Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Nativity 3 - Dude Wheres my Donkey family puzzle by Falcon Deluxe puzzles

We here at Bloggomy Towers love a good puzzle and with the Christmas holidays giving us endless hours of family time we took the challenge of completing the Nativity 3 Family Puzzle.

Nativity 3 - Dudes Where's My Donkey Family Puzzle 
Now for a start the description 'family puzzle' really doesn't give much away in regards to what to expect. Yes families can spend time grappling over the last edge piece or squirreling away the red pieces to shout with a satisfying "got it!" as the last piece is slotted into place, but it really refers to the size of the pieces themselves.

Something I have not seen in a jigsaw before was the 615 pieces that made up the Nativity 3 picture were, in my opinion, ingeniously designed for literally all the family to be able to get involved.  All the pieces were all able to fit together but were differing in size.

Puzzle contents - varying sized pieces for all the family
Divided into (for ease of description) 'big' pieces for smaller hands and those younger children not so used to puzzles (or Aunty Agnes that's forgotten her glasses or Uncle Harry that's had a sherry trifle too many) 'middle' pieces for those slightly older children or newcomers to the joys of jigsaws and finally 'small' or average size pieces for those that have done a puzzle or twelve.

So of course we started of with the biggest of pieces which also meant that 'Little Man' at 4 years old could join in and make a contribution to the picture.  He really enjoyed being able to be a part of the action and to be honest, apart from puzzles I have bought for him to complete, I have never encouraged him to get involved with a more grown up jigsaw before.  

Usually the thought of 4 children of differing ages and abilities when it came to puzzles trying to complete one together makes me quietly shudder.  The arguments over who had what piece first and all that malarkey is not what makes me jump for joy but I think if there were more designs out on the market with the same differing sized pieces design I would be tempted to buy them as it really did make the world of difference.  The older children (aged 13 and 15 years) were leaving the large pieces to their youngest sibling to slot together with their help whilst they pieced together the smaller pieces.

 So we were getting the hang of this multi-sized puzzle lark now!  Big pieces went together quickly as you would expect...

I really liked how large pieces connected to middle and then smaller pieces incredibly well.  I thought there may not be the crisp connection you get with same sized pieces but it was impressive.  Middle sized pieces were slightly more taxing than the large pieces but still we were getting on well and all the Nativity 3 characters bar the 3 main ones were now pieced together.  Then we hit the 'wall'.

In order to complete the puzzle you are left with not only the smallest jigsaw pieces but also only 3 characters and more white areas than I've seen on a frosty morning!  This made things a lot more difficult as you were now relying on just trying to twist and turn each remaining piece until you found the right one to fit the gaps... I was left by now with just 'the only girl in the family' aged 15 years determined to see it through to the last piece.  The younger boys came over for a look but apart from picking up the odd bit, turning it round, trying a few puzzle holes and giving up we were on our own.

After much 'ooohhhing and arrrring' over the few pieces remaining we finally got there.  About 4 to 5 hours to complete in total with the white areas getting us scratching our heads and wanting to just give up (but no where's the fun in that?!) 

Good fun for a large variety of ages and abilities.  Will definitely be keeping a look out for other designs in the future.