A wooden sorting cube with 12 brightly painted wooden blocks. Four of the cube’s six walls have holes for the specific shapes to fit through. The remaining two walls are solid, and covered with the Melissa and Doug product stickers. One of the walls with holes slides out and acts as a lid. The 12 blocks are meant to be stored in the box.
The familiar silhouettes of the circle, oval, square, triangle, diamond, rectangle, and star are joined by the hexagram, parallelogram, trapezoid, octagon, and what might be a clover.
The sliding lid is held in place by two groves.
Shape sorting boxes (say that three times fast) are another classic toy that belongs on the shelf next to building blocks and stuffed animals. This version provides a child with 12 different shapes, some ordinary, and some not so much. The additional shapes may be of interest to a child who zooms through the basics and wants a little extra challenge.
Once all the pieces have been put in and the box is full, just slide out the lid to do it all again.
Most of the reviewers found this sorting cube to be a great addition for a child. Many reported that the unfamiliar shapes added a level of difficulty that they appreciated, since after all, anything educational is not supposed to be easy at first.
The wooden construction of the toy also appealed to many users, and was stated as the main reason they initially sought out this toy. The pieces are large enough that most users did not report any choking hazards, and we found no incidents of injury due to choking. As with all toys having parts small enough to fit into a child’s mouth, we encourage supervision during play.
Many users pointed out that this box is best used when a child is helped along in the beginning, and told the names of the colors and shapes as they are played with.
- Wipe down with a damp cloth
For more in-depth information on how to clean this type of toy, please see our blog, The Cleaning Guide for Toys.
Parts and Pieces
We could not find any information as to where to purchase replacement shapes. However, Melissa and Doug have a good reputation for customer service, so we have listed their contact information.
Melissa & Doug Customer Service: (800) 718-5365 M-Th 7am - 6pm Eastern or on Friday 7am-5pm EST.
Consumer Questions/Comments: Service@MelissaAndDoug.com
Some issues with the wooden box splintering and breaking were reported. The box is made of layers of thin wood, and sometimes it splinters near the corners or along the edges. A few users pointed out that the box could be sanded down before being given to a child.
We also noticed several reports of the lid popping off too easily. It appears that the lid sometimes does not fit tightly into the groves holding it in place, causing it to fall off when the box is turned over during the search for the correct slot. Pressing too hard on the lid may also cause it to fall into the box. Adding Velcro to the lid and along the edge of the box was suggested by one user as a remedy for this issue.