This is a lovely product on many counts. It comes in a sturdy wooden box which holds 5 double-sided pattern boards (so 10 pattern designs) and over 100 wooden shapes which are - hexagons, squares, diamonds (2), triangles and a trapezoid.
There are numerous ways to play:
1) Let your child construct their own patterns freestyle with the blocks for using their own imagination. This is often the most fun for little ones. My little girl likes to stack these up as well as place them side by side. She has them all on a tray so they don't slide off the table!
2) Help your child recognise different colours or shapes by using the blocks. Shame there are only 5 shapes but you can also make a rectangle, for example, by placing 2 squares together.
3) We use the boards and blocks to count with. I ask my daughter how many squares there are on a pattern board or how many green pieces. Or we do basic adding up and taking away with the larger shapes. In fact this is how my daughter started to understand basic maths using this exact method.
4) Older children can start to make the patterns using the blocks on the boards either with your help or unaided. There are 10 designs including a butterfly, dog, train, fish, bird, geometric, rabbit, flower, boat and snail.
5) Improving manual dexterity by getting your child to trace around the larger shapes with coloured pencils. Making up their own art designs. Older children could use the pattern boards as inspiration for drawing out patterns.
There are so many ways to play with this item. I'm not a big fan of electronic items/gadgets for very young children (especially pre-schoolers) as I feel that simple toys are far better for developing their own imagination, skills and sustaining interest.
1 minor let-down is the flimsy plastic cover which serves as a lid but I've put elastic over to keep it in place.
This toy has been a big hit and lasts for a good hour or more each play session. If there was another set with additional shapes, I'd buy it too.