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I recently reviewed another Melissa and Doug wooden puzzle called 'Under The Sea' because at the time it was my 3 year olds favourite puzzle and I wanted to share the joy. But recently, my 18 month old has really got the hots for this smaller one, so here is my review.
This particular jigsaw is a 12 piece wooden puzzle set into a wooden base, and is called 'On The Go'. The picture on the puzzle is of a variety of transport items. At the front you will see a bright red car and a yellow bus, further back there is a green truck, a train, a ship with tugboat, and finally in the sky is an aeroplane and a helicopter. So quite a few things for your child to look out for!
The size of the jigsaw is approx 19 x 27 cm, and the base is just slightly larger than this. The actual pieces are roughly 6.5 x 6cm so are a nice chunky size for babies and toddlers. The quality of the whole jigsaw is excellent, we have had this for a year or more now and it is showing no signs of wear and tear, despite regular use. And this is very surprising given the recent battering it has taken from my 18 month old.
She has only just recently taken a liking to jigsaws, and my attempts to get her to do simpler puzzles were futile (see Galt Puzzles review). She was much more interested in the more complex jigsaws which belong to her older sister, and it's this one that she keeps on going back to. She has a slight obsession with vehicles, especially cars, so the bright red car on this puzzle really catches her eye and she likes to fix it together time and time again.
To say that she is only 18 months old, she can manoeuvre the pieces into position really well. The way the picture is laid out makes it very simple for a young child to be able to spot which pieces go where. We always start with the red car in the corner, and this is made up from two jigsaw pieces, then we move onto the yellow bus next to it, which is also made up of two pieces of the puzzle. It seems that every piece of puzzle has half an item on it, and it's up to the child to find the other half, and then they are on their way to completing the puzzle on their own.
My eldest had this down within a matter of days (she was about 2 when we go it); my youngest (18 months) who has only just over the last couple of weeks started taking an interest in it, can fix together the 4 bottom pieces of the puzzle on her own. Sometimes she needs guidance from me to get the pieces aligned properly, and it sometimes depends what sort of mood she is in, but generally she is quite good, and really impresses me with her skill.
The fact that the pieces are predominantly yellow (bus) or red (car) really helps her to differentiate between the different parts of the picture. The top two rows of the puzzle she finds a little bit more complex, and again I think this is to do with the colours, all the items at the top of the picture are mainly blue and white (apart from the truck which she does often get right), and I think it is quite difficult for a child of 18 months to distinguish which piece goes where when they are all similar colours. Once she has got the hang of it though and can memorise the picture she will have no worries completing this puzzle on her own.
What I also like about this puzzle is that it is wooden. So many jigsaws these days are made from cardboard, and when you have a particularly rough child on your hands, they can be damaged quite easily. A wooden jigsaw like this can withstand a bit of pressure when a child is trying to force a piece into the wrong place, or bashes the pieces together in anger when it's not going their way. My daughter is a bit like this and has not yet developed the understanding that things break if you are not careful, so the fact that she has quite a liking for this jigsaw and it is still intact is brilliant.
Another thing to note here is that because it is set into a base, you have a hard surface on which to complete the puzzle, and once a piece is in position it generally stays in position. Unlike those cardboard floor puzzles which tend to come apart if you sneeze near them!
The recommended age for this is 3+, but I would strongly advise it for younger children. As stated in my review my 18 month old really gets a lot from it, and my oldest was completing it when she was 2 years old. It depends on the skill of your child, but it's definitely a puzzle to get them interested in jigsaws, especially if they like cars and transport. I'm sure most kids will love it.
The product dimensions on the website are 22.5 x 1 x 30cm.
RRP is £5.99
Available on Amazon now for £3.00 (May 2010) - BARGAIN!!! Buy it.