Ages and Stages - Let's Discover!
With exciting textures and colours, the CLIPO system offers a variety of sensory experiences for toddler's playtime.
This bright fun bucket contains a range of standard blocks, as well as a number of novel, interactive pieces with special features, and can also be part of the fun with it's lid also having the moulded CLIPO stumps on top.
I am an early childhood teacher and I have come across the Clipo 50pc bucket in my early childhood centre. When searching for experiences to set up for the children this one often stands out to me being in a brightly coloured red bucket. This bright colour is continued through the product as each of the pieces are nice bright colours too. Children are generally attracted to nice, bright colours and this certainly helps to appeal of this product.
This product is aimed at children 18 months or older. I have seen children all ages from 18 months to 5 years old interacting with these blocks. I am quite surprised that they are recommended for children as young as 18 months. Personally I find it quite difficult to put the blocks together. You need a bit of muscle power to get them to stick together, and even then it seems very easy to knock them off. When this product has been set up for children 18 - 24months I have been unable to see them put them together. They tend to pick up the blocks and then put them in their mouth - which is what happens for a lot of things with children of this age! Occasionally I have seen them try to build with them, but they simply don't have the co-ordination or strength to put them together. Even the older children I have seen attempting to build with them often ask for help from a teacher.
I admit to enjoy construction based experiences at work, and will often build my own creations alongside those of the children. This product is one that frustrates me. While there are a few different shapes and sizes of blocks, it all seems quite limited in the way that you could actually clip these together. They remind me ever so slightly of the old school stickle bricks, but with bigger prongs on them, and stickle bricks were just as limited in their building possibilities as you could only connect them on the tops and the sides too.
Overall while it is a nice attractive product, I do think that it might be suitable for slightly older children. The only issue with this is that older children tend to prefer lego and products aimed more at their age.
My daughter got a set of this for her 2nd birthday. It was brightly coloured and really durable. But the pieces were quite stiff and it was hard for her to use. The pieces became a source of frustration for her as she would have to direct one of us to make what she wanted to create.
She would usually use the pieces in other ways, as coins for a shopping game etc. Once she got more strength in her hands and wrists she found it easier to put the pieces together and build things. Though she still needs help pulling them apart. I think once she is a bit older she will get more use out of it, though by then she might be into lego.
Personally, I have always enjoyed any form of construction toy set... be it Lego, K'nex, Magnetix, Mecanno... you name it... if it comes in little units that you build into larger structures, I'm all for it. So to discover this stuff was a bit of a godsend to me. My oldest boy is right into his construction toys too, and though this stuff is a bit too 'young' for him, he still enjoys building things for his baby brother to demolish, and that will help the youngun get an early start on such toys too.
The blocks are basic, which is to be expected, but there are some fun little extras hiding in the bucket, including people-parts and some multi-face pivot bits, which can be combined in a wide number of ways if the mind behind the hands is creative enough. I was also impressed at how the bucket lid had been moulded with the locking knobs so could be included as part of the kit too, providing a base to build upon, a roof to put on top, or just another big piece to add to the -whatever- they are constructing. I just wish they had extended that feature to the busket itself, as that would have been just brilliant really... a 1-step castle skeleton for example. (But it works really well as a mould for sandcastles, so not a total loss there. )
The colours are bright to attract the younger ones, and I hope to one day see some more colours too, such as purples, lighter blues, and maybe, if there is enough market demand (-hint hint-) glow-in-the-dark blocks! Now *THAT* would be simply brilliant! (No pun intended.)
Overall, a great way to get your littlest ones into the whole construction toy genre. The price is pretty fair for what you get, but a bit more variety in the blocks would be great... a comment I heard a lot during the focus group meetings.
I love the different colours and shapes of the clipo set, and the fact that the container has the "clipo stumps" on the lid that can be used as a base.
Even though I enjoyed the clipo I find they are very stiff to clip in to each other, and so does my 2 year old daughter. She finds it very frustrating, so I do not agree with the 18mths+ age range.
I think it would help if you were able to clip them together in anyway possible, not just straight up and down.
I also found it hard to keep the clipo together on the ends of the blocks rather than on top of the blocks, they just don't seem to sit right.
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