Wednesday, 27 July 2011

John Crane High Tea Shape Matching Review

I was really excited when John Crane Ltd sent me their High Tea Shape Matching game for review, it arrived just after our weekend away, and was a lovely welcome home treat for Squeaky.

I had a feeling she might be a little young for it, as you'll see it says 3yrs+ on the box.  As she was supervised throughout, I didn't find it to be a problem, and she happily engaged with the game.  I wouldn't leave her to play with it unsupervised though, as there are smaller pieces and they could be a problem for younger children.

Anyways, I opened the box to find the game beautifully packed, each cake had its own separate compartment, which means they are less likely to get damaged, and you can easily see that all the pieces are there.  One thing I would say though is that the plates to build the stand are packed underneath the cakes, meaning you have to remove all the cakes from their compartments to get the plates out & make the stand.  We've put ours away now with the cakes on the bottom and the plates on top, which should make unpacking again that much easier.  I know it looks nicer with the cakes on top, but it seems more practical to me not to have to remove them all before you can put everything together.

Putting the stand together was a piece of cake (a ha ha ha! I'm so funny).  The round topped dowel (at the bottom of the above photo) screws through the small plate, into the plain dowel (at the top of the photo), and a single screw - with allen key provided - screws through the bottom of the large plate into the other end of the dowel.  5 minutes tops, and that included getting into the little plastic bag the screw was in.  Then all the cakes fit into their own spaces on the cake stand.

The cakes are beautiful.  All brightly painted, with different patterns & fruits on them.  They're numbered underneath, corresponding with numbers on the stand.  A few of the cakes have uniquely shaped bases, and will only fit in their own space, others are part of a pair or more with the same shaped base, so depending on the age of your child there's variations to play, matching shapes, or number recognition.  Obviously Squeaky's nowhere near recognising numbers yet, but that didn't stop her spending a happy hour or two picking up and examining the various cakes, and replacing them into their spaces on the stand.  We talked about the colours, patterns, shapes and fruits on the different cakes, so even for younger children, there is plenty of opportunity for interaction with the game and learning opportunities.  

Look Mummy, cake!
There's really a long lifespan for this game.  As I said, Squeaky's a while below the recommended age, but she's very interested in it, and I can see it being a game we come back to time & again, with more to add to it, and get out of it, as she gets older and her understanding develops.  At £23.95, the pence-per-play (you know, like price per wear to justify that must-have pair of shoes) is down in the pennies, considering the length of time it'll last.

You can keep up with John Crane on their website:, blog: twitter: @johncraneblog and facebook:

High Tea Shape Matching Set is available from all good toy stores including Dillon’s ToyBox with an RRP of £23.95.

Disclosure: I was provided with the High Tea Shape Matching set free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

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