alligator, a lion, a giraffe, a hippo and an elephant. The animal’s slot into a solid wooden safari truck. There’s a rope attached to pull it along.
Leo had fun exploring the animals but this toy is suited for an older child, so I’ve put it away for now as he has lots of toys to play with that are better suited to his age.
I love to have toys ready for him to play with when he’s a bit older though! We have about 5 toys in his wardrobe waiting for him. On Jaques website, this is advertised as a toy for around 3 years of age.
For now, we will focus on playing with the cute and introduce the truck at a later date! If you want to get hold of some toys from Jaques of London, use this link to get 15% off your order.