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My boys are both Thomas mad so when I came across this puzzle in toys r us I decided to purchase it for my eldest son for his second birthday. It cost around £6 and was a nice relief from the sea of plastic he received for his birthday.
With the set you receive a wooden tray for the puzzle pieces to be fitted into. This is not too thick but at the same time sturdy enough to be durable and light so little one can move it around easily. Then there are 8 puzzle pieces to be fitted into the tray these are all well loved characters from the famous TV show and include Thomas, the fat controller, Harold, Spencer, James, bertie the bus and Harold the helicopter. Each puzzle piece has a small yellow knob on them for little one to pick the pieces up easily and place the back into the tray. I was initially worried this was a little on the small side but actually in play they seem to be perfect for toddlers small fingers to grip and move around easily.
Each piece fits well into the puzzle board not to small as to be a tight fit but still the puzzle looks complete when all pieces are in place and this makes it easy for children to move the pieces in and out of the puzzles easily. They are a good size so I do not need to worry about the pieces being eaten especially as I brought it for my son who was a year under the recommended age range.
Each puzzle piece is bright and colourful and so catches little ones eye especially if they are a Thomas fan as they will instantly recognise the characters from the show. Each piece varies is size there are engines with their full train included and other pieces that are just the front of the engine to help little one be able to recognise which piece goes where.
Also the engines all have their name printed on the pieces somewhere which although my eldest boy is not interested in this much anymore he does like to read the letters out to my youngest son to show how well he is getting on with his abc's which is lovely to watch.
My youngest son has bashed these pieces chewed them chucked them around tried picking at them and overall they are still in perfect condition. The pieces and the board itself are well rounded and there are no sharp pieces rough edges or anything else that could hurt little one.
As it is made of wood it is very durable which is great when intended for use with young children as they are often very rough with their toys but this has lasted 3 of my children and still is in very good condition. It has had hours of play weather that has been using it as intended and putting the pieces into place or as my youngest son likes to do slide them across the floor using them as trains.
My youngest son Logan used this the most although it was brought for my eldest son now 4 as soon as Logan turned 1 he was interested in the puzzle and although at first he had no idea about fitting the pieces on to the board he found lots of other uses for the board and puzzle pieces and as he has grown he has learnt what it is intended for.
My oldest boy was 2 when he received this and at first he loved it but he soon became board of it and it just sat in the toy box until it was used by my daughter and my youngest son. This makes me think the age recommendation suggested on Amazon is high as there are no tiny pieces to cause any harm to children under this age and by 3 my son shows it little interest unless his brother or sister are playing with it of course then he loves it.
Would I recommend this puzzle tray that is a big yes although I believe the age recommendation of 3 is too high on Amazon when you receive the set it actually states 2 plus which is a lot more suited to how it was used in our house. This is a great first puzzle for any Thomas fan its bright simple yet provides hours of fun the only hard part is trying to find all the pieces after my little one plays hide and seek with them. It is to be used under adult supervision but by 18 months it can be used independently with just a watchful eye while they are playing.