[Written: September 2010]
There are three other sets in this series – another colours set and two shapes sets. “Colour Set 1″ is the set that we have, but it’s a matter of preference as to which of them to get. This review applies to any of them – look at the pictures of the puzzles to decide which one you prefer.
The four puzzles come in one box, which is the only problem with them when first introducing them to very young children (it’s the case with many puzzle sets though) but each puzzle can be easily separated into an A4 ziploc bag and a picture of the individual puzzles added to each bag if wanted.
These puzzles are made from lovely chunky wooden pieces so they’re easy to handle, stay together once connected and give a great sensory experience to hold.
The nine pieces give experience of “proper” jigsaw puzzles with “edge” pieces and a “middle” piece. Each puzzle in this set shows nine images in one colour, giving vocabulary building opportunities and reinforcing colour awareness. As a child gets more familiar with the puzzles, they can be presented four at a time in the original box so the child has to match the colours up before being able to complete the puzzles.
Nine pieces are a nice bridge between the 2, 4 or 6 piece “baby” puzzles before attempting 12+ pieces. I know some 2-3 year olds who can do 20+ piece puzzles but my almost-four year old has never been that interested in jigsaws so this size puzzle is perfect to still keep her interest, reduce her frustration but give more challenge than “baby” puzzles.
These puzzle sets would also be good to make party bags for toddlers – put the pieces for one puzzle in a small canvas (or felt or organza etc) bag, add a laminated picture of the finished puzzle tied with ribbon as a name tag.