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About Our Shop

       Zoodonyms prides itself in creating imaginative gifts for children.  Zoodonyms crafts beautiful name puzzles, trains, full alphabet puzzles and numbers puzzles right here in Muskoka.  Our carefully crafted gifts are sure to bring a smile to the face of any youngster. Your gift will go from a well-loved puzzle to a treasured keepsake.   We stock approximately 1200 names when we attend shows.  Customers are usually surprised that we have many less common and unusual names.  Any name or spelling may be ordered if it is not in stock.

        I have sold puzzles around the world;   Canada, UK, Dubai, Brazil, Australia, California, Japan, England, Ireland, France, Norway,  USA, New Zealand,  Qatar, Taiwan, Germany...

         PROCESS:   Puzzles are designed by Mary Ann Parkinson using a computer drawing program.  Each puzzle is unique.  Letters and animals must be designed in order to fit together.   Puzzles are machine cut.   Paint is water based enamel that is made in Canada.  Puzzles are made from MDF (medium density fiberboard).  Faces and details are drawn by hand.  Our new process was developed by Mary Ann and husband Mark, updating the technology which was used by the original Zoodonyms for 30 years.  All materials are now made in Canada.  

         Zoodonyms is a full time business for Mary Ann.  Mark is also busy keeping the shop in top operation.  All of the design work is done by myself, as owner and artisan.  Our children occasionally help in the workshop too and lend more artistic talent.  Zoodonyms has been creating colourful fun puzzles for over 35 years.


About Our Puzzles

The plastic packaging is tougher than it looks.  An adult should completely remove the plastic for the child.  Do not pry the pieces out from under the plastic.  

Zoodonyms puzzles should be used as all puzzles should be used.  We suggest child should be 4 years of age before they use their puzzle.  Puzzles should be for display only until this age.  They are not as tough as a toddler toy made of plastic. Puzzles and the pieces should not be thrown on the floor, chewed on, stepped on or thrown in a toy box.  Do not twist or pry or force pieces together or apart.  The pressed medium density fiberboards are ¼ inches thick and rigid. Twisting will jamb the edges together and they will catch and chip or break.  

Puzzles are best played with on a table.  Start with the letters placing a letter carefully aligned onto the other letter.  Do not force or push, if lined up they fit well together.  When all the letters are together find and fit the animals into their places.  Always lift or set the pieces straight up or down when aligned.

Some children and adults are rough on their toys.  Gentle handing of puzzles should be learned.  I hope my puzzles are loved and enjoyed for many years.  


Information on Puzzles as Educational Toys

Jeannette Aragon is a former early childhood education teacher of 16 years. She Worked with children from 6 months to 7 years of age. She is certified in early childhood education and child development as well as administration of an early childhood center. Jeannette is also the owner of Puzzled - Handcrafted Wooden Puzzles and Toys.   Read her detailed information about  'What We Learn When We Play With Puzzles'

Colours for Children

Gigglebellies, an on-line shop for childrens gifts, has a wonderful blog article on colours. Here is a link;


Your Infant's Vision Development

Development begins before birth and studies indicate a time line for development through a babies the first year.  Dr. Heiting has a  website on this subject and gives detailed information.   Here is a link; 

vision development


Displaying or Hanging a Zoodonyms Puzzle

 There are several ways to hang them.

 A simple and quick way is to use  finishing nails or straight pins. Strategically place a nail in the center  of  letter O or under the top of a T. Also, under a giraffe chin, under an owl wing, or other tricky spots.  The  letters and animals will hold together this way when flat on the wall. 2 to 4 nails should be enough.

 Purchase our wooden shelf for $14 It comes with 2 triangle top hangers and 2 screws.  You will need to  provide 2 nails or screws in your wall or one nail and a nice ribbon.  Also, this shelf can be set on a desk or  dresser using a plate stand. These plate stands may be available at a dollar store.  

 Another idea is to use velcro stick on buttons. Place these on  the backs of each puzzle piece.  Attach the  name to a bedroom door.  Also, 2 sided carpet tape pieces can be used for door hanging.



Mary Ann Parkinson lives in Huntsville, Ontario.  The great outdoors, and forests are always enjoyed.  I am married, and have 3 teenagers.  I moved to Huntsville after attending college for forestry.  I worked for Algonquin Forestry for 10 years.  After the early years of raising children I purchased Zoodonyms, a business which my husband was a part owner of for 10 years.  
For several years I continued to operate Zoodonyms as previously done.  After much research I purchased a C02 laser cutter.  This completely changed the production.  I developed new skills in drawing digitally, techniques of using the laser cutter for my craft, and designing new pieces due to the new process.  I have increased the quality of design, and increased production.  It is a challenge to maintain the inventory of name puzzles since parents are naming children with a variety of unique names, spellings, and trends.  I do have an inventory of 1500 puzzles, and take these to craft shows.  It is awesome when a customer is so surprised that we have the name they need.  It is a very happy purchase for grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents.  
My husband Mark helps a great deal with my business; planning, attending and setting up shows, painting and cutting wood.  I want to handle each puzzle that Zoodonyms makes, draw the details, check the quality, and know that what I sell is a quality finished piece.


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We do not rent, sell or exchange our mailing list or email addresses.