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As you might have guessed from some of my recent reviews, we own a lot of Orchard Toys games and puzzles and are big fans of them in this household. This particular puzzle, Teddy Bear's Picnic was won by my daughter in a colouring competition that Orchard Toys held a couple of years ago.
As with all of the products from Orchard Toys, this puzzle comes in a nice sturdy box with a plastic handle which has a large, bright picture of the puzzle on the front. The box states that it is a shaped floor puzzle informing the consumer that the puzzle pieces will be rather large and that it is not a traditional rectangular shaped puzzle when completed. It also clearly shows that the puzzle consists of 15 pieces and gives an age guide between 2 and 5 years. The size of the puzzle when completed is also given as being 60 x 42.5cm or 24 x 17ins.
As the name may suggest, this puzzle depicts a outdoor picnic scene where 3 teddy bears are tucking into various treats. The cartoon-style illustrations are visually appealing and there are lots of points of interest in the picture to help you child figure out which piece fits where. The puzzle pieces are a nice thick durable cardboard, which are wipe clean in case of spills and easy for little hands to hold and manipulate into position. They fit together easily and the completed puzzle is lovely to look at.
I love the fact that after the puzzle has been put together, you can also use the picture as a educational tool and quite often I get my son to count the number of cherries on the cake, show me where the pineapple is, tell me the colour of the teapot or count the number of apples in the picture. He really enjoys doing this and it means that the puzzle doesn't go straight back into the box when it's been completed and we can appreciate the picture more than we would with other puzzles. The education guide on the box states that the puzzle has been designed to help encourage observation and language skills and I would say that this delivers on this aim.
I would agree with the age range that has been given. My 4 year old daughter has grown out of this puzzle so perhaps the upper age guide isn't that accurate, however my 2 year old son has just started to be interested in the puzzle and can complete it with help. As time goes on he will be able to do it more independently, but for a child who isn't yet two and a half he copes well with it and doesn't get bored because it doesn't take too long to complete. He obviously enjoys this activity because he is always picking up the box and thrusting it at me!
I think this is a great puzzle for those children who are moving on from wooden peg puzzles and onto proper ones. The picture is appealing, the product is durable and my child enjoys completing it, which let's face it, is the biggest recommendation of all!
Available from Amazon for £9.68.