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"Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
Arthur C. Clarke

Earlier this month the whole world was astonished to see the first picture of the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. It is 55 million light-years away from Earth. It is an exciting and scary sight.

In the last few weeks galaxies and stars were pretty much on my mind, as I was working on a new stunning Map of the Universe 1500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger.



If you enjoy challenging jigsaw puzzles, this is one fiendish puzzle, and I say that as a compliment.
It took me many days to complete, and when the last piece of puzzle was slotted in, I felt like celebrating.



This is an amazingly detailed image of the Universe, with galaxies, solar system, stars and constellations.



The colour palette is restricted, there is a lot of black, with small fonts and thin-line images.


Typically I start with finding the frame pieces, and once the frame is established I build inwards.
With this puzzle, I found it quite tricky to begin with the frame, as the pieces were all black.

My tips would be to start sorting by whatever jigsaw pieces with colour you can find, and assemble the bigger wheel with months in it.

This is the work in progress:


Then it's the turn of the inner circles. Gradually build in the corners with the Spectra, Galaxies, Stars and Solar System.


It might help if you have a knowledge of the map of the Universe, and move the pieces to their approximate locations (I'm not one of those clever people, alas).

The fonts for names vary, some are easier to read, some need a magnifying glass to read (I got one in the Poundland).



Like all Ravensburger puzzles, this jigsaw puzzle is made from strong premium grade cardboard, with linen finish to minimise glare on puzzle image.

The drawings of the constellations are beautifully executed.
My younger son and I are reading Greek Myths at the moment, and he was interested to see the names of the characters like Hercules, Orion, Pegasus, Centaurus, Andromeda etc.


This puzzle could be a great educational tool.


The attention to detail is astonishing. It's a true work of art.

This beautiful puzzle will make an excellent gift for any jigsaw puzzle fan. Work on it on your own, or as a family project, and learn about the mysteries and beauty of the Universe.


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When Daisy and I are home for the day I like to plan lots of activities to keep her happy. Typically we will watch a film, complete some crafts and play with a puzzle or two. This Peppa Pig Puzzle, with 35 pieces, is ideal for children aged 3+. This is a little bit of a challenge for Daisy, as she has only just turned 3, but I have great fun joining in with her. The scene depicted on the puzzle shows the Peppa Pig family sitting around the table together. Daisy was SO happy when she completed it for the first time and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet!
Puzzles are great for the whole family, and I love that they don’t take up lots of space either. If you’re a fan of keeping your home as clutter-free as possible, like me, then you can pop the puzzle pieces into a ziplock bag and store them like that.
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Spring is arriving, and the days are getting longer.  We’re shaking off the cobwebs and starting fresh.  But of course, there’s always time for a good puzzle!  Last week we were working on Crazy Cats Vintage – Knit One, Purrl One between some spring cleaning and other things we’re catching up on.  Kallista thought this puzzle was so cute, and indeed it is!
Ravensburger kindly sent us a copy of Crazy Cats Vintage – Knit One, Purrl One, to put together and review.  It’s a 500 piece puzzle, so it’s a quick one to do, compared to a 1000 piece puzzle.  We’ve done these in a morning before, but this time we took our time, but it still went together very quickly!
I started by spending 30 minutes dividing the pieces into frame and centre and building the frame while dinner was in the oven and the kids were finishing up their homework.  I love using our Puzzle Handy because it outlines where the frames for both 500 and 1,000 piece puzzles go, which is very…handy!
The first areas of this cute crazy cats puzzle to stand out and be pieced together first was the bit teal sign at the top of the puzzle, “knit one purrl one” (we love puns here, so we found the plays on words on the posters within the puzzle funny).  The balls of wool on the floor and the blue chair were obvious areas to do, as was the birdcage – watch out blue tits, that black and white cat has its eye on you!
The soft vintage colours of this puzzle are appealing, and the little details in the picture are fun to see as they’re put together.  Amusing signs, crazy eyes, sneaky cats, colourful balls of yarn; everywhere you look, there’s something going on.
I couldn’t resist putting a few crazy cats together while Phil was putting our date night dinner together and we settled in to watch a movie.  I had to stop – not because of the movie, but because I needed to take a photo but the evening light wasn’t agreeable so I had to wait until morning!
Sunday I hid myself away to work, but joined the family for a lovely roast dinner and a family movie and again, I snuck in a few pieces when no one was looking!  Now I was working on the wool cabinets.
Monday morning the kids and I went out for a walk, and on the way home, a black and white cat came to say hello to Kallista, as it often does.  It’s a bit like the cat with the red mitten in this puzzle.  Then closer to home, another cat greeted her, this one more akin to the brown cat on the top of the shelves in the left of the puzzle.
After we were home and settled again, Kallista joined me to finish off the puzzle.  I had to move fast to grab the camera before she had it completed!
The completion of puzzles are always bitter-sweet.  The satisfaction of finishing a puzzle and the sadness of not having it to do any more at the same time.
Crazy Cats Vintage – Knit One, Purrl One 500pc Jigsaw Puzzle is available through fine retail stores and Amazon.

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During our weekend at Butlin’s, Squidge and his cousin Bear needed some quiet activities to do as well as all the racing around, swimming, messy play and digging. One of the activities we took with us was the Ravensburger Farmyard Friends Puzzle. suitable for 18 months and over, it is perfect for them to work on at ages 2 and 3.
Each of these 2-piece puzzles features a different farm animal. The set includes a pig, cow, chicken, sheep, goat, horse, duck, dog and cat. The colourful puzzles are made from super-thick, double laminated card and are presented within themed frames.

The puzzles can be used in conjunction with the frames too, making them three-piece puzzles and allowing children to match the animals to their frames. Each frame theme is linked to the animal in the jigsaw, creating talking points around the theme choice. For example, does the carrot frame go with the horse, or is it the frame with hay around it? Talk about what the options are and why, and then give your chosen frame a try!
For Squidge, learning around the puzzles were based on naming the animal and identifying the sound it makes. Squidge loves this kind of game and he had a lot of fun playing at being all the different animals. Unfortunately, monkeys don’t tend to feature on farms and they’re his favourite, so Ravensburger – how about a matching Jungle Friends Puzzle!
Each puzzle measures 18 x 10cm when complete, so the pieces aren’t fiddly for little hands. Rather, they are perfectly and ergonomically designed for toddlers to be able to piece the puzzles together easily and add the frames on their own too.
The RRP for the Ravensburger Farmyard Friends Puzzle is £9.99, though Ravensburger is selling it on Amazonfor less at the moment.
Squidge really enjoyed these puzzles and I think I’ll build on his enthusiasm by creating a farm themed tuff spot this week.
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Price: £13.99
Age Range: 12 years+
Manufacturer’s Description: The story of Dumbo, the circus elephant, was created in 1941 and is one of Disney’s shortest full-length films. Here the cute elephant with the huge ears is enjoying a lovely bubble bath, watched over by his only friend, Timothy Q Mouse.
Rating:  (5/5 stars)
Review: With the live-action adaptation of Dumbo in the cinemas, it is the perfect time to get nostalgic about the original, created in 1941, and still one of the best classic Disney movies. This jigsaw is a lovely celebration of Dumbo and is a really enjoyable puzzle.
The jigsaw is packed in an attractive Collector’s Edition box – Ravensburger have released a whole selection of jigsaws in the Disney collection, and they all look beautiful.
I started by sorted out the edge pieces as per normal, and fitting them together on this puzzle is certainly a challenge, as it is all blue with stars! I liked the extra challenge this presented, as it made the puzzle a little more difficult than it would be otherwise. 
The finished puzzle shows a scene from the classic film, with Dumbo enjoying a bath while Timothy Q Mouse looks on. Further scenes from the full-length cartoon are featured on a section of film strip at the top of the design, which is a really lovely touch.
I really enjoyed putting this puzzle together; it is a really lovely scene from the film, and it is a colourful and attractive image. As is pretty standard for the 1000 piece size, the finished puzzle measures 70 x 50cm when complete. 
I have come to expect a high quality of jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger, and this puzzle doesn’t disappoint – the linen finish really cuts down on glare, especially in bright sunlight – and the cardboard is sturdy. None of the pieces had to be pulled apart, they were all well cut, and the ‘soft click technology’ ensures you know that you have the right pieces when you fit them in place.
The other classic films featured in the Disney collection are Little Mermaid, Jungle Book, Cinderella, Fantasia, Peter Pan, Bambi, Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, and Snow White. Each of the puzzles has a ‘hidden Mickey’ somewhere in the illustration – can you spot the Dumbo one below?
Five stars for this beautiful puzzle.
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We at Family Clan really do love Ravensburger. Having reviewed a number of their puzzles in the past, each new puzzle that we receive is always fantastic quality and as good as the last.
When asked to review this My First Puzzles – Mothers and Babies puzzle we said yes, as we knew that Jensen would love this!
My First Puzzles – Mothers and Babies from Ravensburger contains 6 different animal puzzles that each have 2 pieces.
Jensen took a big instant liking to these puzzles, although he is nearly one, the puzzle is suited for 18 months. But I know that starting him at this age will do no harm at all and will be great for his development.
The bright colours are a big hit for this age and he couldn’t wait to explore.
Each of these 2-piece puzzles is cut to a unique shape and shows a different mother and her baby.
The “baby” puzzle pieces lift out from their mothers’ tummy area, and can be placed back inside when required, allowing children to match the mother and her baby.
The animals in the puzzles are duck & duckling, cow & calf, dog & puppy, sheep & lamb, cat & kitten, pig & piglet.
The puzzles are made from super-thick, double laminated card and are presented within different coloured frames.
These simple puzzles are ideal for youngsters aged 18 months upwards. Made from strong premium grade cardboard, with linen finish print to minimise glare on puzzle image.
We have reviewed other Ravensburger Jigsaws:
MORE ABOUT RAVENSBURGER
Ravensburger also have over 100 years’ worth of experience in the manufacture of puzzles. Not only do they make the best selection of puzzles, but also pride themselves on having the highest quality.
Individual pieces are stamped with such precision that a quiet “click” can be heard when one piece is inserted in the other – this phenomenon is so unique that they have given it its own name ‘Soft click Technology.’
The puzzles are made using unique punching templates and punching tools, which are hand-crafted with watchmaker precision to ensure the greatest possible accuracy and variety of the puzzle pieces.
OUR THOUGHTS
My First Mothers and Babies Puzzle from Ravensburger is aimed at children aged 18 months and over, Logan has really enjoyed showing Jensen how to do these puzzles and watching them bond together has been lovely.
You can find this puzzle on Amazon.
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"Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places."
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

I grew up in a big city. We always lived in flats, so having a garden of our own was out of the question. Until I was 14 we lived in a ground floor apartment, with a big yard and a front garden shared by all the flats. My Mum used to plant flowers and shrubs under our windows. I loved the smell of lilac in late spring, wafting in my room, when I was sitting by the window, doing homework.
My Mum has green fingers, and always grows lots of flowers and vegetables on her balcony. And now that we live in a house with a big garden, she loves to visit and work in our garden.
Right now my garden is full of hyacinths of all colours, as planted by Mum last autumn when she stayed with us.

Our garden is beautiful, but not as tidy and orderly as the one in Gardening World - Spring 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger.
This garden is immaculate.


The garden scene in the puzzle is truly idyllic. A couple are working in unison, tending to the vegetable patch. (If only my vegetable patch was as neat. And I'd love that cold frame too!)

The dog is watching its owners with great interest.


The garden around the vegetable garden is full of trees in bloom and flowers.


The birds are busily working on the bird feeder.


The round pergola would provide a good cover against the strong sun and the rain. Imagine having tea and enjoying a book there, listening to the bird song and smelling all the scents of the garden.


The attention to detail in this puzzle is striking.


This beautiful puzzle measures 70x50cm when complete, and is suitable for ages 12+.


Like all Ravensburger puzzles, this jigsaw puzzle is made from strong premium grade cardboard, with a linen finish to minimise glare on puzzle image.


This colourful puzzle will make a lovely gift to a garden-loving friend or family member. If there's a lady in your life, who enjoys puzzles, this could be a wonderful gift for Mother's Day.
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This half term, we have been busy by piecing the Ravensburger 3D Children’s World Map Globe. This is a 180-piece 3D puzzle ball featuring beautifully illustrated animals on the world map and comes in a rotation stand. It is suitable for aged seven and above.
We are no strangers to Ravensburger 3D puzzles! In fact, over the years we have pieced many of these Easy Click Technology range of puzzles!
This lovely 3D puzzle is made from high-quality plastic and features 180 curved plastic pieces that all fit together perfectly to form a globe. It comes with a blue base dish to helps provide a stable base while building. Both of my children were very excited when they saw this! Since both of them wanted to do the puzzle, we decided to split it into half for each to make on their own.



The puzzle is easy to fix together without the need for any glue. Occasionally you will need to use your fingers to smooth around the puzzles. The pieces are clearly labelled with the arrow at the back which makes it easy to navigate. You can choose to place your globe on a rotation stand using the two blue pins to secure it or place it on the blue base dish.



The finished puzzle measures about 20 cm in height. It is a small scale globe that includes countries’ names but not their capital cities or names of the states. One of the downsides of this globe is the print for the name of the seas. It is printed in a slightly navy blue colour against the blue background. My daughter who has colour blindness finds it hard to spot.



Overall this is a great puzzle for children. It sits beautifully on display once it is done and children can also learn from it. It is made with good quality plastic material with a great design. I would recommend it! It is available in good toy shops, online and Amazon. For more information, please visit Ravensburger.
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"Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and 
lapis lasuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. 
Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and coves, rare red meat and 
wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end."
George R.R. Martin

And though you might argue with George R.R. Martin, there is something about
this quote that rings true.I thought about this description, when I received a new 
Fairytale Fantasia 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger.
This gorgeous puzzle is a colourful tapestry of indigo and purple, moss green 
and rust red.


C.SLewis said: "One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again".
I confess I have never outgrown fairytales. There are so many wonderful YA 
writers nowadays who put their own twist on the classic stories, or invent new 
fairytales for the modern audience.
I often buy YA fiction books just for myself. Just the other day Eddie and I were 
browsing in the local bookshop, and one of the ladies there told Eddie that he 
might like to read A Pinch of Magic, which is currently the book of the month at 
Waterstone's. To which I replied that I've already bought it for myself.

Fairytale Fantasia jigsaw puzzle will appeal to book lovers who enjoy fantasy 
adventures, enchanted objects, cruel curses and pure magic.
The scene is highly detailed and richly-coloured.
You meet characters from famous fairytales, who come to life on the shelves 
among the old volumes.

There is a Mad Hatter having a tea party.



Snow White holding an infamous apple, ready to take the fateful bite.




Cinderella is leaving her glass slipper, escaping from the ball. Magic creatures, 
enchanted castles and dragons, knights and fairies, ships on the stormy seas 
and circus performers - all of them spring from the pages of the books.



This beautiful puzzles measures 70x50cm when complete, and is suitable for ages 12+.



Like all Ravensburger puzzles, this jigsaw puzzle is made from strong premium 
grade cardboard, with a linen finish to minimise glare on puzzle image.




Once I finished the puzzle and took the photos, I gave it to a friend who's looking after
an elderly lady who loves puzzles. I know she will enjoy it as much as I did.


This delightful jigsaw puzzle will make a lovely gift for any book worm.







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