Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2013 Toys
Ages: 1 & Up
Manufacturer: B. Toys (by Battat)
Price: $18.99

B.Toys' AB3's is a beautifully redesigned version of a classic letters and numbers abacus toy. The wood is smooth and handsome; the pictures are sweet and attractively illustrated, and the construction of the toy's stand is superb. Many toy abacuses are flat on the bottom, making it nearly impossible to stand them upright. The AB3's abacus sits neatly and conveniently on a sturdy and very well made stand that is connected, as if it were all one piece.

Not only the stand, but every component of the toy is well-designed. The letters are featured on one side of the spinning blocks. They are printed with the traditional 'learning to write' three lines paper printed in the background. On the opposite side is a picture that starts with the first letter on the opposite side. For example, the 'A' block features an apple on the flip side. Although there are general, customary pictures featured on some letters, there are also some new and more modern choices. There's guppy for 'G', eye for 'E', and whale for 'W'. Another wonderful twist about this abacus is that the numbers are printed on precious little people busts on the bottom. Each little person is making a different expression, so not only can parents teach letters and numbers, but they can also introduce feelings and facial expressions.

For those looking for a battery-free toy to introduce letters and numbers to their toddler, the AB3's is an excellent choice.

Cassandra Bishop   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Cassandra Bishop holds a BA in Psychology and has her Master's degree in Social Work well within her grasp. The mother of two young and very energetic boys is passionate about the environment, healthy living, and education.

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B. Toys (by Battat)

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