Product Type: Galt Child Development
Newest Review: ... made by Galt a brand which is well respected I think. This beastly body bits jigsaw comes in a large cardboard box which is pretty thin bu... more
Horrible science at its gruesome best.
Galt Toys Horrible Science Kit: Beastly Body Bits
Member Name: broxi3781
Galt Toys Horrible Science Kit: Beastly Body Bits
Advantages: Fun family activity with many educational benefits.
Disadvantages: None - unless you dislike gruesome.
I really like jigsaw puzzles. They seem to be less popular than they once were, but there are many benefits to playing with puzzles of any kind. In fact the use of puzzles and board games is considered one of the 3 greatest things you can do for your child's education ( the other two are reading to and with your child and family days out). All puzzles teach spacial awareness, problem solving, analytical skills, maths skills, sequencing , logical thought and good old fashioned patience. Younger children will also develop motor skills and hand - eye coordination through play with puzzles. Puzzles can also be a wonderful family activity. We spend most evenings doing something together. Often it is just watching videos or playing video games, or marathon book reading sessions, but I find puzzles and games are a wonderful way for the family to spend time together and interact with each other. Puzzles encourage conversation and cooperation in a way that modern electronic entertainment simply can not match.
In addition to the benefits of puzzles in general, many puzzles also attempt to teach skills like science or geography. This puzzle, as I expect you have guessed from the title, focuses on science, in this case the human body. The artist who drew this picture has gone out of his way to be revolting - but that is exactly why children like it. The illustration depicts a mad scientist in the middle of a Frankenstein like experiment. Some consideration has been given to modesty, and our corpse is wearing knickers. Mr Body has been cut apart many times and sewn back together, or perhaps built from the parts of many bodies - as evidenced by the stitches. His entire chest cavity is opened up revealing all of his internal organs. Our scientist holds a severed hand in his own hand - perhaps ready to sew it on. The toes are missing from one foot, but a jar of toes is nearby - right next to the jar of leaches. Electrodes are attached to his head, and one is bruised and swollen half shut, but the other is open wide and the word "ERK" in a speech bubble while the mad scientist shouts in triumph "He's Alive".
The best parts of this puzzle are the circles with various organs. The liver is shown oozing bile, and the brain along with labels of each part, the lungs are wheezing, the skin is shown with a puss filled spot, an oozing sweat gland and a small bug. Boys being boys though, the organs involved in excrement got the most interest. Two hands are shown squeezing the kidneys as wee leaks from the bladder. The stomach is shown churning, and then we can see a brown liquid squelching and squeezing its way through the small intestine and finally coming out the large intestine as poo. The dog eating a pile of intestine was also very popular, as the cat looks on in disgust.
I am sure children will pick up some knowledge of body organs and functions just by looking at them as they build this puzzle. My children do have several books on this, so are pretty familiar with the ideas anyway, but this does present a fun an easy way for children to learn about the body. A nice thing about learning through puzzles is it does have components of several learning styles There is obviously visual learning involved, but I think this does involve some aspects of tactile learning as well. Puzzles also allow many children who have difficulty sitting still for a lesson to absorb much more as it is a far more active way of learning. But learning with this, or any other themed jigsaw is at it's best with an adult helping and talking as they go along , bringing in auditory learning as well as a great deal of additional information.
We have had a great many lively conversations centered around this puzzle. I would make a brief comment on each body part as we worked on that part of the puzzle, but most importantly, I answer any questions they might have. My four year old will joyfully talk you through the whole process of digestion and elimination, and I believe verbalising a topic is also an excellent way to commit the facts to memory.
This puzzle usually takes close to two hours to complete, but that is with a four year old helping, a lot of talking and silliness involved as well as breaks for snacks - a bit of poo, blood and guts isn't enough to put my sons off eating. This puzzle is recommended for ages 8+ and I feel that is a fair assessment of age range if the child will be doing this alone. My oldest is 7 and I think he would have had some difficulty doing this alone and he never does sit down and do these puzzles alone yet. That said - we do find it more fun as family activity so there isn't any reason for him to work on it alone. I am quite sure he could do this on his if he wanted to badly enough, but I do not think his interest in it would last long enough to complete alone once he started getting frustrated with difficult bits. I believe a child who really enjoys doing jigsaws alone frequently would be able to do this by age 7 though - perhaps even age 6. I also feel if a parent is willing to help even very young children can get involved. My youngest was only 3 when we bought this - and he did need a lot of help - but he still had quite a bit of fun as well.
I am sure a few children might find this scene a bit too disgusting. If your child is very squeamish about internal organs, then this obviously is not the best way to introduce the subject - but I think most children find disgusting good fun. I feel the amount of information specifically relating to science is limited, and most children would learn more from a good book, but a puzzle is a good way to break things up a bit, and keep learning fun - and of course I feel all puzzles have real value in education - or just as a fun family activity.
Summary: A fun puzzle which encourages children to learn about the body as well.
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