Product Type: Galt Child Development
Newest Review: ... old has stood on this and managed to dent it a bit so it's not 100% child proof! But it is more sturdy than other boxes we have had. In t... more
It's okay but not that good
Galt New Baby Puzzles
Member Name: arleek
Galt New Baby Puzzles
Advantages: Bright colours, strong pieces
Disadvantages: Too simple, colours too samey
I wanted something for my youngest daughter that would get her interested in jigsaws because at the time she was not the type to sit still and concentrate, but has quite an obsession with transport, so when I saw this on Amazon I was keen to buy it (with my Dooyoo miles) and get cracking with her.
I bought it for her when she was about 14 or 15 months, but it's recommended for 18 months + (which is what she is now).
What you get is 6 two piece puzzles in a nice little carry box so they can be easily stored away when not in use. The puzzles consist of an aeroplane, car, helicopter, boat, train and a tractor. They are quite large, large enough for toddler hands to grip easily and are made from very strong cardboard which is about 3 or 4 mm thick and this also has a wipe clean surface.
The transport items are very cartoon like, and I would say each item is very similar to the next, so I was worried that my daughter wouldn't be able to differentiate between each puzzle because they are so similar in appearance. But the colours are really bright and each puzzle is comprised of the same set of colours - blue, red, yellow, green and purple, but on some of them the main body of each item of transport is in a different colour.
For example I would say the car is mainly red, but the helicopter is mainly green, even though they are also made up of the other colours. I think this helps the child to identify which is which when confronted with a display of half pieces; they can select the two that they want by identifying the main colours and then match them together.
I'm not sure if this is the technique my daughter uses, but despite my reservations she has no problem in matching the pieces together. I usually start by giving her one half of the car for instance, and she will easily find the other half, and the same with all the other items. The problem lies in getting her to fix the two halves together...
The actual puzzles are fixed together using just one large jigsaw 'connection' which you would think makes it very easy to position in place. But having observed my daughter using these puzzles, I have noticed that because the fixing part is so large, it's kind of been a bit oversimplified for her. What I mean is that with a 'normal' jigsaw it's very easy to snap a piece securely into position, but with these it's very easy to miss and not get them together accurately. The pieces also easily come apart when being manhandled together by an 18 month old.
This is especially true when trying to piece them together on a carpet. As soon as she pushes her hand on them to press them together they come apart again because of the 'give' in the carpet. They work much better on a table top or hard flat surface.
That's not to say she doesn't enjoy playing with these puzzles, I usually end up fixing them together for her, and then she really enjoys (and I think this is her favourite part) taking them apart and placing them all back in the box. She can do this 3 or 4 times in one sitting if she pleases.
I've not been overly impressed with this little set, I do think it has been over simplified and the children probably grow out of simple puzzles like these before they've even developed the skill to fix them together, but it has given my daughter a certain level of enjoyment, and the fact that they are all items of transport really attracts her to the puzzles.
The actual pieces are really strong which is a big bonus because my daughter is not the gentlest of creatures and has a tendency to be a bit of a bull in a china shop with most things, but these have managed to stay nice and un-creased. I even tried to apply a certain amount of pressure on the pieces myself to see if it was possible to bend them. And it isn't, unless you use brute force.
I'm not sure I would buy anything like this again because I don't actually think it is particularly helpful in developing her hand eye co-ordination skills. And my daughter has recently taken an interest in her older sister's wooden board jigsaws, where she can actually achieve the piecing together and seems to get more enjoyment out of the larger sized jigsaws rather than the simple two-piece ones.
I think they are good for the novelty value, and they are interesting to look at for a small child, especially one who likes cars and helicopters etc, but as far as jigsaws go, I would recommend getting something a bit more taxing and more 'jigsaw-like' where they can develop their skills a lot better.
Available on Amazon for £4.00.
Summary: It's alright but won't develop their skills
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