Flags of the World

(Book and 300 piece Jigsaw), Price at time of blog post £9.99

As our puzzle pile is mounting I thought it was time that we review one, yesterday we broke out this bad boy and wow what a night we had. Usually with our Usborne jigsaws (we have a growing collection of 200-300 piece ones) we put a sixty minute timer on my phone and try and beat the clock, otherwise River ditches me after about ten minutes. I discovered the added thrill of the countdown motivates him thus allowing me almost a full hour to sit down. Parenting hacks, note that one.

Well there was no chance of the two of us getting this one done in sixty minutes, it would have been sixty days if I hadn’t called in back up. The friend drafted in for the challenge wasn’t under ten either, she’s over thirty with a winning record on a world flag app so I really brought in the big guns. This jigsaw is a serious challenge, do you know how many countries have stars or stripes on their flag? To my untrained eyes so many of them look the same it took a lot of focus, and tea, and biscuits for us to get to that celebratory high five.

As a family/friends activity it’s fab because collaboratively it’s a fun thing to do together and you can section off the board if you like some friendly competition. I’ll be honest we had no strategy. Other than start with the edges, everyone knows you always start jigsaws with the edges right? After that we weren’t making much progress until Kate took the wheel as team captain and propelled us forward. I bought this jigsaw as River is home with me all summer and I see this as his geography study schedule (along with our World Atlas and Jigsaw), if we can repeat this quite a few times and he can absorb the names of some of the countries and their flags that’s good enough for me. If I can do the same even better.

My highlight: The book. Oh the book. It’s so beautiful, it’s a Flags of the World colouring book, you match the drawings of emblems and flags to their sources and colour them as they should be, it also shows where in the world each country is, and do you know what? I didn’t even show it to my son it’s hidden away. Oh I’m a mean mum. I’m so relaxed in so many areas of life but I’m not gifting him the book until he enjoys sitting down and colouring, and does a proper job of it. Not just free-styling willy nilly, this book was made for better things. Don’t judge me, I was sat wishing for quality time alone with the jigsaw but I let two people play with me instead of keeping it for myself after hours so I deserve a gold star for sharing.

River’s highlight:  “I love the puzzle so much. It was a little bit hard but I love the Portugal flag because it’s my home, and the Ireland flag because Isabelle is from Ireland and I can speak Irish also so maybe I’m a little bit Irish.” For the record not a word of Irish can my child say but he loves to think he’s trilingual so let’s not kill the dream.

Our guest reviewer’s highlight: “I like jigsaws so I think it’s great, they’re just easier without a kid climbing all over your back.” Also said child practicing the long jump over the jigsaw and over our heads, that probably wasn’t conducive to the task at hand. To be honest it’s a miracle we didn’t quit but I’m proud that three of us completed the puzzle, that most children can do it alone in half the time isn’t something we’ll dwell on.

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