things I love: Janod alphabet puzzle


There are a handful of wooden alphabet puzzles available here in Japan, but they tend to be quite expensive and there isn’t much variety in style. Several stores overseas will ship to Japan, though I find to be one of the easiest – you can search for what you want to buy and check the tab to “refine search: ship to Japan.” Once you’ve done that, you should see an estimated international shipping price on each item’s page. These are the alphabet puzzles from that filtered search.

I like the colors of this Janod puzzle the best. It’s a departure from the typical primary color palette for learning-oriented toys. It looks like there are no lower case or number puzzles available in the same style, so in those categories I like the Hape puzzles best.

The pieces are bright, sturdy, and I prefer them to peg puzzles, where each letter’s shape is less distinct. Before our son could recognize the letters themselves, he could practice sorting or finding certain colors, or even putting the letters back in their correct places based on their shapes and as he grows, we’ll use them to spell simple words. In addition to all the learning applications, I also love the puzzle as room decor and having it out all the time allows us to stumble on it for some impromptu play.

What are your favorite learning toys and where did you buy them? Do you have any puzzles that you love?