Thursday, 12 April 2012


E has been into puzzles for a couple of months now.
All sorts of puzzles.  From shapes to vehicules, with knobs or knob less, he just loves to fit the pieces together over and over again.

When I choose toys and material for my children to use, I always try as much as possible to use beautiful items that are gentle for our environment, and also safe to play with.  These are discussion we are having a lot right now with X.

We have had loads of Melissa and Doug puzzle, and although well thought, they are of poor quality.  The paint chips easily, and they are still being produced in China.

In an attempt to find new puzzles for E to play with, I found this:

It is called "The First Jigsaw Puzzle Square" by Young mind at play
It is a hand made wooden puzzle made of hardwood and finished with food grade beeswax and oil.

The quality is outstanding.  The pieces are big and chunky and very nice to manipulate.  I love the various colours of the wood they used for the pieces.

E obviously like to touch and make this puzzle over and over again.  And I think that one of the reasons it is not getting tired of it is because the pieces can fit together differently!

and so creating simple patterns ad shape is possible.

Since the pieces are interlocking rather then just made to fit into a pre cut shape, it really does train some other movements of the hand.

instead of just sliding the piece until it enters the hole, now he has to lift the piece and fit it one onto the other.  Loads of fine motor skills.

I really love finding (and sharing about)  products that fits all our criteria of protection of environment, and also development for the child.  This one, while not cheap, totally does, and I can see that it will stay on E's shelves for a while.


  1. Thanks so much for posting about these! I share your frustration with the Melissa & Doug puzzles. Great concepts, not-so-great construction. On top of that, our small dog finds the M&D puzzle pieces irresistible, so they're not lasting long at our house.

  2. Thank you for sharing this great and totally new to me puzzle. It looks wonderful. I'm totally in love with it!

  3. Awesome puzzles. I am a frequent customer of
    Jeff's. His work is awesome!

  4. Thank you ladies, I am glad you are loving it too.
    I am really pleased with this company: their philosophy, their work, it just fits for us.

  5. Have just discovered your blog from somewhere, I don't even remember where, and wow! what a great blog. I've been thinking of various aspects of Montessori for a while now, and I love the idea of a free child and a natural, child-led upbringing. I have 3 (7,4, and 7 months). So glad to find this blog :)

  6. I would help if you write the age of your children on each post? Gives me a better idea when you started using this.

    Anyways, I'm looking for puzzles right now and wondering if you have other recommendations. My son already knows how to interlock because we have train tracks out for our 4+ yrs old daughter. I'm looking for something really simple design but more pieces.