813F9PIooYL._SL1500_Known for clever packaging that becomes part of the play, Janod invites us into a new such experience at the circus! Lift off the roof of the Big Top tent and peek inside to discover 4 nested boxes that become home for the stand-up wooden figures–horse, elephant, seal, puppy and Ring Master. This circus grows with kids 1-3 as it can be a simple stacking toy and advance to learning numbers, describing scenes on the homes and using the props for pretend play as the child gets older. My 3 year-old friend played for a long time, gathering the animals and man to participate in activities, visit each others’ homes and play at the circus. Lots of language is stimulated as kids count and associate numbers as they stack the homes by size, match the figures to the activities illustrated on the side of their houses, and chat about the circus pictures. The seal’s cube is all about balancing animals, the puppy’s is about tricks, the Ring Master’s is drawn like a train car, and the elephant clearly reigns in the large tent! The wealth of varied illustrations and fun compartments to put animals in and out, make this toy a great language enriching vehicle for kids to generate stories and pretend play.

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