Over the last few weeks we have started collecting up some games from Orchard Toys after seeing a number of positive reviews and suggestions from a variety of sources and of course our own research, it seemed like a logical choice.
Once of the first games we ordered was this one Farm Opposites Matching Puzzles. The reasons were two-fold: 1) L has shown a huge interest and aptitude for Jigsaw Puzzles lately and 2) Opposites are an area in her language and communication she finds challenging; often saying up instead of down or warm instead of cold being two of the most common examples she mixes up.
Whilst the puzzle states it is Farm Opposites, that is only in the imagery, the words themselves cover a good range of opposites that present themselves most frequently in every day conversation. The above photo is approximately half of the puzzle. The pieces are a good size, large and easily manipulated by toddlers made from very robust card which will hold up to a lot of usage. I think these would be great for any childminder, nursery or school environment. Each piece is coloured and highly glossy with lovely colours and pictures to interest little people.
When I first presented the puzzle I did it much the same as I would in a Montessori 3 part lesson. I would take one piece of the puzzle and say “this is…” followed by “the opposite is…” then I would ask L “Can you show me…?” followed by “Which is…?”
We have done the puzzle a few times now and she is getting better at it every time and I have seen some improvement in her use of opposites in everyday conversation too.
We tend to do the puzzle in halves so it’s not too overwhelming. Sometimes she will do one lot and that is enough, often she chooses to continue and do the second half as well.
I think the Orchard range of games and activities are fantastic value for money and a really great resource for all home-educating families whatever your educational philosophy. We have purchased ours from Amazon mostly so far, but it’s always worth keeping an eye out in charity shops as well as we picked up a maths one for £1.50 which we will review at some point too!
All Orchard games seem to come in a beautiful little box that has a handle for easy carrying and sturdily made as well, which is refreshing as a lot of boxes are flimsy and cheap and get really bashed and ripped with lots of use. I think these will stand up to much wear and tear and keep the usable pieces inside well preserved.
Overall we rate this particular puzzle pretty high.
Ease of use 5/5
Value for Money 5/5