The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Lauri® Puzzles and More Review by Diane Wheeler


One of my goals this summer was to put together a special box of "school time only" items for my busy three-year-old son. The favorite items in the box, by far, are the puzzles and toys from Lauri®.

I have always known Lauri® as the company that makes great rubber puzzles. They are quiet, colorful, washable and durable. Each Beginner Puzzle is designed for ages two to five and comes with five to 10 pieces. For ages three to six, each Early Learning Puzzle comes with 14 to 25 pieces. Then, for ages five and up, each Big Puzzle comes with 31 to 92 pieces. The variety is amazing: a queen's castle, a space shuttle, a police car, a mermaid, a dump truck, and a merry-go-round. With dozens more designs to choose from, there should be a favorite for everyone.

See-the-Difference Puzzles are uniquely effective! These puzzles help with reading readiness because small differences between pieces must be identified to put the puzzle together. If you have a child that struggles to differentiate between a "b" and a "d," playing with these puzzles could be a huge help. Instead of getting frustrated, they can learn to discern small differences between fish, butterflies, cars 'n trucks, and kids.

Lauri® offers to replace missing pieces. All you need to do is include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $.50 handling charge per piece. We have appreciated this service more than once.

Lauri® also has lacing and tracing sets, lacing puppet kits, pegboards and pegs, and several puzzles that help with alphabet and number recognition. Lacing and tracing sets include colorful, durable chipboard shapes that can be used for lacing with the enclosed laces, or used for tracing. Lacing activities help children develop fine-motor skills and strengthens the pincer grip, which helps with handwriting skills.

Pegboards and pegs are great for sorting, counting, and making fun designs. These pegboards are made out of the same colorful and durable rubber, and the pegs are easy to grasp. The pegs can also be stacked high for children that love to create skyscrapers out of whatever they can find. Some peg sets come with a plain board; others come with shapes. There are number puzzles with pegs as well. On one piece is the number, on the other piece is the corresponding number of pegs and holes. There are many other number puzzles that help build a foundation of number recognition and the meaning of numbers.

Alphabet puzzles are another Lauri® specialty. One fun product is called Avalanche of Letters. Coming in sets of 500 or 1,000 letters (and punctuation marks), this set allows your child to create names, sentences, and crossword puzzles, or leave secret messages for a sibling or friend.

These are only a few of the many products that Lauri® offers. On each page of their catalog are colorful, appealing learning opportunities for children ages two to 10. To contact them for a copy of their catalog, you may call them at 1-800-451-0520. For the Wheeler family, school will go smoother with a busy three-year-old playing with his special Lauri® puzzles and toys. Based on my older children's responses, I think he may have a great opportunity to learn to share, too. Thanks, Lauri®!

-- Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoohouse® Magazine