“ Age of the Dinosaurs puzzle. „
This past Christmas, the children received Amazon gift certificates from the grandparents as part of their loot. The gift certificates were received with much glee, followed by about a week of poring over the Amazon website trying to decide what to spend their ill gotten gains on. My five year old decided that he wantyed something to do with dinosaurs, and upon inputting this as a search term, found this amongst the offerings. Loving puzzles, and attracted by the colourful picture, he setled on this being one of his purchases.
It has proved to be a wise decision. Made by Galt, famous toy makers for the past 150 odd years, it has 100 pieces. My children at first were a bit daunted at the prospect of a 100 piece puzzle as it seemed quite a jump from the puzzles in the age band before this one, with most of those puzzles only having 40 pieces or so. This proved to not be a huge hurdle though, as the pieces are not overly small and once completed the picture is larger than the preschool 40 piece puzzles. This is not to say that my 5 and 7 year old were able to sit down and do the puzzle in no time flat. The shadings and details added a level of challenge that allowed even Mommy and Daddy to have to pay a bit of attention when assisting so that even after nearly weekly plays every week since early January, this puzzle still is able to hold interest when it is pulled out.
Adding to the fun (and educational aspect) is a nice little chart Galt has provided. The sheet of A4 paper has a black and white outline drawing of the completed puzzle, with the dinosaurs and other pictured prehistoric creatures numbered. below this is a list showing the name of the corresponding creature. We have had great fun Googling the names and discovering the facts about each one. It all sounds fantastic, but sadly, this is where my children expereinced a small feeling of being let down. Why? Well, to explain it quite simply, my children gazed upon this wondrous scene and imagined it as a indow into the past, almost like a snap shot of what they could have perhaps witnessed if able to pop back in time. This proved not to be the case, however, as the creatures are from different periods, and even worse still, some of the depictions are actually inaccurate. It is a little nitpicky, and the inconsistencies are not from negligence, merely outdated representations often still on dispaly in some museums and the grouping made to be more of general diorama of prehistoric critters than those living in any one epoch. It has not been an occasion to put a dampner on their enjoyment of the puzzle at all, and has actually helped feed their thirst for knowledge on the various creatures and the times in which they lived.
Standing up to two young children and their visiting freinds an prove a fearsome task for a toy made out of papery materials, but this one has held up well. The cardbaord is dense and sturdy, resisting bending even when a fitted piece is being removed hack handedly by an impatient child. the art work is detailed and very colourful, and is likely to remain pristine thanks to a wipe clean laminated surface. The age guide says from ages 6-10, but my son was 5 1/2 when he got this and with a bit of assitance quite easily got the hang of it. he has not yet completed the puzzle by himself despite being 6 in a few weeks time, but that is simply because once this puzzle is out, his ssiter and any other child within the propertyy line makes an instant beeline wanting to play as well. At under £6, it is not an overly expensive toy purchase amking it ideal for spending gift vouchers on, or for birthday gifts and Christmas gift exchanges, etc. Highly recommended as the enjoyment is ongoing, and looking forward to buying others in the series.