Melissa and Doug Stack and Sort Board
The Stack and Sort board looks boring compared with many toys that beep, whistle and light up. Don’t be deceived by its simplicity. This simple toy will provide a growing brain plenty of educational benefits. It certainly did in my house. It truly grows with the development of the child. Maximum benefits can be seen from 2-4, but even babies and older children find it appealing.
Label of Melissa and Doug
Babies start by exploring the edges and corners and sides of the shapes. The smooth texture, bright colors, and sound made when the two shapes clap together appeal to infants and toddlers. I let my babies mouth the shapes but you might want to check the rectangle as a choking hazard. Older babies discover they can stack the wooden shapes on a peg. The peg is large and round and the shapes slide on easily and make a sound when they land. This stage was hard for me to watch when my kids didn’t seem to notice or care about the colors and shapes. They just stacked whatever shape on whichever peg. But I know the babies were learning crucial hand eye coordination and spatial relationships.
Finally about two years of age, a sense of order took hold. That’s when this toy really shines. My children started by matching the colors and then matching and identifying the shapes. I like that the number for the triangle is 3, the number for the square is 4 and the number to the pentagon is 5, so the corresponding number of sides matches to how many shapes there are in that stack. When my two year olds developed a sense of humor, they would stack it incorrectly on purpose, and then dump it and laugh.
My youngest is 3 and now likes to identify the numbers and count the shapes. I always thought the toy would be useful for adding and subtracting but it never got used in my house that way.
We have owned this for about 5 years and it has been used by 3 kids and it is still in pretty good condition. The paint on the corners and edges have begun to chip. And the wood on the shapes has gotten a little rough, but considering how often the shapes were clapped together, that seems acceptable. The pegboard remains in almost perfect condition.
front image of stack and sort toy
It does require to be kept upright when stored time so you don’t lose the pieces. With so much learning available and for so long, this educational toy definitely has a great value. I would recommend it for any baby up to age 3. Although a four year old might use it a little, I think by then, there are better tools for counting and sorting.