“ Galt / Rhyming game „
Earlier this year I decided that Hope needed some more educational toys which were both fun but would teach her things at the same time. She had just turned two when I bought this and over the past few months I have seen how this game has helped her develop and grow so think it is a very well designed puzzle with children of this age group in mind.
Early Learning Centre
In the Early Learning Centre there are lots of toys, I am always drawn in by something and usually leave the shop with many items as I just can't help myself when it comes to treating Hope. There are lots of Early Learning Centre shops on the high street and also within the majority of Mothercare stores too. They sell a wide selection of toys, creative products and educational aids for young children and babies. The quality of their products are always very high which is why I do not mind paying more for their things than I would normally.
Find a Rhyme
=== What you get ===
This puzzle comes in a cardboard box which you can easily close so that all of the pieces are stored together. The box is quite sturdy although it does still manage to break if your toddler decides to stand on it- like mine has recently!
In the box you get 40 pieces which pair up so in total 20 pairs. On the right hand side is an animal and on the right side an object. Each animal can be paired up with an object which it rhymes with. The pieces slot together like a jigsaw. Each picture has a blue background and the words written underneath it in white whilst the pictures themselves are very true to life- the correct colours of the animals (although exactly what colour a dragon is in real life I am unsure but I can only guess it's very accurate!) Examples of rhymes include:
A bear on a chair
A moth on a cloth
A toad on a road
A dragon on a wagon.
The pieces are made from cardboard so they are fairly strong but if your little one chews on it they can go soggy although I have found they are more robust than other puzzles we have.
The idea of this puzzle is to pair up the rhyming words. Children learn to listen to the sounds of the words and to say them aloud to see how they sound so can recognise rhymes. On the object piece the animal does appear somewhere on it (so on the road there is a little toad) so they do have a clue as to which piece goes with which- this is a very good idea so that younger children can do it. Now that Hope is nearing three she is able to link them together by thinking through what is on the right side and what sounds like it should go with it. This puzzle helps children to understand language and learn about how it is constructed as when they put the pieces together it forms a sentence. If they put an incorrect piece together it will still make a sentence but just not rhyme.
As well as learning about language they can also learn about animals and objects as there is a great variety. Not just the most usual animals are used. In lots of toys you tend to get dogs and sheep and things but in this there's a toad, a mouse, a goat and many other less usual animals. This is quite a talking point, we always talk about how much a goat looks like a sheep and how a toad is very similar to a frog so Hope is learning all the time from these. The animals are also coloured true to life which I think is important at this age, when they are younger a lot of baby toys tend to have bright pink sheep, green cats etc so although they look bright and cheerful it can be confusing for children so it's nice that at this slightly older age the objects are true to life.
Children can also develop their hand eye coordination as they learn how to put pieces together by themselves. They will also learn how to recognise right from left as you talk them through what they are doing- they need a left piece and a right piece for them to make a whole.
The game doesn't have to seem like a boring, learning tool instead it can be just as fun as doing a jigsaw. We have many laughs about how some words don't go together that Hope incorrectly pairs up and she becomes very proud of herself when she pairs them correctly. You can make it into a game by setting the pieces up and seeing who can put the most together within a certain time this is especially good fun if you have a few children together.
The puzzle cost me £6 and I think it is worth every penny as it really has helped Hope to develop her language and understanding. At first she just liked to look at the pictures and say what they were, now she can put about half of them together without needing any help. It really has helped her to understand words but in a fun way. Almost every day she will reach into the toy box and pull this one out and she likes to be independent so tries to do them all by herself. Not many toys that she has get played with so frequently which must show that although it is essentially an educational toy it is also very fun too.
The quality is far better than other puzzles we have. They are slightly thicker cardboard pieces so they can't be folded up like some can and they do withstand a bit more chewing on than others! The box is sturdy so you can put everything together so you don't lose any pieces but it is only cardboard meaning that it will still damage if your toddler jumps on it!
I really rate this and have recommended it to many. It introduces new words, new concepts and can be made into a fun game too. A full 5 stars from both Hope and I.