Monday, 5 October 2015

Clangers Jigsaw Puzzle Review

We love the Clangers in our house, so when Ez was offered the chance to review two Clangers Jigsaws from Ravensburger, our answer was obviously, ‘yes please’!

The two jigsaws that arrived were a large, 24 piece floor puzzle and a box with 4 different puzzles in the box, with varying difficulty levels.

Ez chose the smaller puzzles first and together we worked our way through them from easiest (12 pieces) to hardest (24 pieces).

The pictures on the puzzles are lovely and the cardboard they’re printed on is nice and sturdy.

The only problem was it was a bit hard to work out which piece belonged to which puzzle.  To solve this I wrote either A, B, C or D on the back so Ez could make the puzzles on his own without needing my help.

Then it was time to tackle the floor puzzle.  Something must have clicked in Ez’s brain because he made this one over and over again without any help at all.

He really enjoyed pointing out his favourite characters and talking about what they were all doing.

The pieces were nice and chunky in his hands and he had no trouble manipulating them and fitting it all together.

Ezra was so proud of himself after making this and even told the girls at pre-school the next morning!

Both jigsaws are aimed at ages 3 and up and use the Premium Soft Click Technology that makes it easy for little fingers to fit the pieces together.

All the puzzles are packed with lots of details to make finding matching pieces easy for children and the colourful pictures are enticing.

I love the way the ‘4in a box’ puzzle set increases in difficulty meaning that Ex (age 3) and Annie (age 6) can each make puzzles at the same time without one being bored, or confused by the difficulty level.

Both these jigsaw puzzles were a huge success with Ez, and Annie, and have been played with a lot since they arrived.

Review by Snowingindoors

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A day with Grandma and Grandad

We were recently sent this fantastic set of two puzzles - A day with Grandma and Grandad, from Ravensburger.

Youngsters always enjoy spending time with their grandparents, and Trevor Mitchell's paintings perfectly capture the fun shared on an idyllic day with Grandma and Grandad. These jigsaws depict a bright and sunny summer's day and our happy family members are enjoying repairing a push bike, washing the Morris Minor Traveller and just generally being out of doors. Later in the day everyone gathers in the kitchen, baking biscuits for tea. These colourful and detailed scenes will conjure up happy thoughts and memories for families everywhere. Puzzles come with a double-sided full colour leaflet showing the puzzle pictures for reference, and including artist's biography.

This puzzle has been added to our collection of fantastic Ravensburger puzzles, As I have said before we are a puzzle mad family!

A day with grandma and grandad comprises of two 500 piece puzzles.

I think this puzzle would make a lovely gift or pastime for grandparents everywhere!

As always the puzzle pieces are incredibly sturdy and are the premium puzzle soft click technology.

Inside the box is a leaflet showing the artist's biography and additional puzzle pictures for reference.

Each puzzle measures 49.3x36.2cm when complete and has linen-finish print to help prevent glare on puzzle picture.

Recommended age of 8 years plus.

This fabulous family fun puzzle is available to buy on Amazon for £10.87.

Review by Beth Bear 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Santa's Final Preparations, Limited Edition, 1000pc

Every year Ravensburger release a special Christmas themed limited edition puzzle and this year is the 19th edition. 

The jigsaw puzzle shows Santa as he and Mrs Claus are making their final preparations for Christmas. Along with the lists of countless items to be delivered to the right places, the elves must also finish wrapping the last few presents.

As can be expected from a Ravensburger jigsaws the pieces fit together really nicely and the image is just excellent.

Overall this is a delightful  jigsaw to do with the family, on your own, or perfect as a present for the upcoming festive season.

Monday, 7 September 2015

What if? no 11 Elizabeth & Raleigh

I make no secret of the fact that I love jigsaw puzzles, and as a history lover, being able to mix both interests occasionally, goes down very well.  Add in a bit of comedy and uncertainty and I knew I was going to enjoy the challenge of the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle from Ravensburger.
What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle
The What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle was my first experience of the What If? range although I have tried puzzles in this vein before.  Basically, you aren’t making the picture as shown on the box, you are making ‘what might happen next’.
As with all Ravensburger puzzles, the quality of the pieces and the graphics is excellent. You can use the clues on the front and base of the box to help you, or like me, go it alone!
I enjoyed the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle. I find it easiest with this sort of puzzle to only occasionally refer to the box picture for inspiration and just figure it out as I go along.  With this particular puzzle the overall layout doesn’t change too much, so it would be great for someone trying a What If? puzzle for the first time.  It was fun, but wasn’t the most challenging version I’ve tried.
Spoiler alert coming up – don’t look at the following photograph unless you want to cheat!
I did like the finished picture, wouldn’t history have been different if this had really happened!
What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle
Priced at £11.99 the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle is going to be a hit with any jigsaw fan.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Ravensburger Educational Games

We have been having lots of fun recently thanks to a lovely set of educational games sent to us from Ravensburger for review. They are perfect for Cody as they are aimed at pre schoolers, all 4 are available to buy from Amazon for the price of £6.99 per game, they are great for some summer learning.
The ABC Game is great for learning the alphabet and letter recognition. The set contains all 26 letters of the alphabet, each card splits in 2 one side has a letter and the other an object relating to that letter. The cards are good quality and self correcting, so can only be put in the right way.
There are 4 options of play dependant on how many children are playing. Mr C is a solitary player so he loves the matching game option, simply match up the letters with the object it belongs to. You can also play a version of go fish, where players ask each other if they have particular cards to enable them to make pairs.
Next up is My First Clock which is aimed at 4-9 year olds, so its great for my older children who are learning to tell the time. The set contains 1 clock with moving hands and 27 different clock cards, one side of the card has a digital clock and the other side a standard clock face. Its a great game for becoming familiar with telling the time and a really fun way to learn.
There are 3 play options available with the set, The Whole Day which is learning about the clock and the hours of the day, this is perfect for Mr C's age who are just starting out. The next is setting the clock where the children take it in turns to pick a clock card and set the hands on the big clock to match. The last is fast time which is to recognize the time as quickly as you can. Choose one person to set a time on the clock and then show it to the others, the quickest correct answer is the winner.
 The Ready, Set, Count game helps children to discover the numbers 1-10 while having fun playing. They can learn to count on their own and how numbers can be represented in the form of dots on a die, written and on fingers. The set comes with 10 picture cards, 10 die cards, 10 number cards and 10 finger cards.
 You can play this game with just 1 child by shuffling the card and spreading them out face up, one at a time choose a card and find the corresponding matching pieces. For 2-4 players you can shuffle the picture cards and give each player 3 cards and play the same way but taking turns.
My First Words is great for a child who is already familiar with the alphabet and is ready for the more complex task of learning to spell. The set comes with 16 word cards and 64 corresponding letter cards.
Mr C really enjoyed this the most out of all of the games as he really enjoys spelling. We chose 3 of the words cards and the corresponding letters and mixed them all up. He then had to match them all up, the pieces all slot together really easily and Mr C played this continually for 30 minutes!!
We love all 4 of the puzzles and they have been an essential part of our routine during the shocking weather we have had this summer. I think for the price of £6 each they are great learning tools and even better is the children are too busy having fun to realise they are learning to.
Review by Raising the Rainbows 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Ravensburger Puzzle Review – Happy Days Tenby

Ravensburger recently sent me one of their puzzles to review. It has been about 12 years since I last tackled a puzzle with more than 50 pieces and didn’t have a Disney Princess on it. This puzzle was a huge 1000 pieces and was entitled ‘Happy Days Tenby’.
The puzzle is part of the Happy Days series from Ravensburger, and the painting of Tenby’s famous harbour is by artist Kevin Walsh. I love the picture as there is so much detail and colour to it. Which is a good thing when you are tackling a puzzle.
First thing we had to decide was where to actually do the puzzle. I didn’t really want to do it on the dining room table, so we borrowed a large folding table from my mum. I must admit it was the perfect size, and meant we could tackle the puzzle from the comfort of the sofa.
photo 2 (74)
On opening the box the actual pieces are contained in a sealed bag. There is also a leaflet giving some information on the artist, plus an additional picture of the scene. This is a must when 2 people are tackling the puzzle together. Upon realising the enormity of the challenge, I quickly set to work. Obviously I started with the outer pieces, and then worked on the different colour houses, boats and then the hardest bits which were the sky and the sea.
photo 3 (51)
The puzzle was well crafted, and thankfully all 1000 pieces were there. I started on the Thursday evening and the final piece was put in on Monday morning. Husband actually thought it would take me weeks to finish it, but I proved him wrong and did it in a few days. Despite not touching a puzzle for all those years, I really enjoyed doing it. I found it relaxing, and kept my hands busy in the evenings. Which is a good thing because if your hands are busy they keep out of the biscuit tin ! And above all a sense of achievement. A sense of achievement that the whole family shared, as husband and the kids got involved too.
photo 1 (74)
photo 2 (75)
photo 5 (35)
I will definitely not leave it another 12 years before tackling another puzzle. Thank you to Ravensburger for supplying the puzzle for the purpose of this review.

Monday, 17 August 2015


The Artist
We admire the work of self taught, photo manipulation artist, Aimee Stewart. Stewart uses digital painting and photo image editing techniques to produce imaginative designs. The artwork used to produce these puzzles is detailed and colourful. The colours are rich, bold and bright, and the composition of her artwork is striking because of this. Stewart’s style and what she can achieve artistically fits the Ravensburger brand very well.

Fairytale Fantasia
Tiny little magical creatures and characters from a fantasy/fairy tale world, hence the puzzle title, sit around large books on four rows of book shelves which are topped with a mystical night sky. Among the Antiquarian bound books with titles written on the book spines, many with cursive writing, there are worldly wonders from land, sea and sky featuring. These will slowly be revealed as you piece together the jigsaw. The theme is an enchanted, mythical version of the world, and, much of those beloved, traditional storytelling elements from our childhood memories are there too. A red haired girl in a long, gossamer dress tied at the waist with a green ribbon has climbed the library ladder and is making a selection from the top shelf. This puzzle is quite challenging to do, and the difficulty level is high. The artwork is jam packed with detail and the strong primary colours have only slight variations so it is hard to ‘get your eye in’ to start with and difficult to find all those little scenes within the large one. Starting, as always, with the edge bits in place as a frame, and then singling out all the book titles was the best way to organize a way to go forward with it. We found it useful to have a second picture available as two worked together on the puzzle to complete. Nearing the end however, it was easy to pin point pieces because the colour and design is almost in squared sections of pattern because of the nature of composition, and so, following inspection using the picture as a guide, it was possible to drop upon pieces relatively quickly.
Gloriously vintage
IMG_3408 copy
Glorious Vintage
This jigsaw is deceptively rather difficult to execute, so will be challenging, which is kind of the idea for an enthusiastic compiler. Beautiful artwork with colour tones that are muted and more blending, rather than colours being bold and sharp and easily identifiable. Present once again is the minutest and tiniest of exquisite detailing packed in four shelves, rectangular blocks or bands -with the first band along the bottom being a floor setting and the top band having a sky backdrop and the two middle strips having objects packed into room settings, it is all very unusual, but is true Aimee Stewart in artistic style. Lots of wine bottles, and glasses, jars, and other pouring vessels, plenty of fruits and vines; little figures in vintage clothing, b/w photography. The feel is vintage, fashionable, whimsical and enchanting.
The Product
Anyone who knows Ravensburger will know their puzzles are premium. These boxed puzzles both have 1000 well engineered cardboard and precision cut pieces inside – (materials responsibly sourced). Also included is a leaflet with the Artist biography and a further picture for reference in every box. This jigsaw is rectangular on completion. Not suitable for children under 36 months (small pieces). From 12 years to adult. RRP £11.99