Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... to play with puzzles more regularly and both could sit unaided and play with these puzzles. What I liked about the ELC Touch and Feel... more
A puzzle that won't bug you or your child
ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle
Member Name: Lools_24
ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle
Advantages: Bright, colourful, fun, durable, good value, textured puzzle pieces
Disadvantages: Puzzle pieces fall out of slots very easily
I have mentioned in previous reviews that my parents have now become quite covert in their purchasing of "gifts" for my twin boys. As much as I totally appreciate my parents buying gifts, the frequency of gift buying is happening more than once a week and as a result, the toy boxes at their house and at my house are becoming over run with toys. It wasn't long after mentioning that boys do not need any more toys that I noticed new toys had appeared in their toy box at my parents' house and realised the constant toy buying was still going on. One of my mum's covert bargains was the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle.
***ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle***
The ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle is a wooden play tray lift out puzzle which ELC describe as "great fun for pre-school children and help to develop your child's object identification, manual dexterity and shape matching skills."
The puzzle tray is a wooden board about 20cm square and just under 1cm thick. There are 4 cut out holes in which 4 bug shaped puzzle pieces fit into. The puzzle pieces are an ant, a bee, a caterpillar and a spider. Each of the wooden pieces has a colourful image of the bug on the front of it and a thick wooden peg for a child to grip and pick the puzzle piece up with. Inside of the slot where the puzzle piece comes out of is the same image of the bug to match the puzzle piece with. Each of the puzzle pieces has a textured section for a child to touch.
ELC state that the puzzle is suitable for children from aged 9 months.
The ELC Touch and Feel Bugs Lift Out Puzzle costs £5.00 from ELC and Mothercare stores and you can also purchase online from the stores' websites. My mum later confessed that she bought this puzzle for £3.00 during a money off event, therefore at such a low price it did appear to be a good value toy.
My parents bought this puzzle at the same time they bought a similar style puzzle only with farm animals. My boys were around 10 months old so were starting to play with puzzles more regularly and both could sit unaided and play with these puzzles.
What I liked about the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs were that the puzzle pieces are very easy for a young child to pick up because of the large wooden pegs. Most lift out puzzles seem to state they are suitable from 12 months and I feel this is due to the peg to lift them out with being a lot smaller than on these puzzles. At 10 months old the brightly coloured bug images on the puzzle pieces and the puzzle board were the real attraction for my boys and they spent most of their time simply exploring the textured sections on the puzzle pieces with their hands. Although at 10 months old they played with puzzles I do not feel they really understood the concept of matching the pieces together however because the puzzle pieces on the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle were textured it helped to hold their attention longer than other puzzles we owned.
By around 14 months old my boys seemed to play with this puzzle how it was intended and were lifting the puzzle pieces in and out of the slots and trying to match up the puzzle piece image with the same one inside of the correct slot. They did require a lot of guidance but when you played alongside them you could really see that they were attempting to use problem solving ability and think about which bug piece matched together. The wooden puzzle pieces are finished off well so you don't get slinters and they are also very easy to slot in and out of the correct slots and do not get stuck meaning a young toddler can play with this toy without any help.
I do find lift out puzzles slightly frustrating as you need to ensure the puzzle and tray is kept horizontal and upright when not in use so the puzzle pieces stay in place. When you have lots of lift out puzzles to store the puzzle pieces get mixed up and it means you have to sort through the pieces before your child plays with the puzzle. We have a large box with a lid on to store these types of puzzles in but it is frustrating if the box gets tipped upside down as you have lots of puzzle pieces in the bottom of the box and then lots of empty puzzle trays.
By 18 months old both my boys were able to slot the puzzle pieces I nthe correct slots. I feel because there were only 4 puzzle pieces this helped to keep things simple but they were still entertained by the textured sections on each bug piece and would give these sections a quick feel as they picked the puzzle piece up I feel not only does this help a child developmentally with motor skills and their hand eye coordination there are the benefits of problem solving skills getting a child to match up the puzzle piece with the same image inside of the correct slot.
There are also educational benefits to this puzzle and you can teach your child the names of the different bugs. Personally I preferred the farm animal version of this puzzle as a learning aid as these were easier more frequently used words to teach my boys and I could teach my boys the sounds the farm animals made. With the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle I could teach them the words for ant, caterpillar, bee and spider but it is a little more difficult to teach them these bug sounds (although we did give it a go!).
My boys are now 22 months and although they still play with this puzzle I do find it is slightly more basic than other puzzles they own because it only has 4 pieces. Their play time with this puzzle is getting shorter and I feel that by 2 years old they will benefit more from more complex puzzles with more pieces and shapes. Therefore I would say the age range for this puzzle is typically between 9 months and 2 years old.
Like most other ELC toys the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle is extremely durable. The wooden puzzle board is thick and durable and has survived many tantrums and has been thrown from tables and highchair trays onto wooden and tiled floors without any damage. The puzzle pieces are also durable and have survived almost a year of rough play and have been chewed on regularly. There are no visible teeth marks and there colourful images on the front of the puzzle pieces have no scratches on them or have started to wear off.
I would definitely recommend the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle to other parents of children aged between 9 months and 2 years old. I feel for £3.00 it has been excellent value for money.
The lift out pieces are very easy for a young baby to play with and the large wooden pegs make it easier for a baby to pick up the puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces are bright and colourful and the textured sections on the bugs make this a sensory experience for a child and they can explore the puzzle pieces with their hands. I also feel this helps to hold a child's attention for longer than with other puzzles.
Like the majority of ELC toys the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle is extremely durable and well-made and has survived a year of rough play by my boys and looks as good as new.
My only criticism of the ELC Touch and Feel Bugs puzzle is that like other lift out style puzzles you have to store flat and upright so the pieces stay in play. Not an issue when you have only one puzzle to store but children like my boys have numerous puzzles which means I get the job of searching to find the missing pieces.
Summary: A bug themed textured wooden puzzle from ELC