01 December 2008

Children's Toy Review: Counting Bunnies Puzzle

In this day and age store bought toys are a dime a dozen and their designs and novelty are temporary if not fleeting. Even the quality is not as it once was, with giant companies racing to cut over head by outsourcing to factories with shaky safety records, hoping to turn a lucrative profit.

But do toys really matter any more? When video games and electronic devices such as cell phones and ipods , have consumed the culture of most of the civilized world's daily existence, and become the most wanted items - echoed in the fashions and advertising campaigns that flood our televisions and printed media. Do seemingly "dull" toys of yesteryear have a needed place in our children's lives? I, among a growing movement of parents , educators and specialists, believe the answer is yes.

There have recently been many studies compiling findings that support the theory that moving our children into the digital age has not come without a price. People are cluing in to the fact that children are slowly loosing out on make believe play, which is critical for language and problem solving development within their growing brains. Articles such as The End Of Make Believe featured on Newsweek.com, site that technology and entertainment are NOT tools used to stimulate imaginative play, no matter what their clever advertisements may lead you to believe.

In order for a child's brain to be stimulated to encourage proper make believe play , the toys he or she plays with need to be very plain and basic in nature (always wondered why your children enjoy the box the toys came in, more than the toy it's self?) - without all the flashing- beeping- digital goodness that floods store shelves. Wooden blocks and other basic toys are open ended - meaning there is no set outcome or plot, these toys can be anything the child imagines and the potential for creativity is limitless.




One of the toys I am reviewing today falls into the category of those reminiscent of toys of yesteryear.

Counting Bunnies Puzzle is offered by Imagiplay.com, a company that believes in selling toys that are eco-friendly and that inspire the imagination.





Counting Bunnies Puzzle Specs:

  • Hand-crafted & hand painted with child-safe paints. Made from plantation-grown rubberwood, an environmentally-friendly hardwood.
  • Non-toxic, eco-friendly, educational puzzles that teaches numbers, colors, dexterity and fun!
  • Fair Trade allows artisans a fair wage to support their families.
  • 10 puzzle pieces (8 bunnies, 2 carrots) 1 wooden puzzle base.
  • Ages: 3+
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 14.5 inches ; 1 pounds
  • ASIN: B0016HPLK0




Pros:

This puzzle is sized very nicely, perfect for a child's hands. The pieces are larger than other similar puzzles I have seen on the market, they also have rounded edges. It is nice to have a puzzle that offers a 2 dimensional feel instead of the typical one-dimensional, painted-on-one -side-only puzzles you find elsewhere.

The Counting Bunnies Puzzle's design is very sweet with momma bunny watching over her babies as they race to get to the large carrots, all numbered to encourage your little one's counting skills. The way the bunny pieces are positioned will help your child to learn about balance and sharpen his or her's dexterity. It is a nice feeling knowing that the designer used child safe paint when decorating the puzzle pieces, so many toys are made without forethought into the ingredients that will be used.

My 5 yr old daughter liked the way the pieces fit into the base and thought the carrot theme was "so cute!". Even my 18th month old little boy was drawn to the bright colors and different shapes.


I was happy to know that this purchase is supporting fair trade W artisans and that the wood used to create this puzzle is rubberwood - which can regenerate new growth that is usable fairly quickly, so the harvesting process is very eco-friendy.


Con's:
The only slightly negative thing I can say about Counting Bunnies Puzzle is that because it is eco-friendly the puzzle came wrapped in shrink wrap, so there is not actually a container to house the pieces - which was a little inconvenient. My kids had the pieces all over the place in no time.


Overall Impression:

The Counting Bunnies Puzzle is well constructed by hand out of environmentally sustainable wood and supports Fair trade workers in disadvantaged countries. Not only will your children love the cuteness factor of the puzzles design, but this puzzle is educational and something that will last for years to come, and would make a great toy to pass on to future generations.













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23 comments

3:05 AM, December 02, 2008 Reply  

Yes, today toys come in all different shapes and sizes. The design is simply stunning.

10:12 AM, December 02, 2008 Reply  

well the kind of toys we used to have in our child hood are no more produced. Even children toys have been diluted and material produced is highly commercial.

10:47 PM, December 02, 2008 Reply  

I think this generation's children play with electronics toys but next generation will play with robotic toys.

11:52 PM, December 02, 2008 Reply  

Every time my son and I go out, I make sure I buy him something like a toy or food, but it always turn out to be a toy. This counting bunnies toy would be a good buy because not only can I teach my son about numbers, but colors as well.

5:24 PM, December 03, 2008 Reply  

Such a cute toy! I do not want my wife to see it. She has 2 bunnies, love them to death, and would buy this in a heartbeat!

That is an adorable toy and would look great on a bedroom shelf. It is a shame that there is no box, I can imagine the pieces would be easy to lose.

10:49 AM, December 04, 2008 Reply  

I actually find this debate very entertaining. You stated that research indicates that digital and 'electronic' toys and gadget's don't spark the imaginative side of things. Which I find hard to believe. Digital products allow for an endless range of possibilities of uses, whether its a word game, pattern recognition game, etc. Is it the physical touch of the physical product that sparks the imaginative side of things?

12:36 PM, December 04, 2008 Reply  

People have always used their ingenuity to develop toys to keep children occupied and happy. Toys have always been a part of our culture. We tend to think of ourselves as living in modern times, but some of today's toys are found in ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese.

10:42 PM, December 04, 2008 Reply  

Wow, todays these days are amazing in design. I am sure this will make a good christmas gift :D

4:30 PM, December 15, 2008 Reply  

As it is crunch-time for Xmas, I'm so glad to have run across your post. Looks like a great toy that just might pull my son away from sponge bob for a few moments! Very cute...

I also like the Fair Trade aspect as well....thanks!

8:55 AM, February 02, 2009 Reply  

Looking back at how I taught my kids at an early age, I think I may have done them a dis-service by introducing them to technology at too early of an age.
No matter how good the graphics are, a video game will never be able to compete with the imagination of a child who finds a box to play in.

The counting bunnies puzzle looks like it would be a toy that could surly become a family heirloom.

10:12 PM, February 06, 2009 Reply  

These toys are very good, but in future robotic toys would be best.

6:25 AM, February 26, 2009 Reply  

The toys are wonderful but these wont be used for long in Future. :S

4:08 AM, March 23, 2009 Reply  

Waldorf theory on Children toys suggest the use of toys made of natural materials such as wood toys or fabric toys. The idea behind it is philosophical and argues those materials unsert soul into the toys.

3:22 PM, March 25, 2009 Reply  

Wooden Handcrafted toys also bring soul to playing time.

4:09 PM, May 11, 2009 Reply  

Waldorf theory on Children toys suggest the use of toys made of natural materials such as wood toys

or fabric toys. The idea behind it is philosophical and argues those materials unsert soul into the toys.

8:03 AM, May 12, 2009 Reply  

Such a cute toy! I do not want my wife to see it. She has 2 bunnies, love them to death, and would buy this in a heartbeat!

11:44 AM, June 09, 2009 Reply  

This counting bunnies toy would be a good buy because not only can we teach our son about numbers, but colors as well.

12:38 PM, June 09, 2009 Reply  

This is a cute toy but it seems a tad bit young. I don't know that my kids of 3+ would spend much time playing with this one.

11:14 PM, June 23, 2009 Reply  

Puzzles like this one are best played on hardwood flooring because the child is able to fully integrate themselves in the puzzle without having to worry about not being able to get the bunnies to stand up properly

8:05 PM, October 10, 2009 Reply  

A simple wood box would have been an easy thing to add and still provide an eco-friendly packaging (over plastic).

5:40 AM, September 17, 2011 Reply  

There's a lot more to learn about this site. I liked it for it is very informative still.

10:45 PM, November 29, 2011 Reply  

You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

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