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This year we bought a lot of fire engine toys and puzzles for my little boy for Christmas and this one from The Early Learning Centre really caught our eye. The puzzle is a lift out puzzle meaning that it has little yellow pegs on each puzzle piece in order to make it easy for little hands to put the puzzle pieces in and out. This is a great way in my opinion for little hands to hold the pieces and I think it gives them a bit more control and enables them to spin the pieces around and fit them in the proper way easier than if the piece had no peg at all. The puzzle is lovely and bright and has a really nice picture on it. It is a bright red fire engine with three firemen in the picture too. There is quite a lot going on in the picture as well as just having a fire engine there and I think the nice thing about this puzzle is that you can invent lots of stories about what is going on. For example there is a cat on the ladder on top of the fire engine so you can have fun naming the cat and figuring out why he was up there and how is was going to get down. One of the fireman is holding a hose and appears to be washing the fire engine whilst the other two men sit in the cockpit driving and sounding the horn. There are eight pieces in this puzzle. There is no real shape to them per sea, they are more sort of random shapes although one of them in a circle which is in one of the wheels of the fire engine. The thing I like about this puzzle is that underneath the puzzle piece there is more of a picture for you to discover. For example under the circle in the wheel you will find a cute little cat and under another of the pieces you can see a fireman's hat. I like that there is more to discover and it makes the puzzle that much more interesting for little ones. Obviously my new born boy is not too excited by this puzzle yet but my two year old loves it and finds it easy to complete. It's not too much of a challenge but I think she enjoys doing it regardless. The puzzle is wooden and very well made and good quality. The puzzle pieces go in well and come out well and do not stick or anything like that. Like I've said above this puzzle is available at The Early Learning Centre and was priced at £8 although it is now £4 in the sale.
Most young children will have had a lift out puzzle were there are a number of pieces to remove and put back in with little pegs on. They are fantastic things to help with your child's hand eye coordination an important action all children need to learn. We have a number of these puzzles over the last few years for both my son's one of which is the Early Learning Centre Fire Engine Lift out puzzle. -----The features and details of the puzzle----- The puzzle is wooden and the board measures roughly 29.5cms by 20.5cms which fits nicely in your child's lap. The actually board is of good thickness about 8mm thick it feels good quality in your hand something you expect from the early learning centre brand. The edges of the board are rounded off making it perfectly safe for little ones. This puzzle has a picture of a red fire engine filling the entire size of the board. There are two firemen inside the vehicle and one outside with his hose spraying water. The characters are round and bold with nice friendly looking faces. The picture is made up of lots of bright colours enticing a young child. The puzzle has a total of eight pieces that can be lifted out which are of a decent size. They are all slightly different shapes and all have a yellow peg making it easier for little hands to grab hold of the pieces. I have found with some cheap board puzzles they don't have the pegs which is disappointing as I feel this helps your little one make their first attempt at gasping them. Underneath each piece that is removed is a picture filling the hole. All of which you may find inside or around a fire engine like a fireman's helmet, boots, fire extinguisher, sand bucket etc. All the pictures are nice and bold and fill the space. -----Child's opinion----- As soon as my two year old son saw this puzzle he loved it. He has a big craze on fire engines and is a massive fan of Fireman Sam. Straight away he was making 'ne nah' sounds and taking the pieces out and attempting to put them back in. After a couple of goes he was really getting the hang of it. The fact behind the pictures there was another picture enticed him more. My eldest son who is three and a half even enjoyed giving the puzzle ago although it didn't keep him entertained like it did my youngest. My youngest has had it a couple of months now and still enjoys playing with it. -----Adults opinion----- I love the quality of this puzzle the pieces of the puzzle are lovely and chunky and even if a little one had a go at using them as a chewing aid they would be hard pushed to make a mess of it. The picture looks enticing not only to children but to the adults too. It has a friendly look about it something you would be quite happy to give your child, I was. The simplicity of these types of puzzles is brilliant and Early Learning Centre yet again have not failed to deliver a very thought out product. It is something that will help my son with hand eye coordination and problem solving but it is fun at the same time. -----Availability----- I bought my son's direct from the Early Learning store. I wasn't looking for another puzzle but it just caught my eye on the shelve. It was priced at eight pounds but now you can get it for a bargain price of four pound. It would make an ideal present for a young child. It does have a recommended age range of two years plus but I feel if you have a bright child it is so well made over one years old would be fine with it. This review may be posted on other sites under the same user name