According to their website: “Shapeeze is a fun pre-schooler, skill-building craft activity kit. The press-out, paste and colour-in activities help build independent problem-solving, fine motor and foundation skills in readiness for the school years.”
All kids learn at a different rate, and therefore it would seem appropriate that a craft & learning kit would encompass a range of ages. I love that Shapeeze have embraced this way of thinking and has two separate activity kits. The first caters for children aged 3-6 years and then another for 4-7 years. Therefore, you as the parent, can decide if your child is a little more advanced in this area or if they’d be best starting at the basic age range. All the while, you know, your child is still developing and will take something away from the pack you choose.
The difference between the packs lies in the difficulty level. For example, there are activities in the older kids pack to practice spelling & writing with numbers and both lower & uppercase letters. There are also two extra pages in the older kid’s pack.
The Shapeeze packs are neat and compact and they are available in A4 or A3 sizes. Each comes with a glue stick, pencils and a sharpener. There are various activities suggested for each page, usually building on from the main activity. The main objective is to match the size and shape of each cut-out to the same shape on the activity page. To build on this, the shapes could be organised in a pattern of colours, to match numbers or labelling the shapes/ colours, etc.
I went for the self-guided method, where I helped press out the shapes with my sons and let them decide what they needed to do to complete the activity. They both immediately assumed the first suggested activity of gluing down the shapes relative to the outline. Each activity has the potential to range in difficulty from being fairly simple to increasingly complex. Both of my boys took initiative and decided what they would like to do with their packs. It kept them occupied for ages!
We tested out the A3 packs at home and found them to be a fantastic activity at the table. We took the A4 packs with us camping on the weekend: I’m so glad we did! They’re the perfect size for travel and kept the kids occupied in the shade for hours. The boys both loved that they had their own activity sets each with their own glue or pencils (which reduced the fighting to share) which attached securely to the pack to avoid lost pieces! Master 5 was able to press out the cut-outs by himself, however Master 3 required some assistance. I found it an easy way to bond with them whilst working toward an outcome. 🙂 Master 3 was very heavy handed with his glue and so after about a third of the pages we pulled out a new big glue stick, but the whole original glue stick lasted my 5-year-old his entire book. It was great that some of the activities are quite similar between the age range books, as the boys frequently compared their completed pages and pointed out differences and similarities such as colours, more/ less numbers, shapes etc.
I was really looking forward to testing out the Shapeeze as I knew they’d be something my sons would enjoy; however, the product exceeded my already high expectations: they really piqued my son’s interest and actually HELD their attention! I’m so impressed with the concept and the delivery of such a fantastic idea for kids!
RRP: A4: $24.95 and A3: $29.95
Available from: www.shapeeze.com.au