In full disclosure, we were provided a copy of Wipe Clean First Puzzles in exchange for our honest review.
Usborne Books are high quality, durable and well-designed books that offer developmental benefits for children. The Wipe Clean series includes many options including: First Words, Doodles, Telling the Time and more. I think it is a fabulous gift as well as a perfect addition in a travel bag.
When I traveled to Florida, my children became fascinated with these books and continuously pulled them out to play with independently. What impresses me is that months later they gravitate to these books on a regular basis. The book is lightweight which can easily slip into a backpack, medium-sized diaper bag or suitcase and just needs a dry-erase black marker (it comes with one attached to the cover).
I wanted to review First Puzzles because I think it offers many possibilities for learning as your child happily doodles away on the pages. The First Puzzles book contains mazes, dot-to-dot, sections for children to write numbers, as well as symmetry exercises. However, since there are lots of choices in the Wipe Clean series by Usborne, it would be beneficial to check to see if there is another book that appeals to you or your child.
Mommy University Presents the Benefits of Usborne Wipe Clean Books
Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Every page is an invitation for children to practice writing. Originally, my son just enjoyed coloring in an image here and there but the more he plays with the book, the more he is tracing, writing, and eventually this will lead to drawing. After your child has drawn on the page, it is easy to wipe the pages clean and they can start over again or continue to the next page. I have noticed huge improvements in my son’s writing skills as he completes a maze.
Introduces Problem Solving Skills
There are many mazes in the First Puzzles book which encourages children to think about multiple solutions. When faced with a maze, children are attempting trial and error and experimenting with different options to reach a solution.
When my son was first introduced to mazes several months ago in a coloring book, he wanted to watch me solve the puzzle. With the wipe clean, he takes the lead in solving the puzzles. Since toddlers and preschoolers can draw, wipe, and repeat several times they are testing new strategies to find a solution. While my son draws imperfect lines in the maze, he is tackling simple mazes and there has been a boost in his confidence.
Since my children genuinely enjoy the artwork, mazes, and puzzles in the Usborne Wipe Clean books they are more inclined to use them. They haven’t made the connection that since they write in the books frequently that they are garnering more control of their writing skills. As their hand-eye coordination improves, the more brave they become completing the tasks in the book. Thus, there has been an improvement in their confidence as they play with these books.
Increases Number Identification
The dot-to-dot portions of the book have numbered dots that can be connected to create a larger picture. The premise of the larger image being created is that children can identify the numbers and the sequence of the numbers. While my son has always been strong in letter identification, this exercise has been improving his ability to understand numbers. I enjoy overhearing him count out the numbers on the pages as I know he is developing stronger ability to identify numbers and sequences.
While there are many dry erase options available to families, my personal experience with Usborne has been the best out of all the options I have tried. We had store-bought cards, homemade cards, flashcards and books, and they have not survived the hands of my children or captured their interest as much as Usborne Wipe Clean books. This is why these are now the only ones we own!
You purchase your own Wipe Clean Puzzles book on the Usborne website for only $7.99.