RECOMMENDED AGE: 6 - 10
SKILLS: GEOGRAPHY, MAP SKILLS
The world map puzzle by Melissa and Doug is a large puzzle with 33 pieces.
It indicates the names of the continents.
Great first geography puzzle.
Melissa and Doug World Map Puzzle review
This puzzle is designed for children ages 6 to 10 according to the manufacturer but in our view it is more for ages 5-8. Being two feet by three feet, it is quite large. It is also relatively easy to put together. It contains 33 pieces which are jumbo sized (easy for little hands). The pieces are thick and sturdy which means that this puzzle can last you for a long time (great if you have other kids).
By putting the puzzle together, children learn the geography of the world. The puzzle indicates the names of the continents. It also shows you what kind of animals live in each of the continents. Children acquire some map skills by learning to locate the continents.
There are a few downsides though with this puzzle. The puzzle doesn't indicate the names of the countries. But being designed for children as young as 6 years old, some would argue that a first step is to learn the continents. You can play with you kid and ask him or her to locate the United States, England, China, etc once the puzzle is completed.
Another drawback is that the large pieces don't lock in place like traditional puzzles. The pieces fit with each other but don't lock. Maybe Melissa and Doug thought that in this way it would be easier for younger children to quickly put together. The puzzle still remains a great learning tool and kids can have fun putting the large pieces together on the floor or on a large table.
As your child grows older you can move to more complicated puzzles with more pieces. By the way, we recommend the USA map puzzle
which contains 5 pieces (not by Melissa and Doug). Visit also our page in our guide related to map puzzles