I love Early learning Centre products as I find they are fantastic toys and brilliant quality so their shop was my first port of call, our local Early Learning Centre is situated within Mothercare and as I was wandering around this puzzle caught my eye. The puzzle is actually by Mothercare rather than Early Learning Centre and it cost £7 which compared to the ohers in the store at the time is really good value.
The jigsaw puzzle is bigger than the usual style of lift out puzzles being about 30cms x 45cms meaning the pieces are bigger too, when I saw this puzzle I liked that it was numbers and shapes so that my daughter can start learning these things through play rather than the normal animal pictures that seem to frequent these puzzles alot. The puzzle was very simply packaged with only a layer of cellophane over it fully sealed on all four sides, in the corner was a small triangular piece of card stating that the puzzle is for co-ordination, problem solving and physical development. The puzzle is aimed for children aged 12 months and upwards which I think is about the right age to start children on simple puzzles and the pieces make it easier for littler hands. On the rear of the card it lists some more benefits of the puzzle which are number recognition, teaches sequencing, develops hand to eye co-ordination, develops manual dexterity and develops memory and thought process, who would have thought a jigsaw could have some many benefits.
On opening the jigsaw the smell reminded me of when I use to do woodwork at school smelling like freshly sawn wood, the cellophane was pretty easy to tear away and remove. There are 15 pieces to the puzzle the numbers from 1 to 10 and then 5 different shapes which are a triangle, diamond, square, circle and hexagon, the puzzle pieces are about 4cms x 6cms although obviously the shape of the piece dictates the size, they are a really good size and very easy for little hands to handle.
Each puzzle piece has a piece of wood attached to it for your child to use to lift the piece out and replace it in the puzzle, the handles are the shape of a door knob and they are very strong and do not move on the piece at all. Each piece of the puzzle is very brightly coloured and then has a border of wood all around it, the colours used on the puzzle are yellow, green, orange, blue, red and purple which is a good basis of colours for your child to begin learning. When I bought the puzzle I expected for £7 that it would be simply a case of lifting out the pieces and putting them back in the correct places however on removing the pieces I was surprised to find there was more to the puzzle. Underneath each number there is a picture of fruit you have 1 apple, 2 oranges, 3 bananas, 4 pineapples, 5 bunches of grapes, 6 strawberries, 7 lemons, 8 cherries, 9 pears and 10 watermelon, underneath the shapes when they are removed is the name of the shape written out in words.
My daughter is 19 months old and she recieved a lift out jigsaw puzzle for christmas, she got to the stage where she was able to do the puzzle with ease and I decided that as she loved playing with it to much I would buy her another one and try to challenge her a little.