Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Smile! It’s A Sloth Selfie!

Who can resist a cute family of cuddly sloths?  When I asked the family if they’d like to review the Sloth Selfie puzzle from Ravensburger, they all gave a thumbs-up and so they were watching for the post person to deliver a package with a distinctive rattle to it.
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Our family loves to work on puzzles; either individually or together (or both at the same time), which is why I actually sorted the centre pieces from the edge pieces in the box while sitting at the desk while Kallista finished off another puzzle on the Puzzle Handy before I could use it.

It took her a little longer than expected to finish…or maybe I was just working a little fast and being impatient, so I put together the edges in long lines inside the box lid, and then began putting the bright blue butterflies together on the desk top.  The butterflies were easy to spot and certainly gave the puzzle some brightness and light against the fur and greenery.
Now Kallista was done and stored her puzzle away and I moved the butterflies to the little table to spread out and really get to work.

After the kids went to bed I wasn’t feeling like heading off to work as I had been very busy with my nose to the grindstone over the weekend so I hung around and Phil and I watched some TV reruns and worked on the puzzle together.  Phil did a great job of working on the tree trunk that the sloths were clinging to.
Monday came around all too quickly and I needed a break from the monotony of laundry between wrestling with the loads so I worked on the puzzle intermittently with the kids throughout the day as we all worked on the greenery and the brighter parts of the sloth fur.

As you can see, the last part of this puzzle that was completed were the centres of the little sloth faces.  There were 5 little faces that were all very similar and you couldn’t quite tell where each one would fit until it did fit.

After 24 hours, the puzzle was completed!  We did wait until the next morning with better light for Tristan to want to snap a selfie with the sloths!
The next time you’re looking for a little uplift and light in your life, just try not to smile when you have 5 little smiling sloths grinning up at you!  This puzzle is cute enough to use some puzzle conserver on it and then hang it in a child’s room so it can be enjoyed.

Take To The Skies; It’s a Great Day To Fly With Ravensburger

You’ve been cleared for takeoff and you can now Take To The Skies with this fun puzzle from Ravensburger!  When the opportunity to review this puzzle came up, we were very enthusiastic about it as there are some aviation lovers in the family; and it also makes a great Father’s Day gift, if you’re looking for something to keep Dad busy!

I personally dedicated this particular puzzle to my friend, Bob, a pilot who lost his life while flying a few weeks ago.  Coincidentally, I found out that the day we began this puzzle his ashes were scattered.  Bob always had a kind word and a bit of humour for me, and so I thought of him as this was constructed.

Phil and the kids have made it a family tradition to attend the two air shows each summer here in Northern Ireland, not missing a show in the past 8 years!  I don’t always go, but do enjoy it when I am able to go along as well; and just as an airshow only lasts a weekend, that’s all the time it took us to complete this puzzle, too!  I started with the frame before heading to bed on Monday.

Tuesday morning I found a little time again to sit and begin putting together the remainder of the frame that was three pieces deep around the edges of the puzzle.  Then I began working on some of the aircraft.  The mustard yellow was distinctive, the hot air balloons were colourful easy to place, as well as the remote control planes and the biplane and rescue helicopters.
Because there were so many objects with distinctive colours and patterns, these were quite easy to put together and formed a good portion of the picture.  I was on a roll!

Tuesday afternoon the kids sat down to help as well to take a break from school.  They were helping with some of the sky and grass in this picture, and they did quite a good job; as they get a little older you can notice their skills increase.  Puzzles are a great way to exercise those visual-perception skills! Kallista had a great strategy of actually matching up the shadows cast on the grass and finding the pieces in the picture and then clicking them in on the puzzle itself.
You can see back on the sofa is a page that was included in this box that has puzzle picture on it so you don’t have to crane your neck upside down to view the photo on the box top that is inevitably used to hold the pieces.  I love when those are included!
How many of these aircraft can you identify?

By Wednesday morning most of the puzzle had been completed and I continued to work on the sky while the kids prepared their questions for an interview they had with a member of our police force; perhaps I’ll share a little of that experience another day.
To escape the heat of the day (May was the hottest May on record-wasn’t it great?!) the kids hopped indoors and completed the puzzle themselves.

Yes, my kids can be a bit crazy at times, and insisted on hamming it up while I was taking a photo of the finished puzzle!  But we all need to be a little crazy at times and enjoy life when the skies are clear as you never know when the clouds will make an appearance, so Take To The Skies and enjoy life!

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Ravensburger Jurassic World XXL100 jigsaw puzzle

The second Jurassic World film (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) comes out at the beginning of June and to celebrate comes this new jigsaw from Ravensburger.
As you might have noticed, my son loves a dinosaur – almost as much as he loves a jigsaw puzzle in fact – so having the two combined could only mean one thing; the perfect birthday present.
Jurassic World Dinosaur Jigsaw puzzle 100 piece
My daughter (aged 4.5) tested it out on her brother’s behalf!
Each of the 100 pieces are over an inch squared so still fairly easy to handle despite being for older children.
It is very similar to the Disney Princess puzzle reviewed here but obviously with a very different image. This one shows a variety of angry dinosaurs including the t-rex, triceratops, probably a velociraptor, some of those flying pterodactyl ones and OH I DON’T KNOW I am no good at identifying dinosaurs. Ask my soon-to-be three-year-old, he’d probably know.
Here’s a picture. If you have a small child, they might know (ten points to you if you can identify them all):

The puzzle itself is of course made from strong, premium-grade cardboard and it measures 49 x 36 cm when put together.

What we liked about the Ravensburger Jurassic XXL100 Jigsaw Puzzle

The design is brilliant and he’s going to love it; I imagine because of the colours it’s going to be a bit more challenging for him to put together but this is a good thing as it might last longer than ten minutes!

As we have come to expect from Ravensburger children’s puzzles, the jigsaw pieces are thick and slot into place very easily without having to force or bend and it can be put together and pulled apart many times without the pieces becoming damaged.

It all fits back into the box for storage.
It would make a great gift for a dinosaur mad child of 4-7 although if your younger child is like mine and can’t be satisfied by an age-appropriate jigsaw then this might just be the level to go for; bonus points if they happen to be a dinosaur fiend. I’m sure my youngest is going to love it!

The Ravensburger Jurassic World XXL100 Jigsaw Puzzle has an RRP of £7.99 and can be bought from good toy shops or via Amazon using this affiliate link.
For more information, visit the Ravensburger website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger is a fantastic creation that doubles up as a pen pot once built.  The 108 piece puzzle is made from plastic pieces and also has a few plastic templates to help hold the shoe in place.
As soon as I showed the 10yr old, she was straight onto building this.  The style and theme appealed to her and she loved the idea she could keep it on her desk afterward full of her pens and pencils.
The pieces slotted together with ease and she was able to assemble this without any assistance.  In fact it didn’t take long at all,  I left her to it whilst I did some housework, came back to take some photos and she was just putting the final pieces in.
We are really impressed with the look of this and it stands really well and sturdily.  We’ve had admiring comments from those that have visited too.  As with other Ravensburger products we have tried, the standard is great and it looks good.  I really love the fact that it is useable too.  My boy tried some other puzzles from Ravensburger previously that have turned into useful storage items to so if you know any minion fans, then check out these 3D Minion puzzles too.
Back to the Union Jack sneaker puzzle and I’ll finish off by saying that we love it and would recommend it to anyone that loves their puzzles, loves the Union Jack image and loves a sneaker (my girl lives in them!).
This is a puzzle that can if you want to take apart and build again but for us, it’s found a new home on my daughters desk and is now crammed full of her favourite pens!

Monday, 21 May 2018

The Empire Strikes Back: Star Wars Puzzle

My husband and children might be what you could easily call Star Wars fanatics…they watch the movies countless times and even dress up in costumes for the occasions; and not just at home, either – oh no – they’ve been spotted pretty much everywhere from the library to the seafront in character (the children dress up in public, not Phil…that I know of).  So when Ravensburger asked if we’d be interested in reviewing The Empire Strikes Back Star Wars Puzzle from Collection 2, I knew that if I wanted to keep the peace in the family, I had better put a request in for this 1000 piece puzzle.
The Empire Stikes Back Star Wars Puzzle at Castle View Academy
The puzzle was sent out to us, but it missed the hyperspace lane as it took a detour in the post, but it did eventually fly onto our doorstep, which made for some happy space-hoppers.
Castle View Academy homeschool loves Star Wars!
Kallista and I knew this package was on the way, but Tristan didn’t know what was inside.  He was a little surprised, to say the least, and this was one puzzle he was keen to work on.  Tristan started on it immediately; finishing up his school work in record time to get started!
Phil doesn’t always work on the puzzles with us, but  when the right one comes along, he will work on it until it’s done, and this was one of them.  I don’t have as many photos as I might usually as Phil would work on the puzzle in the evenings while I was working; and I didn’t want to have my post filled with photos of him in his pjs…even if he does own a Star Wars onesie.
Castle View Academy homeschool works on a Ravensburger Star Wars puzzle
On more than one occasion I had to ban Phil from putting together any more of the puzzle so that I could get a picture of it….just one more piece…I’m just working on this area…. such determination he has when he sets his mind on it!  If only I could get him to use this Force for good 😉
After the frame of the Star Wars puzzle was done, the faces of the characters were the next to be completed; Luke, Chewbacca, and Lando, and the Millenium Falcon, as well, of course.
Then came Boba Fett, one of Phil’s favourites in his (first) childhood.
Tristan and Kallista tried to sneak in during the day while Phil was at work and click a few pieces of the puzzle together.
A Star Wars puzzle is a family gathering at Castle View Academy homeschol
Before I knew it the puzzle had been completed!  Everyone gathered around to have their photo taken along with their accomplishment.
It’s been a long time since Phil and Tristan have worked so hard on a puzzle, and it was good to see their minds at work on something other than creating 3D graphics on the PC of…you guessed it – every Star Wars ship ever conceived.
Yes, indeed, there is a puzzle for everyone, just call up the Force to help you hone in on their interests and put their engineering and spacial relations brain modes into gear.
Castle View Academy has finished the Star Wars Puzzle

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Royal Family are all over the news at the moment, aren’t they?  Firstly with the recent arrival of little Prince Louis and then with the imminent wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle which takes place in May.  I thought I’d carry the theme on today as I’ve recently completed the What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger.

What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
The What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger is the sixteenth puzzle in the What If? series.  With these puzzles you aren’t recreating the puzzle as you see it on the box, the dream, you are puzzling the reality.  In this instance, we can see the bride’s idea of her dream champagne wedding reception, set in a fancy hotel, with an a la carte menu any every dressed up for the occasion.
Little does the poor bride know that her bridegroom has a very different vision of what the perfect wedding reception should be.  Your job is to uncover exactly what that reality is.
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
First time around I didn’t have a wedding reception as such, I got married in Mauritius and we didn’t take anyone with us.  We just had a celebration party when we got back with nothing formal other than a cake a friend had made for us.  The second time around I actually got married in a church, we had a hotel reception but we didn’t want the traditional top table layout, as my partner had just lost his father.  But one this was for sure, we were on the same page when it came to the overall vision of the event.
I think Id have been as livid as this bride if it had turned out the way her’s clearly did.  The notice board for the Rundown on Sea Social Club quickly gave me some idea of the scene I was creating, along with some of the speeches.  Things weren’t quite in the same league as her vision.
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
Whilst the What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger is aimed at jigsaw puzzle fans aged 12 years and over, my 8-year-old son loves the whole idea of making a puzzle without knowing what the finished image will be.  He’s getting very good at placing pieces for me and it’s a good way to get him to really concentrate on a task.
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
He was even more intrigued when it looked like Queen Elizabeth I had been invited to the event.
Grab a drink with us or have something to eat. It would be amazing to see you both
There is so much humour in this puzzle and you do have to wonder how long this particular marriage will last with such different views on perfection!
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
If you’ve not completed one of these puzzles before I would recommend putting the box to one side, and pretty much ignoring it.  Make up the edges as you normally would and then pick out words and features and piece the puzzle together that way.  It will all start to come together and then look back to the box to see how each character has changed.
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
This puzzle has been a lot of fun to complete, I’ve enjoyed watching the story unfold and trying to work out who is now wearing what, as well as seeing what the guests are eating and drinking.  It would not have been my dream, that’s for sure!
What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger
I’ve included my Amazon affiliate link below in case you fancy trying out the What If? No 16 The Wedding 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger for yourself.  We give it a big thumbs up here.