Toy Review: Puzzles

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Puzzles are a great educational toy. There are a lot of different types of puzzles. Here are some that we have.

Peg Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jungle Friends (Safari) Jumbo Knob

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jungle Friends (Safari) Jumbo Knob

This is a great one for the younger crowd. The knobs on this puzzle are very large (relative to pegs), which makes it easy for little hands to grasp.
I would highly recommend this for children 18 months and younger. Melissa and Doug make these puzzles with barn animals, vehicles, shapes, water animals, pets, etc.

Melissa & Doug Farm Sound Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Farm Sound Puzzle
Peg puzzles are great for young children. These peg puzzles are great for your child as soon as she develops her pincher grasp. You can find these puzzles from all sorts of companies and with all sorts of themes. Something fun about this one from Melissa and Doug is that when you put the animal in the right spot, it makes the appropriate animal noise.

Chunky Puzzles
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Safari Chunky Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Safari Chunky Puzzle
We don’t own this yet, but are getting it for McKenna for Christmas so I thought I would tell you about it to take into consideration as you think about puzzles. The fun thing about these puzzles are that the animals can stand on their own for further play. I will let you know how the kids like it; I think it will be a hit.

Touch and Feel
Melissa & Doug Farm Touch and Feel Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Farm Touch and Feel Puzzle
This is one we don’t have, but I love the concept and wanted to make sure you know about it. Touch and feel puzzles! They sound fun.

Learning Puzzles
Melissa & Doug Shapes - Chunky PuzzleYou can find all sorts of puzzles to promote letter learning, numbers, shapes, hands, feet, etc. We have an alphabet puzzle made by Leap Frog. I can’t find it anywhere, so it might be discontinued. Most alphabet puzzles are quite similar.

Sound Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Fire Truck Sound Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Fire Truck Sound PuzzleMelissa and Doug also make a lot of sound puzzles. Brayden has this one. When you complete the puzzle, it makes the siren sound of a fire truck. We also have the farm peg puzzle listed above.

Cube Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Pets Cube Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Pets Cube Puzzle
I really like these puzzles. They don’t require fine motor skills so much as analytical skills. You can make several different pictures with the one puzzle. Your child has to look at small details to figure out which side of the cube goes to the puzzle he is trying to complete, and then where it goes.

Jigsaw Puzzles
Vehicles Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Box

Vehicles Jigsaw Puzzles in a Wooden Box
Thispuzzle is comes with four puzzles. The pieces all fit in the box and you can complete the puzzle on the lid. This is a great puzzle to take with you when you travel. We took ours with us one time when we went camping this summer, and I was glad we did. It rained and rained one morning and the kids did puzzles. Each picture has a certain shape on the back of its pieces, so you know which pieces go with which picture.

Prehistoric Sunset Puzzle by Melissa & Doug

Prehistoric Sunset Puzzle by Melissa & Doug
A nice thing about this typ eof 24 piece puzzle by Melissa and Doug is that it has a border around the edge. It is a great beginning jigsaw for your child. You can also get this style in 48 piece.

Melissa & Doug USA Map 51 pcs Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug USA Map 51 pcs Floor Puzzle
Floor puzzles are another fun aspect to puzzles.

Feel free to share puzzles you love!

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Becca
    November 9, 2010 / 6:36 PM

    I love puzzles! Luckily, so does my 2 year old! I thought I would add that there are foam puzzles that are great for traveling (they're light and can be taken as a hand carry). There are also the magnetic "puzzles" that work well. We have one for the 50 states. It came with a magnetic book to place each piece on. Oh and I also kept the empty magnetic sheet that held the pieces originally. Now Caleb goes back and forth from putting each state on the map and then back in its location on the sheet.

  2. Janice
    November 10, 2010 / 3:57 AM

    I'd like to add that I had a chunky puzzle or six and in addition to the animals standing up, they also make good stencils that can be colored in and decorated. Although you will get colored pencil, crayon, etc on them so you have to realize that of course.

  3. JenD
    November 10, 2010 / 1:16 PM

    We also have the Melissa and Doug farm sounds puzzle and my son LOVES it. You're probably better at picking up than me, but have you ever had the puzzle go off when you switch a light in the room on and off? We keep this puzzle in our room for while we're getting ready in the morning, and it's typical for us to hear "mooooo" each night when we turn off the lights to go to bed. So funny.

  4. Plowmanators
    November 17, 2010 / 7:31 PM

    Thanks for sharing that Becca! Great idea Janice. I am excited for the chunky puzzle. I think I like Christmas as much as the kids do :)JenD, our puzzles are in a closet, so we don't get that often. We actually don't get it at all with the barn puzzle, but do with the firetruck puzzle if you go in the closet and turn the light on at night. lol

  5. Nia
    June 23, 2011 / 2:05 AM

    My daughter loves puzzles and at young age of 2 1/2, she is very good at it. I think puzzles are the best way to get them to starting thinking. This is a great compilation of puzzle toys, the map puzzle will be next on my list.

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