My daughter has just started school, and despite the fact that she is only doing mornings at the moment – she comes home extremely tired and grumpy. If I let her she would watch television for the rest of the afternoon every day – but I obviously don’t want her to do that regularly.
Once she starts doing full school days in just over a week, I know she is going to be even more exhausted, at least for a little while – at this age they still do a lot of running around and playing at school so she is using up a lot of energy. Then there’s that bit of time every school day, before dinner – when she is super tired – that needs filling, especially when the weather is rubbish and we can’t be outside.
So when I was asked if I would like to review a jigsaw from leading British wooden jigsaw maker, Wentworth Wooden puzzles – as they have great calming and mindful effects for children – I thought that could be a great idea for something for us to do together sometimes after school.
My mum has always really enjoyed doing a jigsaw, but I’ll be honest – it’s not generally how I’d choose to spend my time. I think it’s mostly because I’m not very good at relaxing anymore, so I would just expect to sit there thinking about what else I could be doing. However, despite choosing this jigsaw for A and I to do together, I have actually really enjoyed doing it alone, and as I was doing it I suddenly realised that I was actually finding it really relaxing and enjoyable, which was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t realise how many benefits Jigsaw puzzles have for both adults and children (you can read more about them here), but it seems like they are something I should do more often!
I decided on the ‘Norah’s Ark Jigsaw Puzzle‘ (which I did read as Noah’s Ark for a while) because it looked liked there were lots of interesting things to look at and talk about with Ava, and plus she loves animals. It comes in a box with the jigsaw image on the outside as you’d expect, and then inside is a lovely drawstring bag to keep the pieces extra safe.
This puzzle is designed for ages 5-7, and it is reasonably complicated – mainly because it is a bit different to most jigsaws in that it has edge pieces that just fit in by a corner or a point so you don’t straight away realise it is an edge piece, and it contains a few ‘whimsy’ pieces shaped to reflect the theme – this one has a teddy bear and aeroplane shaped pieces as well as others. It makes it a lot more interesting for an adult to do with a child, and we can’t just fit all the pieces together easily straight away ourselves!
It’s a really beautiful, high-quality jigsaw that is so fun to do. There is so much to spot and discuss as there is so much going on in every piece, and the bright colours and different types of animals make it very appealing for kids, whilst still being fun for adults.
At four and a half Ava can’t do this on her own yet – she would lose patience too quickly, and it is just too hard for her right now. I think it probably would still be difficult for five and six year olds too, but I could be wrong. That’s actually a good thing to me though – I don’t get bored after two seconds, and she loves finding where a piece I give to her goes and spotting different animals once it is complete.
As something to sit and do together after a long day at school, it is perfect. It is calming for her but keeps her occupied for a while. It helps her with learning and it makes me feel better that she isn’t just sitting and watching tv until dinnertime.
It costs £27 for the 100 piece jigsaw which we have, which clearly isn’t cheap, but this is a really lovely wooden jigsaw that will last a really long time – it’s not the flimsy cardboard that most puzzles are made of that kids can bend really easily. You can also get the same lovely ‘Norah’s Ark’ puzzle in much bigger sizes for adults.
Wentworth Wooden Puzzles do a really lovely range of jigsaw puzzles for children including some great educational ones to help with letters, numbers and learning where places are in the world, as well as Christmas themed ones. I’d really like to get the ‘I Know My World Map’ jigsaw for Ava so we can talk about where places are together. Some of my fondest memories with my Dad from when I was little were learning where places were on a globe and learning my capital cities, and I used to be so proud that I knew them at a young age! So I’d love to do the same thing with Ava.
Do you enjoy doing jigsaws? If you have kids do you do puzzles together much?
We were sent a Jigsaw from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.