French toy makers, Janod, are a favourite in the fluxlings household. One toy that has been really popular is this very special world map. It’s a wooden puzzle that we’ve had for a couple of years. It was actually a birthday gift for fluxling #1 when she was four, and it’s been a firm favourite ever since.
The map is about a meter wide, on a wooden board that can hang on the wall. And the countries are all magnets that make a jigsaw on the board. The jigsaw is actually quite complex, but the continents are colour coded so that helps! Especially when it comes to the less familiar contries in Africa and Asia where even the adults take a little time to put it together.
The colours on this are wonderful. Plus the little details like famous landmarks on the pieces for each country and whales and boats in the sea around the magnetised continents are great. You can follow the trans-Siberian railway across Russia, and catch a Nar whale swimming in the Arctic Sea. Or you can track a gorilla in central Africa and explain why Chile is so long and thin!
So it’s educational, and provokes loads of questions, but also great fun. Plus it’s pretty rugged – ours has been played with loads and is still in great condition (and amazingly we still have all the pieces although we have had to hunt around a few times for the odd stray!).
If you want to spend some time figuring out with the kids where the Republic of Congo and Venezuela are, and get them to know the difference between all the circular pieces for Easter Island, Sri Lanka, Iceland and Taiwan this is a great investment piece.
The Magnetic World Map Wooden Puzzle by Janod is available for around £40. Available online – try www.borngifted.co.uk