Thursday, June 30, 2011

Timberdoodle for Your Toddler, a review

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Sometimes we spend so much time putting together our books and schedules for the school-aged kiddos that we forget about the little ones in our lives. Timberdoodle has put together an impressive core curriculum just for toddlers (ages 1-3), full of colorful hands-on doodads that will make them smile. And giggle. And say “Look, Mama!”

We received the PeekaBoo Animal Puzzles by Infantino for review, one of the many quality activities that Timberdoodle has hand-selected to engage your preschooler in early learning. Each puzzle encourages your little one to match the animal with its home and reveal a cute baby animal surprise.

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The puzzles come in a sturdy bucket, easy for little ones to open.

And dump. :0)014

015These colorful, chunky pieces will stand up to a beating.

Or a chewing.027

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Emma (age 2) just adores puzzles. Unfortunately, she tends to get hold of the 24-piece variety we have on our shelves.

Not exactly a confidence builder for a little one.

Each of these puzzles is only 2 pieces. They are perfect!

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And each has a sweet surprise.031

She loves these!026

Look what I can do, Mama!

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So what did we think?

The chunky, oversized pieces make these a great fit for little fingers. Fitting the pieces together and pulling the tabs encourages practice in manual dexterity. Matching the Mamas with their babies helps toddlers make connections.

I love the uniquely cut pieces (each piece can only fit one other piece) and the fact that all the pieces fit easily into the bucket without having to be put in “just so.”

Emma loves the baby animals, the peekaboo surprise, the bright colors, and that she can do these puzzles herself!

I would recommend only giving your child a few pairs of pieces at a time to start, the whole stack together was a little overwhelming for Em.

I also found that it was easier for Emma to have the baby animals revealed so she could match them up with the Mama animals. The idea of finding the animals’ “homes” was just a wee bit too abstract for her.

After looking over the other bits and pieces of Timberdoodle’s Toddler Curriculum, I’m drooling a little. If money were no object, I’d love to have all these goodies to keep Emma busy during those times when the rest of us have our noses stuck in our books. This is a nice assortment of books and hands-on activities, plus a few resources for Mama.

The emphasis is on encouraging little ones to learn through exploration, and the materials appear to be quality choices. There’s also an option to customize your core, because we know one-size doesn’t fit all. I like that.

But even if you already have bins full of toys, I’d recommend taking a look. You might find a few choice items to purchase separately to add to your “keep the toddler busy” arsenal. Every toddler can use a few surprise extras for special learning time while you teach her older sibs---there are so many cool things here that I didn’t even know existed! And it might inspire you to give one of Timberdoodle’s other Core Curricula a go for your older kids. There’s a video on their site that will give you a better idea of what their cores are like.

PeekaBoo Animal Puzzles is available from Timberdoodle for $13.

The Timberdoodle Toddler Core sells for $385.

Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team, I received PeekaBoo Animal Puzzles for free to keep from Timberdoodle in order to review it. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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