A few weeks ago I was asked to test toys for a company called ebeanstalk. They sent out a number of baby toys and toys for 1 year olds to toy experts (moms) for their review. While ebeanstalk picks great toys, they like to get some help from the real experts - moms - and we help them select great learning toys. The toy they sent was Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle from Melissa & Doug who makes lots of ">wooden toys.
My daughter, who will be two this weekend, loves puzzles. As in L-O-V-E-S them. So she was quite smitten with it the moment I took it out of the package. Even though assembling the puzzle was quite easy for her, I was able to ask her questions about the shapes and colors of the puzzle pieces to keep her interested for a bit longer than she would have been just putting it together. Additionally, my 3.5 year old son wanted in on the action. The puzzle is simple enough that he could easily participate in quizzing my daughter as well. It was more than adorable to hear him ask her, 'What color is this square, Lucy?'
We have an arsenal of puzzles in our house, and this one keeps pace with the other favorites in our collection. Which is pretty impressive to me, considering it doesn't make noises or anything like some of our others. I enjoy wooden toys in general, and I think Melissa & Doug makes some high quality products, though I would like to see more of them made in the USA. That said, the Melissa & Doug website does have a full section devoted to safety, with each individual item's general conformance certificate available for inspection.
Overall, I think this puzzle is fun and age appropriate for a one year old child. Its simplicity would make it an ideal puzzle for a first birthday gift.