REVIEW: World Map from Orchard Toys

This challenging 150-piece geography puzzle is suitable for ages 5 to 10. It’s a brilliant way to help children learn about world geography. So often, children are familiar with the names of countries, but have little idea where they are in relation to others – or of the distances involved. Made to the high spec we have come to associate with Orchard Toys, this colourful map, which includes lots of small pictures, is on strong durable card and the pieces fit together well. It clearly displays the continents, which are colour-coded, and countries as well as showing local inhabitants, creatures and landmarks. There’s a lovely giant poster included too, which is a real asset and perfect for displaying in a child’s bedroom; it includes a keychart showing the icons that appear on the map.

Both the map and the poster offer almost endless possibilities for discussion and extending learning. Where do your friends come from? Which countries did the animals we saw at the zoo come from? Why is it dark in Australia when it’s daytime here? What language do they speak in this country? Jigsaws offer many more educational benefits too, including developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as well as observation and confidence; a big jigsaw like this is great to share too. It’s a jigsaw that will be used for many years, with parental help initially and then children will enjoy the satisfaction of doing it on their own and learning about the world at the same time. Why not make sure there’s an atlas on hand too? Buy from Orchard Toys.

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