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High Quality, Durable, Oversized, Traditional Puzzle for Toddlers
The Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzle Review came into existence because I was looking for a way to introduce our 3 year old to a constructive childhood pastime of mine. As a kid I always wanted to be outside exploring and playing sports. Unfortunately for me the weather, allergies, cousins, and grandma didn’t always agree. When we needed to be inside for one reason or another we usually turned to crafts, puzzles, or when it was working the NES (original Nintendo). We all know how finicky that thing was. So when my cousins and I tired of blowing dust out of cartridges and wedging multiple cartridges into the housing we would turn to a puzzle or craft project we had going in the dining room.
In an attempt to at first delay and now limit the interaction our kids have with electronics and screen time I remembered my love for puzzles as an elementary school kid. We already had a few of the wooden board puzzles but those only required brief focus to complete. And the puzzles I remember from childhood would be much too small, complicated, and frustrating for a toddler.
Without much effort I discovered Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzles and ordered the 48 piece Construction Vehicles 2′ x 3′ puzzle. Upon delivery from Santa’s off season help, the mailman, our 3 year old was beyond pumped for his new puzzle. We opened it up, laid down on the floor, and went to work.
A bonding experience:
Initially he tried to put things together haphazardly based on shape alone, I assume because he could get by with this skill set on the board puzzles. With a little practice and some pointers from dad we were making progress and had the floor puzzle done in 10-15 minutes.
On repeat builds I have offered less and less assistance actually assembling it. Instead I just aim to help him organize his pieces by turning them right side up while sorting out corners, edge pieces, and distinct colors or patterns. Now I think of myself more as a frustration fireman giving little nudges or holding pieces that aren’t cooperating right with the carpet or his little hands. But occasionally he turns into a demanding job site foreman and tells me to build the frame, or the entire puzzle except for his favorite vehicles which he promptly pulls to the side saving for himself. I say this with love but he is quite possibly the worst boss I’ve ever worked for! We work better as co-workers than we do as boss and employee.
The Puzzle Itself:
Our Melissa and Doug Floor Puzzle looks exactly as described in the listing. The colors are crisp and the image is well adhered to the cardboard. The puzzle pieces themselves offer a solid tight fit and are thick enough to withstand young hands that get frustrated or don’t know their own strength. In addition, the glossy surface of the puzzle makes it easy to wipe off any residue from sticky toddler hands. We even had an incident where the 1 year old stumbled across a completed puzzle. During the incident the completed puzzle was obviously broken apart but all of the pieces survived the Babyzilla attack. Needless to say she received a tongue lashing from the 4 year old.
We all know that one of two things seems to happen when a toy or game package is opened for the first time. Either the contents expand, or the container shrinks. Regardless I can never return the package to its original form.
But that isn’t the case with this giant puzzle, you just toss all of the pieces back into the box and give it a couple shakes and the lid is able to fully close.
My only complaint about these puzzles is the added difficulty that a nice comfy carpet adds. We found that our living room carpet which has longer piles tends to get caught between puzzle pieces. Our solution is to move to the rug with a shorter pile or get out our city road play mat.
+ Develop fine motor skills for toddlers
+ Build problem solving and observation skills
+ Indoor pastime without electronics
+ Parent/child bonding time
+ Good evening quiet time activity before bed.
+ Pieces are large enough they are difficult to lose.
– Hard to complete on long pile carpet
– Gives the toddler something to defend from siblings
– One puzzle collection can become repetitive. We need to collect more versions like the ones listed below (many other options also exist) :
Ready to introduce puzzles to your little one or need an educational gift for a toddler? We got ours on Amazon. Thanks for using our links to help support our blog! If you enjoyed our Melissa & Doug Floor Puzzle Review be sure to Join Our Email list at the top of this page and Like us on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to be notified of future posts.