This toy produces gorgeous, ear-catching musical notes of top quality. The volume can be set to either "high" or "low" and the casing is extremely durable. The children I work with, toddlers with special needs, are initially attracted to the bright colors and shapes; they stay engaged by experimenting with the placement of the blocks on the base, each side of a block produces a different instrumental sound when pressed. Sometimes the children even start dancing to the wonderful classical music! What a wonderful way to introduce very young children to the beauty and tranquil effect of music. Although the price might seem high for a musical toy when compared to other toys in this category, the durability, quality of the music, and the variety of ways the toy can be used are impressive.
I love Bruder trucks, make no mistake. However, as a special education teacher, I need toys that will stand up to lots of use and abuse. The Bruder line has wonderful, rich colors, real rubber wheels, and an attractive, eye-catching patina. However, use caution when buying one of the trucks that has a scooper since the piece that connects the movable scoop can be a bit flimsy and may break after repeated use. The Bruder dump truck, which does not have any pieces that "scoop," is a wonderful truck and extremely durable. It's been dropped on hardwood floors, loaded with lots of "stuff," and used to carry puzzle pieces to a child that needed a special enticement to complete a puzzle.
As a teacher, I need to find toys that are sturdy, durable, have a high "fun factor," and foster creativity during play. This toy has stood up under repeated toddler use; the paint still looks fresh, the velcro that hooks the food together has never torn or peeled off, and the cutting board remains smooth and new-looking. My students love this wooden food set that they can cut into pieces and play chef. The knife did splinter after a while, but I simply sanded it smooth and all was well. Excellent toy to help children build their vocabulary, improve fine motor skills, foster pretend play, and improving social skills such as sharing and turn taking. Great conversation starter, "Do you like watermelon?" Excellent value for the money.
This is a phenomenal remote control car for kids of all ages! It drives on smooth, rough, and bump terrain and when plunged into a roiling sea (okay, a pool with waves!) it simply spins its fins and keeps moving. I brought this to an apartment pool and all the kids there wanted to try it. Provided hours of fun, turn-taking, and sharing of ideas. Love it!
I purchased this marble run with the high hopes of endless hours playing with my students and encouraging them to use their creativity and imagination while constructing marble mazes. However, I ended up having to return it because I found that the pieces of the run easily became unhitched and this was very frustrating for young kids. We had no sooner finished creating a run when the poles would slide out or twist and the kids would get disappointed. Would not recommend this run due to its inherent design faults.
WOW is a great brand. I am a special education teacher who works with preschoolers and this population can be tough on toys. My WOW race cars have traveled up and down refrigerators, slid down stairs, zig zagged over tile floors, and hit the wall when a child gets frustrated at having to stop playing with them to eat! They are a great price for the durability and creativity factor. I love all my WOW vehicles!