I do love doing jigsaws, but because the amount of time that I have to do them is quite limited, I also like trying out something different. I remember my brother enjoying 3D jigsaw puzzles when we were younger, and so when I was offered the chance to try the 3D Taj Mahal puzzle from Ravensburger I thought it would be a fun challenge, and also something that I could involve Harry in.
The Taj Mahal puzzle has 216 pieces and has a RRP of £35.39. When I opened the box I was quite surprised, as there didn't seem to be that many traditional jigsaw pieces inside! Quite a lot of the structure is formed from shaped plastic pieces that slot together, with only the central building and dome being formed from actual puzzle pieces. There is an instruction booklet that takes you through all the steps, and the parts are packaged individually so simple to identify.
I was a bit daunted at first, but quickly worked out what to do. The instructions were easy to follow, and because the design is symmetrical it doesn't matter which way some of the pieces go in.
The puzzle pieces themselves are made of strong plastic and they click together nicely. Some of the pieces are hinged, so you need to fold them to bend around the corners. Each piece is numbered on the back, and then arrows show you the order that you need to put the pieces together in. This makes it very easy to assemble. To be honest, this puzzle was more like putting together a model kit than doing a jigsaw. I think it would be possible to complete the puzzle without looking at the numbers, although I did find that sometimes the wrong pieces fitted together so you'd need to be careful.
I sorted out the pieces into the correct numerical order, and then Harry (5) pieced them together. He absolutely loved this, his number recognition is good enough to be able to follow through the numbers, and he was so pleased that he was able to complete it all by himself. It was a fantastic project for us to work on together.
When assembled the finished model is lovely to look at, and a nice way to appreciate the symmetry and design of the Taj Mahal. It came apart easily too, and the box is only the same size as a normal jigsaw puzzle box so it doesn't take up too much storage space.
Although the puzzle is aimed at builders aged 12 and older, I think that a younger child could easily manage the puzzle with a bit of adult help. Some of the parts are a bit fiddly to slot into place, particularly the hinged pieces, but the actual putting together of the jigsaw pieces is quite straightforward. I do think that an adult puzzler would probably find the puzzle very easy and quick to complete, unless of course they attempted it without using the numbers and the instructions!
Harry certainly has the bug now, and I can see that we'll be trying out a few more 3D jigsaw puzzles together.
Review by Jennifer's Little World
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