This was Elizabeth’s most successful tonsillectomy-recovery present:
Ravensburger Hello Kitty Hatbox Tin puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). She saw it when we were looking for something else, and she instantly wanted it. I balked at the price: why was it $14, when there are 100-piece Hello Kitty puzzles at Target for $3.99? I assumed the difference was in the tin (instead of a cheap cardboard box), and I didn’t want to spend so much money when I didn’t even know that she would LIKE to put together a puzzle.
So her loving aunt and uncle bought it for her, and I bought her a $4 one. And OH I SEE. No, it’s not the just the tin, it’s that the puzzle inside the tin is WAY better quality than the $4 one. Much larger overall size, and the pieces are thicker, glossier, sturdier, and fit together better. Furthermore, Elizabeth must have put it together twenty times that first week, and keeps bringing it out now to put it together again. And to my surprise, _I_ like doing the puzzle WITH her: it’s one of the few parent-child play activities I’ve found where I’m not suffering. When it started getting too easy for me, I did new things: only doing the pieces with no picture on them; only doing the trickiest parts and not peeking at the box while working on them; working on the puzzle while the picture was upside-down (as in, I saw the kitty face upside down, not as in the puzzle was face-down on the table); etc.
Where was I? Oh, yes: the surprising success of the puzzle. So now I’m looking for more puzzles in tins (100-piece is pretty much exactly her ability level), and wondering if “being in a tin” consistently means good things about the quality of the puzzle inside, or if it’s kind of hit-and-miss. At the very least, a tin means not having to try to figure out how to slice one of those cardboard ones open without destroying the box.
Mudpuppy Classic Cars puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). I showed a bunch of puzzles to my mom as I was searching (she’s keen on puzzles too, to do with the kids when they’re at her house) and she bought this one on the spot.
Mudpuppy Fun and Dance puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). I put this one on Elizabeth’s gift-ideas list.
Mudpuppy Dinosaurs puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). Henry struggles with 36-piece puzzles (let’s be frank: he’s not super fast with FOUR-piece puzzles), so I hope he still likes dinosaurs in a couple of years.
Hello Kitty Bake Shop or Mail Box (photo from Amazon.com). Another one I’m putting on the list of Christmas ideas.
Mudpuppy Royal Horses puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). Whoa (heh: unintentional wordplay, now intentionally left there), this one is half-off. I might order that one just to see if these puzzles ARE as good quality as the Ravensburger one. FOR SCIENCE.
Ravensburger Safari Friends puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). This one doesn’t appeal to Elizabeth and me as much as, say, Hello Kitty does, but because it’s Ravensburger I’d be inclined to trust it sight-unseen.