About Us

Why Puzzles?

Puzzles demand a level of thought, focus, and patience that is bound to challenge the mind.  As we join puzzle pieces together, or find the cruicial piece (you know that lovely feeling!), our brains release dopamine, which positively affects our mood, memory, and motivation.

A study from Princeton University found that puzzles help to stimulate strategy and dexterity.

Susan Vandermorris is a clinical neuropsychologist at Toronto’s Baycrest Health Sciences, a global leader in brain health and aging research. Any type of puzzle is good for the brain and points to the stress-relieving benefits of jigsaws, in particular, she says. “If you’re doing a puzzle, you are, by definition, disconnected and engaged in a task that’s immersive, away from the interruptions and stresses of day-to-day life,” she explains. “And that, of course, is good for your brain.”

Lucy Richardson, a school counsellor says "I use them as a multi-sensory tool for helping kids/teenagers take their minds off their anxiety. Often we can be obsessing/worrying about something that we have no control over and having something that uses your different senses and concentration can help someone break the anxiety loop in their head. I also use it when kids are needing something to calm themselves if they've been talking about really heavy things and they are upset, so they can be ready to go back to class. Concentrating on this before they go back to class helps them be less likely to be dwelling on the difficult things discussed in counselling."  


If you are looking for a quality gift, New Zealand themed souvenir or natural educational resourses that are well made, long lasting and inspire learning we have something for you.

Established in 1983, we are based in Christchurch, New Zealand. We are specialist manufacturers, wholesalers and exporters of Quality Gifts, Souvenirs and Educational Resources for all ages.


Owners & Staff:

Adrien is a founding member and has been with the business since it's beginnings in 1983. "For me, making puzzles is a life long journey. I get enjoyment knowing that something we've made gives people around the world enjoyment (coupled with a challenge). Somehow part of me is there."

Janet is a fully qualified pre school teacher and in addition to helping Adrien, works as the Centre Manager at the Rainbow Early Learning Centre. Together their knowledge and passion for quality educational toys and puzzles gives Tarata a leading edge.

Learning to make our products, especially the Balancing Animals takes years to master and takes dedication, skill and patience. All Balancing Animals are hand cut on specialist machinery. This skill has to be learned over the years, by first making our other products and then once skilled enough, advancing to cut Balancing Animals.  Making these requires close attention to detail, and steady hand and great coordination.  But that is only the beginning.

One of our main ranges is BALANCING ANIMALS but we also make a wide range of other products, including:
Wooden Tray Puzzle, Wooden Stand up Jigsaw Animals
Animal Banks (Money Boxes)
Wooden Burr Puzzles
Mathematical Games and Puzzles
IQ Puzzles
TANTRIX award winning puzzles and games

Additionally we can design and make products to suit your needs, whether they be for your for promotional gifts, premiums or special events.

If you are interested in wholesaling or retailing our products please contact us.