- User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Great, high quality puzzle, 6 different animals to make
Cons:A little complicated for younger kids
The Bottom Line: A great puzzle with a lot of options, you just need to be prepared to help smaller kids
My kids love doing puzzles, so my wife and I are always on the lookout for new and interesting ones that might interest them. While we generally prefer to find ones that are easy enough for the kids to do on their own, we also want to challenge them to by not making them too simple. That is one of the reasons I wasn’t a huge fan of the Toy Story 3 puzzle we had gotten them for Christmas last year, as it was too simple for any real reusable value. We might have gone to the other extreme when we got the Melissa & Doug Farm Cube Puzzle.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Melissa & Doug is an American company that is well known for their wooden puzzles and educational toys. Whenever the kids have a school book sale flyer that includes toys, you can bet the toys come from Melissa & Doug. They are especially good with their wooden puzzles, which range from basic knob puzzles to puzzles that actually make noise or light up when finished. We prefer the wooden puzzles to the traditional cardboard puzzle, as our 3 year old has a tendency to bend and wear out the puzzle pieces too quickly if they aren’t wooden.
This puzzle is actually six puzzles in one, which gives it added value. It is a cube puzzle, meaning that each piece is a 6-sided cube rather than a traditional puzzle piece. There are 16 cubes in all, and when put in the proper order with the proper sides up, they make 6 individual puzzles. When completed, they make following images:
A duck and duckling
The cubes themselves are very solid, almost to the point where you need to be careful that they aren’t used as a weapon (when my youngest gets angry, I’ve seen him launch these things all over the room). When the puzzles are completed, they are about 8” by 8”, and the puzzle set comes with a handy wood tray that you can use to help assemble the puzzle, as well as to keep the pieces together when the puzzle isn’t being used.
While the puzzle is a lot of fun, it is a bit too complicated for younger children. My 3-year-old is very advanced, but he and my 6-year-old son need help completing this puzzle every time. While the border of each picture is a slightly different color to give a hint as to which side of the cube to use, it isn’t of any assistance with the middle pieces. Also, the positioning of the animals can make it difficult to tell which animal you are making (the legs/hoofs of the cow and the horse in particular can be difficult to distinguish).
Still, all in all, I would consider this to be one of the better puzzles we have in the current rotation. Admittedly, it might be a little difficult for your young ones to do on their own, but it makes for great bonding time doing the puzzle together. It’s interesting enough to keep parents excited with the six different variations available, and it is a well made product. I’d definitely recommend it, though you might want to find something simpler if you are looking for a puzzle for your kids to do on their own.
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Amount Paid (US$): 10.00
Type of Toy: Puzzle
Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years