Orchard Toys Look And Find Puzzle Review

Ahh man! I have been terrible at posting daily this week. The half term holidays caught up with me (I was doing so well!) and cabin fever set in. We’ve spent the last few days playing outside, avoiding the TV and laptop. It was sunny outside though… and we had fun! I can certainly feel that Spring is just around the corner. How exciting!

So, Board Game Week has turned into ‘Board Game Whenever-I-Can-Post’ Days. After nearly 6 years of blogging, you would have thought that I would be better at time management. Anyways, Shall we continue?

Orchard Toys are a well known games brand in our house. The kids have a few epic games from Orchard Toys (Veg Patch Match, Shopping List, Tell The Time- to name a few) on the shelf, but we recently discovered the wonderful Look And Find puzzle range by Orchard Toys. How exciting!

What’s in the box?

Firstly, the box looks amazing! It’s bright and colourful and catches the eye of any curious toddler. The illustrations are just adorable!

Inside the box was 2 fun puzzles to complete. Each puzzle is just 10 pieces, so is a nice and easy puzzle for young children. The aim of this product is for both puzzles to be completed together. Lay the puzzles next to each other and discuss what can be seen between the 2 puzzles. We took our time spotting all of the matching illustrations and then I played eye-spy with simple phonics. When complete, the puzzles measure approximately 21cm x 30cm.

I really like that there is no extra packaging within the box. It’s just the puzzle pieces- that’s it! No nasty plastic to open and throw in the bin, unlike most puzzles available to buy these days. The box and puzzle pieces are made from a thick cardboard, so totally recyclable (not that you would want to bin this fabulous little puzzle) and has no lasting effect on the planet.

Who’s it for?

The Look And Find puzzles are aimed at children aged 3+, but my 2 year old surprised me greatly and played very well with the puzzle. I know that she enjoys puzzles at nursery, but rarely does she ever ask to play with one at home. I sat with her and helped her get the jist of the puzzle. We discussed how she needed to divide up the puzzle pieces by colour, as there are 2 puzzles to complete. I then helped her (just a little) to put the puzzles together. She didn’t take long to get it and once her confidence was built, she managed perfectly well on her own.

My other daughter who is 4 years old has loved this puzzle lots too. In fact, it seems to have been in constant use for the last 4 days. She’s played with it much more than my 2 year old has. I think 4 years is the perfect age to be playing with this kind of puzzle. She has even requested another one for her birthday, which in a few months time!

Why play with puzzles?

There are lots of benefits to playing with puzzles at such a young age. Taking time to sit with your child and put a puzzle together is not only a load of fun for you both but you will be seriously helping their mental and physical development. Here are just a few reasons why puzzles are great for preschoolers:

  • Help with their hand-eye coordination skills
  • Boost shape sorting abilities
  • Develops memory and problem solving skills
  • Gets you talking and developing your child’s speech
  • Encourages observational skills
  • Gets children understanding pattern recognition
  • Teaches patience
  • It’s the perfect time to bond!

Final thoughts

I really think that Orchard Toys have excelled in creating puzzles for preschoolers. The box is a good size, not too big nor small. The illustrations are beautiful, clear and eye-catching too. The puzzle pieces are made of a strong thick card, made to withstand the rough and tough play of toddlerhood. The concept itself, of 2 puzzles that can be put together and talked about is such a wonderful idea. Honestly, I cannot think of one negative point about this Look And Find puzzle! Well done Orchard Toys, you’ve created yet another amazing product.

There are 4 all-new puzzles in the Look And Find range, each with an RRP of £8.00. They are available to buy directly from the Orchard Toys website– along with lots of other fun and addictive games for the whole family!

** I have been gifted this puzzle from the lovely people at Orchard Toys, in exchange for this honest review. All opinions made are my own.**

The Fight Against Counterfeit Toys In The UK

UK toy sales decreased in 2017 by 2.8% falling to £3.4bn. This is a rather shocking fact considering how the UK population has grown, the digital age feeds toy advertising and toys no longer can just be bought in shops but now online too. So why has this decrease in sales happened? There are a few factors that have contributed to the dip in the sales market, including underperforming licenses, the impact of Brexit and the ever growing concern of counterfeit toys. This shocking information has come from the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) and the NPD Group.

The announcement was made at the 65th Toy Fair in London on Tuesday 23rd of January 2018. Despite the small decline in sales, the UK still has the largest toy market in Europe. It is estimated that 10-12% of toys sold were counterfeit, meaning a £400m loss to the industry.

Don’t purchase counterfeit toys!

There are huge safety concerns. The plastics used to make the toys can contain harmful chemicals, they could be brittle and break easily causing harm to your child, and dyes used can be toxic. This dangerous cocktail can cause injury, cancers and even death to your children. Please don’t take the risk. Why save a few pounds when your child can be in serious danger?

Some of the top toys that were faked in 2017 included the popular Fingerlings, L.O.L Surprise and Hatchimals. Many of the fakes available online and even in stores, look exactly like the real things. Do your research and buy from reputable suppliers. If you’re unsure of the stockist AVOID. Once upon a time, parents would find counterfeit toys on UK market stalls and carboot sales, but now fraudsters can easily sell online from around the world and even use popular sites such as Amazon and Ebay.

Are you about to purchase a fake?

  • Is your toy suspiciously cheap? If the price is too good to be true, you’re probably about to buy a fake.
  • Look to see where your toy is being shipped from. If the toys are being shipped from overseas (China being a popular place for fakes to be created) check that the supplier is legit.
  • Is the seller a reputable company? Try to only purchase toys from well know suppliers such as Toys R Us, Smyths or other well known highstreet shops and websites.
  • Does the toy and packaging look good quality? Many fakes may look just like the real deal, but compare images of the genuine product to what you are about to buy. Counterfeits are often smaller or larger than the original, colours are off and even the packaging can look cheap and flimsy.
  • Don’t trust positive feedback. Many online buying sites have feedback pages. These reviews can be faked and some fraudsters even hire people to leave fake positive feedback!

Natasha Crooks, Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the BTHA said “We are disappointed but not surprised by the contradiction of the market from 2016’s exceptional performance. The increasing breadth and depth of counterfeit toys is a real concern, with over £400m worth of sales being lost to the industry, as well as theft to companies from the theft of innovative design.” Counterfeits were seized in their tens of thousands in 2017, but the issue is still a huge concern.

If you suspect counterfeit toys are being sold by someone you know, or there is a stockist that you are aware of, the easiest and most efficient thing that you can do is call your local trading standards, or by calling ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040.

*** Please do share this post, to help fight the war against dangerous counterfeit toys manufacturers ***