“ Manufacturer: National Geographic Kids / Type: Block Puzzle „
Some of you may say that my children are spoilt by this and maybe they are but if we go on a day trip somewhere and I must point out this is probably only 4 - 5 times a year they are allowed to buy themselves a little gift from a local shop. This toy was picked up when we had a day trip to Flamingo Land and cost my daughter £6.99 which was out of her own money.
The toy comes packaged in a little wooden box approx 43 1/2 inches square which is really sturdy, the box has a sliding wooden lid which fits into grooves on three sides of the box. On the top of the box is the title of the toy, a picture of Mama Mirabelle, an example of a puzzle and finally the six different pictures you can form are lined up across the box. the box is attractive to look at and it is made of nice wood so we have never had a splinter off the box and the box has not been damaged at all in over a year and a half so it is definately durable.
Inside the box you have six pieces of glossy paper each one a different picture on of which the blocks can be used to make the picture, each picture has a patterned background in two different colours and then there is the picture on top, you also have the Mama Mirabelles logo in the bottom right hand corner of each one. The pictures in the set are of the zebra with Mama and a leopard on his back, the zebra on his own, Mama on her own, 3 dancing monkeys, Mama waving and wearing a hat and finally the leopard on his own.
There are nine wooden blocks each one being about an inch cubed and each block has a different square of each picture on it, your child simply has to turn the block over until they find the right part of the picture and then lay then down the correct way up to complete the picture. The box states that these puzzles are suitable for ages three and up and I would say this is about right, my daughter was three when she bought these and they did provide a little bit of a challenge without being too hard for her. I think the bold backgrounds and borders make it easier for your child to piece the pictures together as the same characters appear in more than one of the pictures and this can then cause confusion.
I used to have something similar to this when I was younger of Snow White and I really loved it so when my daughter picked this toy I was sure it would give her hours of fun too. She has enjoyed playing with these blocks and they were worth the money she paid, I like old style toys and like I say this sort of thing was around when I was little and i'm nearly 30 so the idea has stood the test of time. The pictures are simple and brightly coloured and we are now putting these away as at 4 1/2 they don't provide any problem for our daughter now but they will be brought back out when our youngest is old enough.