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4.2 out of 5 stars96
4.2 out of 5 stars
Price:£10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 September 2009
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.
11 comment67 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 February 2015
I bought this toy so my 3yr old could practise copying patterns and do free play putting shapes together. The shapes themselves are fine. They are well made and a good size for little hands to work with (small enough to promote fine motor development, but not too small to be too fiddly). The pattern/picture boards included are drawn with shapes the exact same size as the shape pieces, with the idea that children will be able to place the shape pieces directly on to the wooden boards to make the picture. This was the reason I bought this version of tangrams as opposed to other versions that have smaller pictures to copy, as it is easier for young children to copy directly rather than copy a picture. However, the pieces are extremely slippery on the picture boards, to the extent that it is frustratingly impossible for young children to work with. Whenever my child attempted to join a new piece to the picture, the other pieces would slide out of place, even with the lightest of touches, and even when I showed him how to do it. This aspect of trying to play with this toy was simply making my child frustrated, as he understood the concepts required to complete the picture, but the physical requirement of having to be so precise when adding new pieces was too demanding. The physical dexterity required was something even I found annoying, so I'm not sure how the manufacturers expect children to cope.

I ended up buying a self-adhesive magnetic A4 sheet to cut up and stick on to one side of the tangram shapes so they are now magnetic. We use them on a cookie tray and my little one copies the pictures.

If you are considering buying this for young children, I would recommend going for a magnetic version instead. This one is just too frustrating to work with.

Also, the box this comes in doesn't have a lid. Just a piece of plastic that sits on top, so you have to buy a new box for it.
0Comment12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2010
The product is attractive and hard wearing. It has a nice traditional feel and comes in a useful storage box. The play value of the toy is good as it can be used initially as a matching activity then progress to more creative pictures of the child's own design. It also has the advantage of having enough pieces to make it worth using as some toys of this type are limited by the small number of parts.
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 December 2013
I couldn't believe this was a Melissa & Doug toy, as usually they are extremely well made. The blocks had the paint rubbed off almost all of them, one of the boards looked like it got caught in the rain. Extremely disappointed with this product and I will be sending it back.
0Comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 January 2013
Great present for any toddler into shapes and colours. However a lid to the box would improve storage and transport. It can also be tricky getting the mats out of the box without tipping everything out.
0Comment6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 November 2010
I bought this for my 4 year nephew as a birthday present and he loves it. He uses the pictures but also uses his imagination in making other pictures. Highly recommend it.
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 November 2010
Pros:
1. Light but strong wooden blocks and boards . Very durable.
2. Visually very appealing - Bright & attractive colours, interesting & varied patterns
3. Unusual (at least to me!) for a preschooler. Welcome respite from Peppa Pig and plasticky toys.

Cons:
1. Design flaw: Blocks do not "stick" on the underlying pattern board. It should have been either magnetic or there should have been ridges on the board to keep the blocks in place. The board is absolutely flat and smooth and the blocks slide about as my preschooler attempts to put the pattern together. As a result, very frustrating to play with and she loses interest in minutes. I've resorted to sticking pieces of blutack on the pattern board!
2. No lid! Surely it's not so difficult to design a sliding lid for the wooden box. I wouldn't have minded paying a quid more for a box with lid. I really don't understand why so many of the Melissa and Doug toys don't have a lid (I have the Abby & Emma dressup set too)
11 comment32 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 May 2010
I bought this for our God-daughter & was told by her Mum that she loved it the moment she opened it.
It is brightly coloured, very durable and has all kinds of ways of making patterns & being played with.
0Comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 October 2012
I love this toy. It's nice to be able to give a gift that is made of wood. very well packaged arrived really quickly. Extremely pleased. I'm sure this will be appreciated by the child it's a gift for.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 September 2013
On unwrapping this item we notice that the product again has no lid to help parents store when not in use. This is a constant problem with melissa and doug and is something that could be fixed very easily.

The second problem we encountered was removing the pattern boards from the box, virtually impossible unless you have blade sized fingers, even my two year old got frustrated and picked out a white diamond using that to hike the boards upwards so she could remove it from the box. Such a simple problem again to fix.

The boards have no insert and i must say we found a few boards that the shape size was no 100% accurate especially if the child makes her pattern on top of the original picture like my daughter did.

The boards are double which is a nice feature, And the pieces seem well made, whether or not this paint will chip like the other melissa and doug products we have only time will tell.

Melissa and doug make far better and this one needs some re-working. I will replace the box as this is my main gripe and i will email melissa and doug with my feedback but just lately they seem to be ignoring feedback from customers............ Not a great start as this is an area they used to deal with properly.

All in all look at others first before buying this
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