I got one of these for my husband and son to play with together. My son is 6 and can build the 8+ Lego kits by himself, but I thought this might be a bit advanced for him, so I enlisted my husband's help for it. The construction of the projects are challenging, even with adult help. We spent 2.5 hours assembling the parts into the dragster project. The diagrams are in black and white only, so it takes some studying of the diagrams to figure out where each part goes and to distinguish whether the instructions want the blue part or the black part. Additionally, I had to measure the rods to know which one to use in each step since the rods come in all different sizes. The construction is challenging on its own, but the programming for making the robotic aspect is even more advanced. My husband, who does programming at work on a daily basis, even struggled to get the programs right. While it takes patience to build and program the projects, it is a fun toy once you get it working. And, it was great for getting our whole family to spend many a rainy/snowy afternoon doing something together.
This clock shape sorter is recommended for ages 3 and up, but I got it for my daughter when she was 1. She was interested in other shape sorters at the time. I thought this one was cute, and I love that it's wooden. It also has proved multi-purpose. At age 1, my daughter was most interested in the shape sorter aspect and honing her motor skills by placing the shapes in the correct slots. About 18 months, she became interested in numbers and used this toy as a counter. She also started learning some simple shapes, which she can identify on the clock. Now at age 2.5, she's starting to show an interest in the hands on the clock (having noticed that it looks like our wall clock). For us, it has been a long-lasting, useful and educational toy. Recommended!
Between my son and my husband, we own a lot of Lego. This is the only Star Wars Lego we have purchased, and we are very disappointed with the quality. All of the pieces were in the box. The instructions were clear. But, the pieces do not fit tightly together, especially the wings. Pieces fall off the plane before my son can even play with it. Pieces fall off even while my husband is trying to assemble the plane still! My husband has been collecting Lego since he was a young boy and also says this set is not up to Lego's usual standard. I would not recommend getting this for a child to play with, but it would make a nice collector's item.
This set is fun and very versatile. My son received it when he was 4 and is still playing with it. The track pieces are flexible and can be taken apart into individual pieces (each color is a separate piece). The track designs are very versatile as a result - many different configurations. The set includes a couple of switches, a bridge and 2 battery-operated trucks, as well as the track pieces. My son is able to set up the track and switches himself but requires help to assemble the bridge. The trucks are also a little quirky. One of our trucks runs faster than the other one, so one truck is constantly trying to run over the other. When it bumps into the slower truck, the faster one jumps off the track. The only way to stop the trucks is to turn them off with the switch on the bottom so a truck that jumps the track can easily run under furniture if you aren't watching or don't catch it in time.
My 5 year old received one of these for Christmas. He adores planes, so this was a big hit. All of the parts were complete and the fit of everything was tight. The recommended age is 5+, but I think this was overly ambitious for my 5 year old. He was able to build some of it himself but my husband and I had to help with some of the smaller assemblages, like putting the windows in and adding the under-wing engines. Aside from needing some help putting it together, my son finds that it is difficult to put passengers in and take them out. The top is not hinged, so he has to lift the roof off to move passengers. Not a huge deal, but it frustrates him.
My son got this marble run for Christmas. It is a fun set, and he loves playing with it. However, it took my husband 5 hours to set it up the first time. The recommended age is 8, but I think an 8 year old may need help setting this up, as well. I would recommended setting this up once and leaving it set up somewhere. Once the run was set up, it worked smoothly and was sturdy. The marble elevator is a great idea, especially for a child like my son who tends to put too many marbles down a load-it-yourself marble run which causes them to clog up. No clogs with this one! I thought he would be bored just watching it, but 4 months later, he's still entertained with it. The noise-makers are annoying (loud and shrill), and I discourage my son from using them. The noise-makers could have been excluded without detracting from the enjoyment of the toy.
We have several other Ryan's Room furniture sets. This set is fun because it's outdoor equipment, but it has some flaws. First, the slide and ladder do not attach to make a slide; they just prop together to make the slide. That being the case, it is too easy for my kids to knock the slide apart as they play. This leads to a lot of frustration. The other problem is that the Ryan's Room people who are supposed to fit with this set don't fit super well. They don't fit too well with any of the furniture sets, but it is really obvious with this one. The people are too big. So, for instance, the people can't sit on the swing because his/her head is taller than the crossbar of the swing set. Again, this leads to some frustration for my kids. What they do like, however, are the sand box and scooter. I would recommend this set either for an older child who can manipulate the toys more easily or for use with smaller dolls.
We bought this set for my son to go with his dollhouse. Now 5 years old, both he and his little sister (age 1) play with this furniture set. The furniture is chunky and sturdy - definitely durable enough for toddler and preschooler play. The details of this set are what I like best. The shower curtain pulls back and forth; the toilet seat goes up and down; there are towels; there is even toilet paper!
I was drawn to this set for my kids' dollhouse because it is wooden, sturdy and chunky. The pieces are well constructed and hold up well to toddler play. Both my 5 year old son and my 1 year old daughter play with this set. The only issue we have is that the couch and chair cushions do not stay on the furniture well - the cushions slide off unless positioned perfectly, which doesn't happen unless I help the kids set it up. Most of the time, they use the couch and chair without the cushions and are perfectly happy.
This is my son's favorite puzzle. He received this when he was 3 and is still enjoying it at age 5. The puzzle is big; it needs the better part of the kitchen table or floor space. The pieces are big and chunky, easy for little ones to use. The picture in the puzzle is bright and colorful and appealing. My son really likes the perspective of the picture (from Earth's moon). I like that all of the planets as well as asteroids and comets are represented. We have used the puzzle as an educational piece, to discuss the solar system as we put it together. My nephew and a friend of my son (both 4), also enjoyed this puzzle while playing at our house. In fact, both ended up getting their own copy of this puzzle. I'd definitely recommend this puzzle to any child who is interested in space.
My son likes to do puzzles before he goes to bed and this is great puzzle for evening. Not only is it Thomas, but it glows in the dark. What kid doesn't like glow-in-the-dark stuff? The recommended age on this puzzle is 5 years, but my son was able to do it at 3 years old. The pieces are big enough for little hands to manipulate. Because the puzzle is a night scene, there are lots of similar colors (low contrast) which may cause difficulty for a child who doesn't have a lot of patience or experience doing puzzles.
These were the first Thomas trucks that my son received. He loved the giggling troublesome trucks. The one with the red top is the one that giggles; the other one does not. The volume of the giggling is fine - not too loud. Both trucks have a side-to-side rocking motion when moved along a track, giving them the impression of being rickety. I am giving 4 out or 5 stars because when the batteries run out, they are a specialty battery size to replace. We couldn't find the specialty batteries at local stores and had to order them online. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of before you run out of batteries in your 2-year old's favorite toy!
My daughter played with her Skwish as soon as she could hold it (1-2 months old). She was fascinated by the bright colors. When her motions were still involuntary, she would shake the Skwish and make it rattle, which she liked. The Skwish is great for building dexterity, too. It has rubberized bands connecting the wooden balls, so it can be squished and twisted in lots of different directions. The fact that it isn't rigid is very appealing to little ones - they can easily manipulate it. I even found myself mindlessly playing with it while on the phone.
This toy is so simple and yet so appealing to little ones. My daughter loved Sophie best between 3 and 12 months (when she was cutting a lot of teeth fast). She chewed endlessly on Sophie's legs. My 4 year old son also loved Sophie. He liked the feel and smell, I think. Both of my kids say that the giraffe is their favorite animal, and I'm sure this is from playing with Sophie. My daughter is now 18 months old. Sophie still comes out of the toy box occasionally but now it's mostly to go in her make-believe zoo.