Monday, April 29, 2013

Most popular toy in the library

This is BY FAR the most popular toy I have purchased for the children's area in my library:

Alphabet Machine

I remember standing in Lakeshore Learning debating whether or not to buy this--it seemed kind of pointless? But, wow, am I glad it was on sale, which is what tipped the balance for me to try it out. It is, by far, the most popular toy in the library.

Basically there are 81 buttons that pop up and down with a click. On top, there is a picture that corresponds with a letter sound, and the letter is printed on the sides of the buttons. I've seen kids and parents create all sorts of games--parents asking kids to find, "The picture that starts with B" or "Find the apple." Kids are perfectly delighted to exercise their fine motor skills by popping all the buttons up, popping all the buttons down, making patterns, taking turns, racing--and on and on and on. It turns out that this is the perfect balance of open-ended and directed play.

It makes approximately the same amount of sound as a pen clicking, but not as annoying--I think because it isn't as fast and manic as someone repeatedly clicking a pen. Our reference desk is a ways away from the toy area, and it was months before my boss asked what made the clicking noise (despite the toy being in CONSTANT USE), so I take that as a good sign.

*this is not a sponsored post


  1. Nice! I will have to put it on my list for my next visit.

  2. We always had to have several of these available at my preschool. One is never enough! At least in my experience...

  3. This toy caught my eye when I was looking through a Wintergreen catalogue recently (they sell Lakeshore toys & supplies in Canada) I thought my 4yo son would probably enjoy it, but I did wonder how annoying the clicking sound might be.
    Thanks for posting your review! I'll probably order one soon :)


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