Monday, 9 May 2011

Haba Toys: Discovery Puzzle - Knight's Castle

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This is my second post as one of the UK Ambassadors for Haba Toys. It's such a pleasure to be able to try out such lovely toys with my children.
Today's review centres around the Knight's Castle Discovery Puzzle. This is a jigsaw with a difference and says that it encourages:

  • Close observation
  • Fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand co-ordination

As it is aimed at the 4+ age group I tested it out with my 4 year old son. Sometimes he likes jigsaws and others not but luckily he was keen on this occasion! Once again there is minimal packaging with the puzzle being hard cardboard which is placed inside a cardboard frame to complete it. It was wrapped in plastic to protect it on the shelf and has a paper insert with the look-closely story written on it.

The pieces come out easily and I noticed that the cardboard frame has the shape of the pieces on the base to make it not too difficult for younger children to complete:

Around the edges there are also shapes to assist the children in getting the right pieces in the right places. This made it easier for my son to work out which piece he needed to choose next:

He did some help and encouragement with completing the puzzle but that is partly because he hadn't noticed the shapes on the base of the frame! When his big sister had a go afterwards she used this to complete the puzzle much more quickly. Knights and castles are some of my son's favourite things so he was very pleased when it became more obvious as to what the final picture was going to be:

Once completed I then persuaded him to try and solve the puzzles from the story on the insert. He didn't want me to read the actual story but was good at finding the answers in the puzzle. It does say in the story that your child may not be ready for some of the questions and to just miss them out. He wasn't keen on spotting too many of the picture clues from around the frame on the actual puzzle but I'm sure at a future stage he would do.

One problem with the puzzle was that when I picked it up the puzzle pieces fall out when tilted too far. This could be a bit of a problem when storing it and I may need to get a little bag for the pieces before they go missing.

I will let my daughter properly try out the puzzle and write up her own review for an older child's perspective.

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