* Prices may differ from that shown
My twin boys are puzzle mad and if I'm honest I can't help myself but treat them to puzzles especially when I visit ELC and see that there is a sale on. So during a half price toy sale I noticed that not only were the mini puzzle sets which my boys love were down to half price, there was also a set reduced that we did not have in our collection. So I found myself buying the ELC Dinosaur Puzzles.
***ELC Dinosaur Puzzles***
The ELC Dinosaur Puzzles are a collection of six two piece dinosaur themed puzzles which come in a small storage box. Each of the six puzzles consist of two pieces which slot together to show the image of a different Dinosaur. As someone who is not really a dinosaur expert the only way I can differentiate between the puzzles is by colour and the six puzzles include a yellow, blue, brown, green, purple and pink dinosaur on them. The puzzles all vary in shape but are around 8cm by 8cm in size. All of the puzzles are made from a hard durable cardboard with a shiny coating that you can wipe clean. The puzzles come in a small rectangular cardboard box with a carry handle so you can store all of the six puzzles together when not in use.
ELC state that the Dinosaur Puzzles are suitable for children from 18 months old.
The RRP of the ELC Dinosaur Puzzles is £6.00 and are available from ELC stores and the ELC website. However I purchased these puzzles during a half price toy sale for £3.00 which I feel is excellent value considering the amount of play and enjoyment my boys have got from these puzzles.
Like many other of the mini puzzle sets from ELC the Dinosaur puzzles come in a small rectangular box with string handle which my boys take great pleasure in carrying around like a handbag. Aside from using as a handbag the boxes are very handy for using as a storage box so you can keep all of the puzzle pieces from the set together, particularly useful if you own a number of these puzzle sets. I would say that you do need to take care with the box however as although it is made from quite hard durable cardboard if your child tries to sit on the box (like my boys have) they will bend out of shape and this could ruin the box.
My boys were around 21 months old when I bought the ELC Dinosaur Puzzles for them to play with. The Dinosaur puzzles are recommended from 18 months and over and personally I feel my boys would have got more benefit and enjoyment from these puzzles if I had bought them this set when they were slightly younger. At 21 months my boys had been playing with the ELC mini puzzle sets for a number of months and in terms of puzzles I do feel developmentally they were quite competent as we have so many for them to play with. As a result after playing with for a month or so they were no longer challenged and entertained for as long by these puzzles and by the time that they reached two years old I do feel the two piece Dinosaur Puzzles were a little too simple for them and they preferred the mini puzzle sets that had three pieces to put together. When I play with puzzles of this type with my boys I tend to put the puzzles together first so they know what the images on the front of the puzzles are then break up the pieces for them to match up. I have stopped doing this with the Dinosaur puzzles to challenge my boys more therefore I do find that they play with this puzzle set a lot more independently as they do not depend on me to help them so much but even so I do think at the age of 2 years old they have slightly outgrown the Dinosaur Puzzles set.
As the Dinosaur Puzzle set contains six different Dinosaur themed puzzles I find this great for sharing between my boys so great for those that want to encourage their child to play alongside other children. Even so my boys still want the exact puzzle the other one has but from experience this is the case for everything we own even if I buy two of the exact same toy!
Developmentally I think like most of the other mini puzzles the ELC Dinosaur puzzles are very good for encouraging a child's hand eye coordination and for younger children the design of the puzzles and the smooth puzzle shapes are very easy to slot together and then take apart again. The puzzles also help with a child's problem solving skills and because each of the Dinosaur Puzzles are a different colour you can encourage a child to match pieces of the same colour together to make the correct image.
With other ELC mini puzzle sets I have found as great ways to encourage a child's speech by getting them to name the object on the puzzle piece they are matching (i.e. farm animals or vehicles) with the Dinosaur puzzles I feel this is a little more difficult and there are less benefits as I'm not really too educated on the different types of dinosaur. Therefore I find myself teaching and talking to my boys about different colours as this is the only real way for a toddler to distinguish between the puzzles and the different dinosaur images.
I do find that the ELC Dinosaur puzzles are slightly more durable than many of the other ELC puzzle sets and the puzzle pieces appear to be around 2mm thicker than many of the other pieces from other sets. This makes these puzzles slightly less inclined to bend when stepped on and much harder for a toddler to try and bend. The puzzle pieces are made from a cardboard with a wipe-able coating which is great for removing sticky marks by just using a damp cloth. My boys have attempted to chew on these puzzle pieces which has resulted in lasting teeth-marks on some of the puzzle pieces.
My boys really enjoy playing with the ELC Dinosaur Puzzles and for £3.00 I think they have been another excellent value puzzle set from ELC. We own a number of ELC puzzle sets and from the range on offer which includes farm animal, vehicles I would probably say that if I had a choice the Dinosaur Puzzles are in my opinion not one of the better sets from the range. I think I say this because there are less learning benefits associated with these puzzles than the other sets from the range. The six different puzzles can be differentiated by colours therefore you can ask your child to talk about the different colours to encourage their speech however I don't feel in terms of speech development and interaction the Dinosaur Puzzles are as good as the Farm Animal set for example.
The ELC Dinosaur Puzzles are however fun puzzles for children to play with and the benefit of there being six mini two piece puzzles are that there are enough puzzles for two children to play together with therefore this helps to encourage sharing. The two piece puzzles have bright attractive dinosaur images on and are well made and easy for a child to slot the pieces together. These puzzles are also a lot more durable and ever so slightly thicker than the puzzle sets from ELC aimed at children from 2 years old meaning that the pieces are less likely to bend if stood on.
My only real criticism of these as puzzles is that they are quite easy and less challenging for children who are competent with puzzles therefore I would probably recommend buying for children aged between 15 months and 2 years old to get the full benefit from these before they look for more challenging puzzles with more pieces.