This turtle shape sorter was given to my daughter when she was about a year old, although it is suitable from six months.
It is a very simple and attractive design. It's a green turtle with a nice smiley face and a blue shell. The shell has four holes in it for you to post shapes through. The shapes are a square, star, circle and triangle, all in different colours.
As it's designed to be used from a young age, the shapes are very chunky and just right for tiny hands. They are also nicely rounded off and made from a tough plastic material, so this is completely safe for all ages I think – there is nothing that can be swallowed or cause injury! The shapes are also decorated – so the triangle has a yellow chick on it, the square is half see-through with small rattly balls inside and the star has a tiny mirror on it. The corresponding holes on the turtle's shell are edged with the correct colour, which aids recognition and brightens up the toy. All these touches help make the toy really attractive, bright and appealing.
At first my daughter liked playing with the shapes on their own, and of course you do have the option of having the shapes out separately for very young ones to grasp, shake, munch and throw! For a few months these shapes ended up all over the place! But of course the point is to use the shapes to post through the turtle's shell. And sadly this is where the toy loses some of its appeal – and a couple of stars!
The real problem for me is that the shell doesn't fix onto the base of the turtle at all – it is completely loose. At first I thought this was me and I was missing something, then I thought our one was defective but, having seen a few other reviews online, it seems that this is how it's designed. So although the shell sort of “sits” on the base, the slightest nudge or knock can cause it to come of. So of course for an impatient little one, why bother to post the shapes through the holes when you can just lift the shell off?! Of course this is a real shame and kind of defeats the object of the toy in a way! It is especially disappointing as the toy itself looks so nice and, other than this is well designed and thought through. In the time we have had this, although we have played with the toy, we have hardly ever used it as a toy to post shapes through as the fun has been taken out of it with the loose lid.
If the shell stayed on the turtle, this would be a five star review as I think this is so well designed otherwise and has lovely bright colours that are so appealing to young children, it looks nice, and I like that each of the four shapes has something unique about it. It is also well priced at around £10, but the one design flaw is major enough for it to lose two stars from me I'm afraid.
Summary: A great toy ruined by one major design flaw!