Established in 1795, Jaques of London is one the oldest toy and games makers in the world. They are still family-owned and run by 8th generation Jaques', Joe and Emmett! We absolutely love both wooden and educational toys in our house so we were very excited when Jaques of London kindly gifted us their Wooden Shape Sorter and Magnetic Fishing Game to review. We are not always sure what toys to get our 2-year-old son just in case he loses interest in them quickly but Jaques of London really do have such a great, traditional toy range that caters for children of all ages and are definitely going to be on many Christmas lists this year.
First, we tested the Wooden Shape Sorter. Elijah has had a Shape Sorter previously from another brand but struggled to push the shapes through the holes due to the thickness of the toy and the inconveniently placed buttons that obstruct the slots. He quickly became frustrated and soon lost interest. But what I love about the Jaques of London Shape Sorter is its simplicity. There are no fancy buttons, no noise, no plastic. Just a simple yet effective, educational toy that does what it says on the box.
I love how easy Elijah can slot the shapes into the holes as well as retrieve them from the wooden cube with no fuss. The Shape Sorter is great for shape recognition, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The name of the shape is also written on the shape itself which I thought was a great touch as you can use it to sound out the shape with your little one and teach them to say the names of each shape. It also grows with your child as when they get older, they can use the shapes to help them spell or even draw them.
The 3D shapes are also brightly coloured with two shapes of each colour. The vivid colours allow children to develop colour recognition and learn about the different colours as well as associating the colours with the specific shapes. As there are two shapes of each colour, children can also match up the coloured shapes. The Wooden Shape Sorter Activity Cube really is a multifunctional toy.
The Magnetic Fishing Game is presented beautifully in a sea life themed box with carry handle and lid. Much like the Shape Sorter, this game is very multifunctional and can be adapted to suit the age of your little one. The Magnetic Fishing Game includes four magnetic fishing roads made out of solid wood and lots of sea creatures printed on solid wood pieces. Elijah loves using the magnetic fishing rod to catch the fish at his own pace. Much like the Shape Sorter, the fun game teaches fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination at the same time. If you have older toddlers, encourage them to play together and see who can catch the most fish within a specific time limit.
On the reverse of each sea creature is either a letter, number, mathematical symbol or punctuation mark. There is no set way to use this aspect of the game. But Jaques of London has suggested a few ways to play:
Ask your child if they can name the letter, number, mathematical symbol or punctuation mark.
Ask your child if they can write down a word that begins with the letter you have caught.
Create a maths question for your child by using the mathematical operations and numbers they have caught.
That's what I love most about Jaques of London - not all of their games have specific rules which encourage you to be creative and adaptable to create games of your own. This way, the games can be reused with different rules time and time again as your little one grows and develops.
As well as the Wooden Shape Sorter and Magnetic Fishing Game there are a full range of lovely toys for toddlers, toys for three-year-olds, as well as toys for children of all ages on the Jaques of London website. If you would like to order from the website I have a 15% discount code for my readers which can be found here: https://jaques.games/15off
All Jaques of London products arrive so beautifully packaged with ribbon and hand-written notes. It shows how much they as a company value their customers and the products and services they provide!
Disclaimer: This blog post is a review of gifted products but all views and opinions expressed are my own. I do not earn a commission from products bought via any of the inserted links or discount codes.