The abacus is the oldest form of a mathematical calculator in the world. This Melissa & Doug abacus hearkens back to a time when abacuses were necessary to accounting, sales and trade. Your child may not be interested in the history of abacuses, but he or she will still enjoy playing with the numerous, brightly colored wooden beads that freely slide up and down on this toy. As your child gets older, you can continue to use the abacus to introduce math concepts of counting by twos, fives, tens, etc. and addition, subtraction and multiplication. A classic in the educational toys. As with most Melissa & Doug products, this toy is for ages 3+.