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Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock
Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock
Colorful shaped numbers
Learn to tell time
Recommended Age Range 3 Years and up
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 287 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 287 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 134 found the following review helpful:
New and improved! Shapes are changed on new ones!Aug 11, 2007
By Love Being A Grandma
I recently bought this toy for grandchildren, ages 3 and younger, for when they are at my house.
Previous reviews complained that the shapes of numbers 5 and 6 might be confusing, and so I avoided this purchase for a while. BUT, the one I bought is NEW and the 5 is the pentagon shape and the 6 is the hexagon shape, so that is no longer a concern. Look at the picture of the product above - today the picture I am looking at on this page shows the correct shapes for 5 and 6, so it appears that Melissa and Doug have corrected this problem! If you were to purchase an older or used version of this clock be aware that it may have the wrong shapes - but the newest ones I would presume are correct. Mine is.
I rate this toy 5-star. It is certainly not a bells and whistles toy, no noises, no lights. Thank goodness. But I think there is a lot of value in this toy.
This is a concrete hands-on way for children to begin learning about not only clocks, but also shapes, order of numbers, and more, depending on the age and stage of the child. It is a toy that can grow with a child, one to be taken out and used for a while, then as interest wanes, put it away for a while, and then bring it out later for a child to explore at a different stage.
Please keep in mind that children will probably get more value out of any toy, where a parent, grandparent, teacher, sibling, babysitter, etc. first sits down and talks with the child about the toy and maybe models how the child might use the toy. Then expect them to try using it for different things - like stacking, or pretending that one piece or another is food for a doll, or whatever - and that is OK too - keep in mind kids learn in different ways than we might expect. (Of course keep an eye on younger children to make sure they are not putting pieces in their own mouths, pretending it is their own food!)
There is obvious shape-matching value for younger children.
A child might take the shapes outside of the "puzzle" and line them up - in numeric order, or just to compare shapes, colors or whatever.
With an older child, you might introduce time-telling vocabulary, in relationship to where the clock hands are.
95 of 104 found the following review helpful:
Made of MDF, Not Wood & Loses Paint QuicklyDec 13, 2009
This is a fairly attractive clock. We've had it around for the past couple of years and it's seen a fair amount of play. I had bought it hoping it would be acknowledged as a clock, perhaps used as a learning tool of sorts, but neither of my children have ever played with it this way. Instead they remove the pieces, scatter them about, sometimes (rarely) use it as a puzzle, but mostly they just like those small brightly-colored wooden pieces. Which is a shame. The pieces are rapidly losing paint, and Melissa and Doug just isn't a company I trust enough to have their paint chips floating around in my children's environment. Their toys are made in China, and they've already had a recall in Canada for excessive barium in toys. I didn't even know toys could have excessive barium until I read about that recall.
That's not my only gripe.
When I bought this clock, I assumed it was wooden. But when you remove the pieces, it is clear that the material the base is made of is MDF, you can see the unfinished MDF inside the holes. Later, when the pieces begin to lose paint, you find that they too, not surprisingly, are made of MDF. So my first gripe with this puzzle is one I have with a great number of Melissa and Doug products: They advertise a wooden toy, and it's deceptive marketing.
Okay, so Melissa and Doug fudged a little on their description. What might have been wood once upon a time is now thinly pressed layers of sawdust and resin, but it was wood in a previous life, and that still counts, right? It's intentionally deceptive marketing, but does any of that really matter in the practical sense?
I think it does.
Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is nasty stuff. Containing a higher resin-to-wood ration than any other pressed wood product, MDF emits VOCs for at least a few months after manufacture and emits urea formaldehyde for the duration of its life. I doubt there have been any studies on using pressed wood for a child's toy that may be mouthed and is nonetheless handled frequently and in close proximity to their faces during day-to-day play. There have been studies suggesting urea formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen; others show that incidences of leukemia and lymphoma increase through prolonged exposure of VOCs in the indoor environment.
Bottom line, most MDF is not something you want in your home in any form, and it's probably not the best thing to make a child's toy out of. There are ways to manufacture MDF which use resins that do not contain formaldehyde which are supposed to be environmentally friendly. I contacted Melissa and Doug to find out if they use these formaldehyde-free resins in their MDF. They've got really friendly customer service, but no one available could provide me with that information. I was told they'd get back to me. I'm still waiting.
In the meantime, I think I'll just stick with the old adage: You get what you pay for.
For three times the cost of this clock, you can buy a very similar one that *is* made of wood (not MDF, not particle board, not plywood) in the USA: Hickory Dickory Dock Clock. If I had it to do over, I would do exactly that. It doesn't have the fantastic range of colors, but I guess it just depends on your priorities. I want a safer toy, one I feel good about my kids playing with. I want a toy without MDF, heavy metals, and other toxic substances. I don't feel confident this Melissa and Doug clock fits the bill.
47 of 49 found the following review helpful:
A learning toy that grows as your child does!May 04, 2005
My daughter received her 1st Melissa & Doug wooden toy for Christmas and boy do we love the ones we have purchase since. Any way, this clock is made of wood. The clock has 12 brightly colored shapes for each number of the clock that your child can take out and then place back into their own place. The hands of the clock are 2 different colors - the minute hand is marked minute and is red and the hour hand is blue. Printed under the hands of the clock have the numbers so your child can find what numbers go where on the clock. Also printed are the seconds and minutes in the 5 minute pie shaped increments that are also different colors. Also included are how to tell time from Quarter Past, Half Past, Quarter til and O'clock.
I love good toys that actually grow with your child and being that it's made of wood, it should last quite nicely for generations! For teaching time, I think this is terrific! Defiantely a 10 Stars!
25 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Fantastic learning toy for teaching children how to tell time!Nov 08, 2005
By Denise - mother of three
All three of my kids love this toy! We have no complaints about the quality - as most Melissa & Doug products it is well made AND durable.
We also questioned the 5 and 6 shape decision - when we called their customer service number, they told us that it is a self correcting clock and if they used the hexagon for the "6" then a child could put it in upside down as a "9." If the other numbers are put in upside down then they are not numbers - that works for us!
We are very pleased with ALL of the other valuable teaching elements this clock has to offer! Learning time increments; hours, quarters, minutes, seconds, shapes, colors, numbers...the list goes on.
Five stars for this GREAT product...keep up the good work Melissa & Doug!!!
9 of 9 found the following review helpful:
This is how it worked for usFeb 15, 2008
By W. Battalora
We got this as a gift from the grandparents, and it just sat in the toy box with nobody having interest in it.
Then recently I dug it out of its grave and resurrected it with this game I made up: 1) I got my 4-year-old boy to dump! all the numbers out onto a table. 2) He shovels them all into a cloth bag off the edge of the table. 3) We take turn taking out a number from the bag without peeking. My saying "no peeking" always generates more interest in peeking. 4) The person who got the block reads the number on the block and puts it in the correct slot. 5) The person then points the long-hand to 12 and the short hour-hand to the number that has just been put in.
My son who is otherwise very academically challenged as a 4-year-old learned to tell time in no time -- two days. We also learned to use our sensory nerves to psyche out the pieces. When he puts his hand in the bag he knows how to pull out number 12, his favorite number on the clock.
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