SKOLA TOYS- An honest review

In my previous post, I spoke about how and why learning is a journey. Lets talk concrete example now, shall we?
Let us take language.
  • So in the first stage, the baby is only hearing and assimilating, and can respond with basic sounds – grunts, cries and coos. Slowly, the baby can differentiate sounds. That is when we introduce the phonetic alphabet.
  • Then the baby learns to join these sounds to create complex sounds and associate it to a meaning(words).
  • Then, the child learns to string words together to form meaningful sentences.
  • And finally, the child learns to also put the language learnt in written form.
When I received the package from Skola I was beyond excited because I wanted to see first hand what the hoopla was all about. And boy, was I impressed!

Packaging

The toy itself comes safely packed in multiple layers of bubble wrap and luxuriously packaged in a beautiful doodle box, with a crayon set. The child can colour away and the box can be converted to decor for the child’s room. (Haha yes, you have to wait until I revamp baby Vs room though)
IMG_20170928_151551

The toy itself

We received the crossword tortoise from the language series. It is the first stage in the journey through words.
The toy contains
A. A solid wooden board in the shape of a tortoise,
B. 12 laminated picture cue cards which are placed on the back of the tortoise and
C. A shell cover with crossword blanks (chalkboard pieces).
We were also provided thick chalk with the toy.
How to play
I loved that an information booklet on the designed use of the toy was also provided.
  • So the first stage( which baby V is in currently) is where the child can handle the picture card and identify the picture cues.
STage 1

Stage 1 : reading through the CVC cards and trying to identify the pictures. P.S. Did you spot the cloth diaper on the bum?

  • The next stage would be when the child understands how to spell the simple CVC (consonant verb consonant) words, reads the cue as well as the arrow and writes it down. The beauty of these cards are such that although all of them are 3 letter CVC words, they are to be used in order of increasing complexity – simple CVC nouns to complex cvc verbs.
Tortoise crossword

The child learns read the cues, to put the chalk to the board, write the spelling within the box, in the right direction.

  • And finally, the child would be encouraged to create his / her own crossword puzzle cues.

The toy – review

1. Material: made of high quality wood, it is durable and can not just withstand a toddler’s temper tantrums, but also safe for mouthing toddlers.
2. Visual appeal – made of bright contrasting colors, and professional finishing, the toy is beautiful, ensuring that kids pick it up amongst an array of toys. Read more about what beauty has to do with toys here.
3. Skills learnt – So a child would learn
  • Identification of pictures (Simply looking at the picture and telling the word)
  • Converting the word from picture to spelling format
  • Spelling them out orally
  • Fine motor skills (putting the chalk tip to the board, and writing it out)
  • Motor skills (Writing it in order (horizontal or vertical, within the space provided)
  • Gross motor skills (Changing cards and manipulating the toy)
  • Logical thinking ( If the word to the next clue starts with H, what could the second word be?)
  • Problem solving and reviewing( I think the word should be bed, but the first letter is a “c”, so where am I going wrong?)
  • Motor skills (Coloring )
Phew!

4. Price

To be honest, I spend on toys calculating the skills they hone. So, for all the skills that this one helps build, Id say 895 INR is pretty cool.

5. What we loved

One toy but multiple ways to play. Lot of cues and detailed help given on structured play, but at the same time, myriad of free play opportunities play possible.
The amazing number of skills developed.
The doodle box not only doubles up as a method of engaging children, it can be upcycled to some pretty stuff.
Doodle box

The beautiful box showcasing some art work of baby V.

Finally, it boils down to this

Would i recommend this toy? Definitely!
Would I buy from Skola Toys again? Hell yeah! Eyeing this one in particular.
The toy market definitely needs toy manufacturers like these, with a sound belief in montessori principles. Go ahead, tell me which your favourite Skola toy is in the comments below!
Disclaimer – I was sent this toy for an honest review. This is an honest and unbiased review, and the post mirrors my own opinions.
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