Melissa & Doug Fish Bowl Jumbo Knob Puzzle is a Great Marine Creature Starter Puzzle
Durable, bright, colorful, images under puzzle pieces, good first words
None, although crabby & sea turtle are more ocean-loving creatures (not fish bowl!)
The Bottom Line:
This is a great first puzzle for little ones - interesting and educational!
At my daughter's first birthday party, one of our favorite gifts was the Melissa & Doug House Pets puzzle. It is very simple, bright, fun, easy for little hands to use, and educational. Soon we added the Fish Bowl puzzle to the collection as well!
"A cute fishbowl with three happy residents for puzzle play. This extra thick 3-piece wooden puzzle includes a fish, a turtle and a crab, each with jumbo wooden knobs for easy grasping. Full-color, matching pictures appear underneath each piece. A great activity to encourage hand-eye and visual perception skills." (MelissaandDoug.com)
The Melissa & Doug Fish Bowl Puzzle
This puzzle is a fairly large wooden board, with three removable "marine animal" shapes (crab, sea turtle, fish), in what looks like a fish bowl. I found this puzzle at a consignment shop (still in the wrapper) for under $10, and it sells on MelissaAndDoug.com for $9.99. The puzzle measures 1.7" x 12" x 12.5" and is recommended for ages 1+.
Right off the bat, I feel like this is a good quality toy. I'm kind of sick of plastic toys, and Melissa & Doug seems like a good brand for wooden toys, but also a generally overall good quality. Despite the rough behavior this puzzle is put through (smacking the pieces around, stomping on the puzzle, throwing pieces, etc), this toy has endured a lot but still looks great.
I love the bright colors on this puzzle, which are eye-catching and appealing. The three animals are different colors and contrast eachother but all go together. I also like the choice of sea creatures, as the three chosen for this puzzle were among the first sea animals that I tried to teach my daughter (as I think to all the bath toys we have!). Especially since "fish" and "crab" are great one-syllable words to learn, and because my daughter learned "turtle" so quickly. Now sea turtle is something we are still working on, but I really like this puzzle nonetheless.
The great thing about this puzzle compared to a lot of others that I have bought, is that the picture is on the board under the puzzle piece, not just on the puzzle piece itself. I think it is what set it aside from other puzzles and makes it a great first puzzle that my daughter was actually able to learn from.
Lastly, the large knobs are definitely a great feature for little hands. There are so many puzzles that have tiny little knobs, but this one has nice, big, rounded knobs that are easy to grab and even rotate as my toddler tries to rotate the pieces into the correct spots. She also likes to bash the pieces together like cymbals :)
This is a fantastic, ideal first puzzle for little ones. I really enjoyed the house pets puzzle first because it is probably more relatable for babies-toddlers than a fish bowl, but I would definitely recommend both. The fish bowl is a great way to add some more words to your child's vocabulary, work on puzzle skills, and to have fun! With a background in marine sciences, I really enjoy sharing this puzzle with my toddler.
Melissa & Doug: http://www.MelissaAndDoug.com