“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Age: 12 months / Type: Jigsaws & Puzzles „
I actually purchased this as a charity shop while browsing for stocking fillers for my 2 year old son at Christmas.
The puzzle itself looked relativly simple but I thought it was great for learning colours (he only knew a few). He loves doing puzzles so I thought it'd be a good way to learn colours.
It only cost me £1.50 as it was at a charity shop. It's originally from Marks and Spencers, a quick search reveals they aren't selling these anymore however they have a very similar puzzle (just different pictures with a slightly more colourful design) for £5. Looking at other reviews that is what this puzzle retailed at.
The puzzle comes in a cardboard box which is white with colourful dots in a variety of colours. There are pictures of the puzzles (each one is consists of just 2 pieces) so you can see what you are buying. There is a red string which comes through the lid so you can carry it around.
The puzzle pieces are cardboard but very sturdy, they have been at the hands of my toddler and presumarbly at least someone elses (with it being 2nd hand) and the pieces are not damaged in any way at all.
There are 10 of these puzzles all of animals including a frog, a mouse and a bee. The child just needs to fit the right animal into the right frame. My 2 year old can do this in minutes so of course feels very accomplished, his task is telling me which colour these animals are, he still is learning about 4 of the colours in this puzzle so we do it often and he has learnt a couple of colours since using this. He has so much fun doing the puzzle that he doesnt mind the questions (sometimes he finds learning his colours a little boring!). He has used this almost every day since Christmas as his own request.
I think this puzzle would also be useful for younger ones for fine motor skills, matching the colour of the animals with the colour of the frames they need to be put in and learning animal names. The age range is suggested as 1-3 and I would agree. I think by the age of 3 the puzzle just wouldnt be challenging enough and many 3 year olds would of learnt all their colours.
Overall I think this is a great little puzzle for toddlers, its also a great starter puzzle for toddlers who havent played with puzzles/jigsaws yet.
Nan and Grandad recently treated my daughter to this colour match puzzle from Marks and Spencers. It was available with 20% off at the time, priced at £4 instead of £5 and we all agreed that it looked like a very educational and interesting puzzle for her to explore. It is recommended for children over the age of 12 months but my daughter was 18 months when she started playing with it.
I think we have an updated version of the puzzle because it looks slightly different than the one in the picture - it has a handle like the one shown which is handy to transport the set around, but our box is shaped like a house. Unfortunately, the box is only made of cardboard and started to get quite tatty looking quite quickly really, after a couple of weeks it started to fall apart. The box is only kept shut by a cardboard tab and this has become very worn and keeps popping open so it isn't ideal anymore for storage.
Inside the box, we find 20 pieces to the puzzle. It is not one large puzzle, instead these 20 pieces make up 10 small puzzles that consist of two pieces each. Ten pieces are border style pieces and the remaining ten pieces slot into these. Each of the ten borders match up to these smaller pieces by colour, theme and descriptive words. For instance, one border piece is blue, shaped like a house and says 'blue bird' on it. The smaller piece that then fits within this border is shaped like a bird and is also the colour blue.
The colours explored cover a wide range and are all quite basic - red, blue, black, yellow, green etc. The shapes explored don't seem to follow any set pattern - there are quite a few animals in there eg crab, squirrel, bear, turtle and then others are objects such as a ball and a pair of boots!
This puzzle has a very good concept, although I'm not entirely sure on it's age recommendation. My daughter is just about getting the hang of placing the pieces together now but I very much doubt she could have done if she'd have played with it at 12 months. I also feel that the actual linking of pieces is quite hard, especially when the puzzle is new. The pieces get a little more flexible as it's used but at first the smaller pieces would get stuck inside the borders and were hard to remove. They were difficult for me to remove so they were impossible for my daughter's little hands! She can just manage putting them together now that they've loosened up a bit.
I also am really not keen on the material used to make the pieces, although she now has other similar puzzles and to be fair they are also made from the same hard backed card. She still places things to her mouth and unfortunately has managed to pull parts of these pieces off into her mouth so it's one I really have to keep a close eye on when she's playing with it.
The puzzle is designed to develop colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination. My daughter has started to take note of the colours eg I can say to her pick up the green one and she will go and study the pieces and often picks up the right one. She also studies the pieces to place into the borders and a lot of the time will put them together correctly. I started by placing all of the borders down at once and showing her one smaller piece at a time, placing it on top of each border so that she could see which one it matched to and she quickly picked up the idea from there. She often also just tips the pieces out and onto the rug and looks at the colours and pictures themselves, without attempting the puzzle itself - she has really taken to it.
I've rated the puzzle three stars. I've taken one off for the pieces being very difficult to place together at first. I've also taken another off for the carry case, it is clearly designed for use to keep the pieces in and unfortunately ours fell apart quite quickly. The puzzle is a good concept and it has kept my daughter entertained for many hours but there's a few faults too. For £4, it's about average.
Thanks for reading :o)
My 20 month old son loves puzzles. He had become a pro at all the wooden ones that he had - the sort where the shapes are cut out of a wooden background and can be placed back in. So, I decided to try and find him some simple two-bit puzzles - more like traditional jigsaw puzzles. I found these surprisingly hard to find but when I was browsing the Christmas toy selection in M&S I was really pleased to find quite a good selection.
I purchased the 'my first colour matching puzzle' set for £4. It is priced at £5 but I purchased during a 20% off period. The Christmas selection is currently on a 3 for 2 deal too so these can be picked up cheaply as part of that promotion too. The puzzles are suitable for children from 1 year of age.
The puzzle comes in a neat house shaped box with two string handles for it to be carried by. The picture on dooyoo is probably one from previous years as ours looks different to this and I know M&S update their products each year. On the string handle, there is a puzzle piece which has text on it saying 'this puzzle belongs to....' with a space to write your child's name on - this is a nice touch.
Inside the box there are 10 different two piece puzzles, each of a different colour - red, orange, pink, yellow, grey, pink, black, green, blue and purple. Each puzzle consists of a rectangular coloured border with a shaped piece in the middle cut out. The border has two words on it too - the colour and the object. For example, the green puzzle is a green turtle and the blue a blue bird. To complete the puzzle, the child needs to match the coloured pieces and place the object (e.g. the bird) into the corresponding coloured border.
The puzzle pieces are cardboard but this is quite resilient and has, thus far, stood up to my toddler's heavy handling. The pictures are simple and recognisable. They have friendly, happy faces (where applicable). The outlines are also very different shapes (with the exception of the yellow sun and purple ball which are both circular) so, before the child can colour match they can use this as a guide to allow them to complete the puzzle.
My son loves this puzzle and always asks for me to get it out. At first he didn't really understand how this worked as it is different to most other two piece puzzles he has used - where the pieces simply slot together. But, after demonstrating to him a couple of times, he soon understood and enjoyed the fact that these are different. He loves putting the middle pieces in and then popping them out again so he can do them all over again. I am not sure that he would have had much interest in this at 12 months, nor would he have been able to do it - I would say that this is probably best for children aged 18 months plus.
I think this puzzle has offered us fantastic value for money. It offers my son a chance to problem solve and develop his manipulative skills. He has also learned his colours from this and extended his vocabulary using the pictures - strawberry, sun and bear (for example). I would not hesitate to recommend this puzzle, it really is a lovely toy.
Children love to identify the creatures, homes and colours as they match the chunky pieces of these 12 two-piece puzzles.