Guidecraft Puzzles Review

Ever since my boys were young they have been intrigued by puzzles, add in an educational twist to the puzzles and you have a perfect fit of two  happy boys and one extremely satisfied Guidecraft Educator blogger.

This month we had the opportunity to review an array of wooden puzzles:

Shape and Color Sorter:

Children will love sorting and matching the 9 chunky shapes to their matching locations on the Shape and Color Sorter. Large pieces are easy to grasp and feature rounded corners and edges. Develops fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 9.5″W x 9.5″D x 1.25″H

Retails for $25.00

 

Sun Sorter:

Explore patterns, fractals, shape-sorting and sequencing. Features 12 wooden pieces and circular tray. Can be used with the tray or as an independent shape and color-matching
manipulative. Develops fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 7″ Dia. x 1.25″H

Retails for $25.00

 

One to Four Sorter:

Sixteen large pieces to help build early counting and sorting skills. Matching shapes to the coordinating pegs reinforces early learning math and counting activities. Develops fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC
aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 12.75″W x 3.25″D x 2.5″H

Retails for $25.00

 

Fraction Cups:

Four fun wooden cups with 10 large wooden pieces help teach fractions. Explore whole, half, third and quarter concepts. Develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 3.25″D x 2.75″H each

Retails for $25.00

 

Fraction Pairs:

Explore fractions, shapes and patterns with the Fraction Pairs. Eight chunky pieces are perfect for little hands, with a matching sorting tray. Develops fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 6.5″W x 6.5″D x 2.5″H

Retails for $25.00

 

Gradient Sorter:

Nesting wooden pieces stack to create unique shapes: circle, square, oval and triangle. Teaches color and shape-sorting skills and reinforces hand-eye coordination. Includes 12 beautiful shapes and wooden tray.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes.
Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 6.5″W x 6.5″D x 3″H

Retails for $30.00

 

Fraction Action Board:

Children explore sorting, sequencing and fraction skills with the Fraction Action Board. Reinforces shape-recognition and color-matching and develops fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Includes 18 large pieces and the storage tray.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 9.5″W x 9.5″D x 1.25″H

Retails for $25.00

 

My take:  I am going to break this review into three parts:  the mom perspective, the physical therapist perspective and the teacher perspective (with help from teachers that have graciously helped me).

Mom perspective:  As a mom of two rambunctious boys the first thing I look for is quality…is the product going to withstand the daily abuse my boys dole out?  Is it worth the money?  It it something that will be played with more than a couple of times?  Without a doubt every single one of these puzzles is craftsmanship at its best.  The puzzles are sturdy, well made, colorful with muted soothing colors and well worth the money.  Each piece has been dropped, thrown, and yes I will admit kicked and trampled on several times and continues to look brand new.  I also love the eco-friendly aspect of these puzzles…made from rubberwood, a renewable resource and colored with eco-friendly low VOC aniline dyes.

Physical therapist perspective:  Oh how these puzzles make me sing for joy as a physical therapist.  I observe the skills of:  fine motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, and manipulation/dexterity of fingers excitedly grabbing for puzzle pieces of various shapes and sizes.  I love watching the intense concentration of my 3 year old’s face as he works to make each piece fit.  I beam with pride at the dexterity of my 5 year old swiftly stacking pieces.

Teacher aspect:  I have been so appreciative of the fact that I have been able to share the generosity of Guidecraft with my youngest son’s daycare and my older son’s school.  As much as I love these puzzles I can’t selfishly keep them only for my children.  Some of the higher level thinking puzzles (fraction, gradient) will go to the kindergarten/1st grade classes and the shape and color sorter puzzle will find its way to daycare once my youngest stops playing with it daily.

Just yesterday I had a discussion with a kindergarten teacher about how helpful the fraction puzzles would be to kindergartners….for them to be able to see the differences between 1/2 and 1/3 and 1/4 literally allows for that light bulb of understanding to be turned on.  As for the younger children…identifying colors, shapes and sizes is so very beneficial.

Want to win all of these wonderful puzzles??

One lucky reader has the chance to win the entire set of Guidecraft puzzles reviewed above by visiting a fellow Guidecraft Educator’s blog at Teach Preschool, so visit to enter!

Check back next month for my newest review of Guidecraft!

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I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.

I did receive product or services to keep for my testing purposes as part of the Guidecraft Educators