Product Type: ELC Puzzle
Newest Review: ... removing. As soon as I unwrapped the puzzle I could feel it was made to the standard I have come to expect from ELC. The puzzle piece... more
A puzzle at an out of this world price
Happyland Space Lift Out Puzzle
Member Name: Lools_24
Happyland Space Lift Out Puzzle
Advantages: Well made, fun space themed puzzle, slightly more complex than the other ELC lift out puzzles
Disadvantages: Black background of puzzle, expensive at full price
My two year old twin boys are spoilt for choice when it comes to toys. We have toy boxes full of toys mainly as I can't resist a bargain. During toy sales I find myself buying a "little something" for my boys. During the summer of 2011 we found we spent a lot more time indoors than planned because of cold weather and rain so I found myself buying a lot of puzzle type toys as a "little treat". One of these purchases included the HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle.
***HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle***
The HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle is a space themed wooden lift out puzzle from the ELC HappyLand range. The puzzle has 6 chunky wooden lift out pieces which are images of a space ship, astronauts and aliens.
ELC describe the puzzle to be great for children to match shapes, boost their fine motor skills and to help encourage conversation.
ELC state that the puzzle is suitable for children from 18 months old.
The HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle is available from ELC stores and online. The RRP for the puzzle is £8 which I do think is very expensive considering this is a very basic wooden puzzle. I purchased this in the summer of 2011 for my boys during a half-price sale for £4. I also recently bought this puzzle as a gift for another 2 year olds birthday party and the puzzle was reduced to £2.40 (Jan 2012). I think at this price this is excellent value.
Unlike many ELC toys the HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle does not have an abundance of package to battle with prior to playing with. The puzzle board is simply wrapped in clear cellophane which requires removing.
As soon as I unwrapped the puzzle I could feel it was made to the standard I have come to expect from ELC. The puzzle pieces are rounded as is the puzzle board and there are no rough sections or chances of getting splinters which I have found often happens with cheaper brands of wooden puzzles. The puzzle board is about 20cm high by around 30cm long and just under 1cm thick. There are six different shaped puzzles pieces which lift out and each of the pieces have a small yellow peg for a child to hold and lift the piece out. All of the six puzzle pieces are a different shape and are a part of the overall space picture. For example there is an alien piece, a spaceman piece, a rocket piece etc. Unlike many of the ELC lift out puzzles this is an actual puzzle scene rather than just a collection of puzzle shapes on a plain puzzle board background. I think this adds to the fun for a young child and makes it slightly more aimed at older toddlers rather than at the very young toddler.
My boys have been playing with lift out type puzzles from around 9 months old although only really grasped and started enjoying the puzzle concept from around 14-15 months old. My boys were almost 17 months when we first purchased this puzzle for them to play with and developmentally were probably average for their age of what they could do. This is just outside the suggested age range of 18 months plus however I do feel at 17 months the puzzle was slightly too complex for them despite them being very confident with other lift out puzzles. I feel the puzzle scene adds complexity as a child has more to look at and has to think a lot more about matching the puzzle shape to the correct slot and to match up the different images. At 17 months I could see my boys holding the pieces figuring out where they should go but I did feel they got bored and slightly frustrated when they couldn't match the shapes, especially as the black background and puzzle pieces do not make it as clear to where the pieces go compared with other puzzles.
By 19 month old I felt they were getting more enjoyment out of the puzzle and spent longer playing and figuring out where the pieces went but still did need a lot more guidance with this puzzle than others. At 2 years old I feel they are now really benefiting from the puzzle and this puzzle keeps them both occupied for a lot longer and they actually spend time sitting and studying this puzzle and the puzzle pieces. With the more basic lift out puzzles that are simply lift out shapes on a plain background once they have lifted the shapes in and out of the slots once at aged 2 they seem bored of these types of puzzles.
I do feel developmentally there are a lot of benefits to the HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle. There are the motor skill benefits of simply lifting the puzzle pieces out of the slots and then putting them back in again. There are also the problem solving skills of matching the image of the puzzle piece to the same image on the puzzle board in the correct puzzle piece slot. I also feel for speech development the puzzle encourages a child to talk and actually teaches different words. A lot of toys we own are farm themed or are of basic objects covered in most baby books whereas the space theme adds a different variety of words. For example my sons now can say moon, space ship, alien and rocket very clearly all words not in their baby books. I personally feel the HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle is suitable for children up to the age of 2 and a half to three years old. By three I feel that children will find the puzzle far too basic as it only has six different pieces to lift in and out.
Durability wise this is another well-made toy from ELC and after 7 months of regular play this toy looks as new. When you have two toddlers aged two playtime involves a lot of rough play and most of our toys get thrown, dropped or fought over on a regular basis. The puzzle board has been dropped and suffered no damage and te puzzle pieces have been chewed on without suffering lasting effects.
I do not think this is the best wooden lift out puzzle from the ELC range of these puzzles but at such a low price (especially at £2.40) I think it is a great puzzle to provide entertainment to a young child of around 18 months to 2 and a half. The puzzle is slightly more complex than the other ELC lift out puzzles which I feel can be a little too basic for children once they reach the age of 2. Like the majority of ELC toys the HappyLand Lift Out Space Puzzle is well made and durable and has educational and developmental benefits. The puzzle helps with a childs hand eye coordination and problem solving skills as they match the puzzle piece and shape to the image behind the puzzle piece.
I do feel the space theme is unisex and not too boyish but I probably feel more suitable for a little boy mainly because ELC seem to have a lot more girly themed HappyLand puzzles.
Good but not out of this world!
Summary: A well made lift out space themed puzzle from ELC