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My son got this puzzle for his first birthday. The design is slightly different to the one pictured. It cost £7.99 from Mothercare or ELC, and was in the 2 for £10 range at the time.
The puzzle board, and all 26 pieces are made from solid, chunky wood. It features brightly coloured lower case letters, and a similarly coloured picture underneath, corresponding to each letter.
When he first got the puzzle, he just liked to take the letters and hide them in his toy box, or in fact any box that he could fit them in. I often sat down on the sofa and found one of the hard pegs sticking out from under a cushion! As he got a bit older, we would sit together and take the pieces out one by one, and I would tell him what each picture was of, while he tried to copy the words.
He is now 21 months. Last week while he was playing by himself, I noticed he was putting the puzzle together all by himself. He now does it several times a day, and in the past few days it has become the toy he plays with the most.
It is a beautifully made toy, and still going strong almost a year later, despite the fact that he constantly chews on each of the letters!
I picked this up for my son as a Christmas present when he was 2 and a half years old, back in 2010. He was well past the smaller jigsaws from the early learning centre, and as we had previously had a shapes, vehicles, and fire engine puzzle from this shop which had all been well made and well played with, then I was confident that it was worth the £8 price tag.
The board is approximately the size of an A4 piece of paper. It is about 1cm in thickness. It contains all 26 letters of the alphabet in lower case, and the only other picture shown is an ELC logo. When we bought this, it was wrapped in shrink wrapped plastic which is kind of essential to hold all the pieces in. When we opened it, I found each piece had a small peg attached, and when we lifted the pieces up, each piece has a picture underneath related to that letter, for example, g is a gate and m is a mouse. The letters are also printed onto the board in upper and lower case. As I have found in all ELC wooden peg jigsaws, they are well cut and the pieces firmly sit in position while playing.
At first my son was not really that interested in doing the jigsaw. Although he could grip the pieces fine, he wasn't really getting the concept of what the alphabet was. It is only now, when he is a few months away from being 4 and at nursery school, where he is learning about phonics, that this jigsaw has had more appeal to him.
He is quite keen now to do this jigsaw, and quite likes to sit and do it a couple of times. One nice feature to make it a little easier is that the background picture to the letter is printed in the same colour as the jigsaw piece, so when I pick up the piece with 'a' printed in red, underneath the apple shown in the picture is green on a red background.
This jigsaw has got some little quirks that make it a bit trickier. The 'o' is not round or oval like you might expect, so there is only one way that the piece can be slotted into the board as it has a slight dint on one side. That has caused some frustration. The 'z' and 's' are also fatter at the bottom, so it can only go one way.
After we have done the jigsaw, my son sings with me the alphabet songs that he has learned at school. He does a couple of different versions, and as he sings, we point out the letters, reinforcing what he has learnt with his teacher.
We have also found it useful as he has activity books where he can practise writing his letters, so when he is struggling we find it on the jigsaw, so he can then copy the shape of the letter onto his activity book.
At first I thought this jigsaw was a bit boring as neither of my children would play with it even though my oldest son was 4 when we bought it and learning phonics then too. Now, my son is having a lot more use out of it, and yes, it is a little dull if just doing it as a jigsaw by himself, but when we play together, he is getting a lot of educational value out of it while just enjoying a bit of one on one time with me or his dad. I am really glad I added it to his collection of jigsaws.
With it having the pegs on the pieces, I assumed it would be more suitable at the younger age I bought it for, but I think now it is perfect for nursery age children and perhaps reception age children (3-5) who are looking at letters already at school. It then really helps it click in their head what the connection is before learning to read and write.
This year its all about learning for my little girl, no more toys to play with, she will only have learning toys!! Well, not quite but for her second birthday we seemed to get her quite a few toys that will help her learn things like her numbers, the alphabet etc and things like that. I think learning through fun and games is the best way to do it because you almost don't realise you are learning when you are technically just doing a puzzle.
This puzzle from The Early Learning Centre is a great learning puzzle as it contains all the letters of the alphabet. The puzzle is a nice wooden puzzle and very well made. The pieces come out easily and do not stick but are tight enough that they will stay in and provide a little bit of a challenge for little fingers when you are putting them in. Each letter has a little peg on it which makes it really easy to pull out the puzzle piece and put it back again.
The alphabet puzzle parts are all lower case letters so you don't get to learn your upper case letters but the fact that you are learning letters to me is good enough. Having said that though, when you pull out the puzzle piece, for example the A, below it you will find an A and an a written so you do get to see the upper case letters once you pull the puzzle piece out.
What I also like about this puzzle is that when you pull the letter out you will also see a picture of an item that starts with that letter. For example under the A is an apple and under the Z is a zebra and so on and so on.
The letters are all different colours as well so its a really nice way to learn colours as well. For example, I will say to my little girl, "pull out the M for mummy and then ask her what colour is it?" and then say, hopefully, yes, that's right, it's orange. Other colours include blue, green, red, yellow and purple.
The puzzle costs £4 which I think is a great price for a well made wooden puzzle. The Early Learning Centre say this is not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts but I have found that it is fine for my 2 year old and feel happy letting her play with it.
A bright attractive lift out wooden puzzle. Available from ELC and stockists of ELC toys such as mothercare and boots also around the festive times. The puzzle is currently £8 and is suitable for ages 3 and up.
The puzzle is set in a wooden board about 1.5cm deep and the size of an a4 sheet of paper. You then have the 26 letters cut out to make lift out pieces each with its own plastic handle in the centre of the letter to make lifting in and out easy. The letters are in alphabetical order but placed not perfectly in line but slightly tipped one way or another. The letters also are solid wood. The letters are brightly coloured with a black outline.
The letters are in lower case and when you lift the piece out underneath is a picture of the object beginning with that letter and the letter printed by the picture in upper and lower case.
ELC recommends this be for 3 years and up. But i bought this for my son when he was 2 years and 7 months and by this time he knew his letters and really enjoyed the puzzles. The only drawback is the 'n' and the 'u' are very similar which i guess couldnt be avoided and also the 'o' is difficult to put in. Still now my son is almost 4 and he struggles even i do. Whether this is ours or not im not sure but i would presume they are all cut the same.
Be careful not to lose the pieces as we often have a piece missing only to find it under the wardrobe or something similar.
This is a good overall toy. Improving fine motor skills and concentration. Also with parental support this will aid your child learning the letters of the alphabet and teach what word begins with the letters. My son now enjoys spelling words with the letters obviously can only spell words that dont have more than one of each letter in. He gets disappointed he cant spell out mummy or his sisters name.
Trying to find my daughter toys for her Birthday was a pretty difficult task seeing as the older sister already has pretty much everything! I discovered these Jigsaws and decided that these would be an excellent present as my eldest never showed any interest in Jigsaws.
What is it?
The lift and Look Alphabet puzzle is a traditional wooden lift out tray puzzle this particular one is letters and underneath each letter is a picture that begins with that particular letter i.e. Aa is for apple
Cost and Stockist
I purchased this at the beginning of November and the puzzle was on offer at £3.50 normally the price is £7 which is a little expensive put these are very good quality.
You can get these on line at www.elc.co.uk or from Early learning centre stores as well as Mothercare, and Boots. I have just done some Christmas Shopping and currently as long as you spend £30 then there is free delivery.
Early Learning Centre toys tend to be well made and have been made with Children's learning in mind and this puzzle is no exception.
Brilliant for getting your child to problem solve as well as encouraging early reading with letter recognition it also helps co-ordination.
I am really pleased with this my youngest thoroughly enjoys doing this puzzle but it has also proved an excellent tool for my Daughter who is in Foundation class as it has been useful for her to copy the letters but also as a great Phonics teaching aid.
I really like the fact that this puzzle is all different colours which makes it very appealing to children.
I got the ELC Lift and Look Alphabet Puzzle second hand in a car boot sale for 37p, but I have since found that the current new price for the puzzle from the Early Learning Centre to be £7. I really love it when I find a bargain like this!!
Bascially, this is one of those puzzles where shapes are cut out of a board and then the child has to try to fit the cut out shapes into the cut out holes. It's a way to help a child develop their dexterity by allowing them to practice their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination because they have to pick up the shapes and then maneuver them into position. Giving children puzzles like this also helps them to develop their analytical skills because they have to try to figure out what shape fits where, as well as trying to figure out the orientation necessary for the shape to fit.
The puzzle board itself is made of pale wood, like pine, and it feels very sturdy and solid.....which is just as well considering the amount of bashing my son tends to exert on most of his toys! There are 26 cut-out shapes corresponding to each letter of the alphabet A - Z. Within each cut out shape space there is a image which corresponds to the letter, so for example, under "a" is an apple, under "b" is a bee, under "z" is a zebra etc. The pictures are colourful and attractive and I would imagine they are very appealing to young children. Each picture is easily identifiable and my son certainly seems to be drawn to them and he likes telling me, in turn, what each picture shows. In the top left hand corner there is also two characters showing the upper case and lower case of that letter.
The shapes which fit into the cut-out holes are also constructed from wood and have little yellow peg handles which my son uses to lift the letters in and out of the holes. As he is only two years old, he does have a little difficulty using his pincer grip to get hold of the peg handles as they are quite small, but he does manage.
The shapes fit into the holes relatively easily, although you do need to get the exact orientation of the shapes right before it will slot into place......but practice makes perfect, as they say!
I'm able to play with my son to help him learn the different letters of the alphabet because I'm a firm believer that young children are very receptive to learning if done in a fun way. We have also used this board to help him consolidate learning on his naming of colours. In addition to this, because it takes a while to complete the puzzle, it encourages concentration and the ability to sit still for ten minutes and focus on one activity!
The board is wooden, but it is varnished and so you can wipe it down with a damp cloth if it gets grubby.
This puzzle doesn't exactly shout originality, but it is a decent model of its type. It's safe, it's functional, it's educational and it's attractive to children - and so it ticks all of the necessary boxes.
Although my son is only 2 years old, he uses this puzzle and has benefited from it. I would recommend this puzzle for any child who is 2 years plus (although the ELC recommends 3 years plus).
Where can i start with this fantastic jigsaw puzzle? Well its another fantastic product from Early Learning Centre and as with most of the things i have ever bought from there i have not been disappointed with this!
The Lift and learn alphabet puzzle is a chunky wooden alphabet puzzle which has little peg handles which make it easy for the childs little fingers to lift out. The child lifts a letter out of the board and reveals a picture and a capital and lower case letter. For each letter there is a corresponding picture:
a - apple, b - bee, c - cake, d - dog, e - egg and so on.
It is a brightly coloured jigsaw and all the letters and backgrounds are different colours, including the primary colours, and the colours on the letter match the background of where the piece goes in the jigsaw. The letters on the jigsaw pieces are all lower case letters which i think is great for the child to get an initial recognition of the letters before they start learning at school. The pictures are pretty common-place and are what you would find on most toys that have pictures associated with letters.
I think this jigsaw is brilliant, it teaches hand-eye coordination when the child has to put the jigsaw piece in its correct place, it teaches problem solving in which the child has to learn to work things out for themself. In addition to this it also encourages learning of letters and an early foundation for learning to read.
I have only come across one small problem with this jigsaw, and that is the letters o and x - they are quite difficult for a child to place as it would appear they could go any way round but in fact they can only go one way and the o is especially difficult in my opinion.
The recommended age for this jigsaw is 3year+ which i don't think is accurate personally as my daughter has had this since her second birthday in December and she can do this with absolute ease (with the exception of the o at times).
The current price for this is just £3.50, which is now half price and i think it is an absolute bargain at that price and would recommend it to anyone!