User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Colorful, fun, informative, and educational
The Bottom Line: This is an educational puzzle about all 50 states. This puzzle is very durable and a lot of fun!
Our daughter received this puzzle last year as a Christmas gift. She was 6 years old then and she still plays with it even at 7 years old. We didnt buy the Melissa and Doug US Map Puzzle ourselves but I have seen it at Toys R Us back in February when we were shopping for our sons birthday. The price that they had it for was between $15.00 and $20.00. It is actually worth the price for this puzzle. There is a lot to learn!
Recommend this product?
This puzzle is made of wood and so are all of the pieces. The puzzle board is a little bigger than other wooden puzzles. It measures approximately 12 inches by 18 inches. All of the puzzle pieces are in the shape of each state. The board itself is white and at the top of it in red lettering it says United States of America. At the top of the board, above Michigan and the Great Lakes, there is a picture of a ship. In the corner beside Maine is a picture of a lighthouse. Along the side of the board shows a picture of the Statue of Liberty and below that is a Rocket Ship beside Florida. On the other side of Florida, there is an alligator, and a man playing a trumpet underneath Louisiana.
The east coast states are green and heading toward the west, the states are the color of yellowish orange. There are even river details in the central US and mountain details in the west. Each state puzzle piece has the name of the state and underneath the state name it displays the state nickname. Some of the state pieces have pictures on them. Not all of them do. On the Texas piece it has a star, cowboy hat and cowboy boots. On the Nebraska piece it has a buffalo, Oregon has a bass jumping out of the water, Tennessee has a guitar, and California has the Golden Gate Bridge. There are some others that have pictures on them too. We are from Ohio and they dont have anything for the Buckeye State. My daughter said they should have put a buckeye on it. The Alaska piece has a polar bear on it and Hawaii has one of those sail boats on it.
There are blue areas showing the coast waters on both sides. All of the Great Lakes are shown on the board too. The smaller states have their names and nicknames on the board with lines pointing to them. A few of the puzzle pieces are actually 2 of the very small states. Like Vermont and New Hampshire. It is one piece but you still see both states on that piece. Some of these pieces are pretty small.
Even though this is a wooden puzzle, its definitely not just for younger kids. Our daughter is 7 years old and loves this puzzle. Im glad that it is made of wood because all the pieces continue looking nice. The back of the puzzle, underneath the pieces even give you the state motto, size, capital and the year it became a state! She knows where all the states are by looking at a map now. She remembers most of the nicknames and she knows some of the mottos. We were watching Jeopardy the other night and they had a category on states and she knew some of them. She got a kick out of it. We always try to answer when we watch Jeopardy and she was enthused that she knew something that we didnt or couldnt think of. Maybe I should play with this puzzle so that I can learn a thing or two!
She has a lot of fun putting this puzzle together too. It's not like the typical wooden puzzle for younger kids that have a spot for each piece on the board. You actually put it together lining the states up side by side, placing them in the correct places. It's not like a puzzle with farm animals and there is a cow and you just place it in the cow spot. This is a little more challenging for her because the pieces aren't shaped like jigsaw pieces, they are shaped like each state!
I love the look of this puzzle. It looks really neat and there is a lot of detail to it. Im glad that not every piece has an illustration though because I think that would take a little from it. The puzzle board and the pieces are glossy and if they need cleaned all you need to do is use a damp cloth to wipe it off if needed. This puzzle is very durable and will get a lot of use out of it. It lasts a long time and it stays looking nice!
The age recommendations for this puzzle is 5 years of age and older. I dont let our 2 year old son play with this one because some of the state pieces are pretty small. I think it would be okay for about 3-4 years old and up. As long as your child doesnt put anything in his/her mouth anymore. There is a lot to learn about the states and this puzzle is great!
Read all comments (2)
Amount Paid (US$): Gift
Type of Toy: Puzzle
Age Range of Child: Other