Multicultural puzzles

These puzzles were ordered back in October. Since then they have gotten a lot of use. I see both plus and minus with them. Actually, there is more plus than minus, so in the end (if you don't want to go through my ramblings) I will recommend these items for a classroom.
First, the pictures on these puzzles are fabulous! The are bright, realistic (as they are photographs), and fun! The children a really drawn to them.
Next, the pieces are cut jigsaw fashion on thick wood, in a frame. This makes it durable and challenging! Those cardboard puzzles do not last long at all in a classroom environment. These pictures aren't even beginning to show signs of wear after 3 months of continuous use. Plus, the children who are ready for this challenge seem to really like it.
Now, the only minus I have for these puzzles is that the picture is also printed n the frame. This makes me wonder sometimes as the children are doing the puzzle if they are actually looking a the pieces or matching the pictures. Once I start moving a child to jigsaw puzzles, I want to know that they are looking at the pieces and what will match the piece already in place.
One tiny little minus (only because I don't know how it could be improved) is that the pieces don't fall apart easily. This is really because of the nature of the cut combined with the thick pieces. If the pieces were thinner, they wouldn't be durable, and I wouldn't be recommending this. However, the drawback of this is that some children can't take them apart easily and then they are more memorizing the placement when putting it into the frame. However, if they can't take it apart easily, are they really ready for a puzzle of this challenge level? Maybe they are.
This is a perfect puzzle for the 3 year old classroom because it does introduce the jigsaw concept of puzzles; however it still has easy pieces that a child can find the solution without having to match the pieces (rather they match the picture in the frame).

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