Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Getting More Play From Puzzle Sets

The thing with puzzle game sets for preschoolers is that you need to spend considerable floor time teaching the rules and solving successive levels with them.  Then the puzzle gets packed away and forgotten.

Frankly, it's not my favorite way of spending precious floor time with Ladybug Girl because puzzles are really more for individual play.  I still prefer to play together over being her teacher.

Now fast-forward to the solution... you guessed it, a leave-behind tray.

A simple and inviting way to solve the puzzle


This set was gifted by my sister to Ladybug Girl on her first birthday.  Sometime after she turned three and I brought this out to play together, she didn't show any interest.  But when she turned four, I brought it out again and just left it out on her shelf like this.

This is a super easy way to create a daily logical game for preschoolers.
Just flip to the next puzzle page and set out the pieces.

I found this picture, snapped by Ladybug Girl herself.

This is the same trick I use for invitations to do regular jigsaw puzzles.  Ladybug Girl did not take to jigsaw puzzles early - it was tricky finding puzzles at the right difficulty level that would interest but not intimidate my little Dove.

Ladybug Girl stayed away from the jigsaw puzzle I started, looking at the box and tentatively peeking again.  But she didn't feel confident to approach me until the last few puzzle pieces were left.
This was just four months ago.

So thankful that a sweet co-worker gifted her with this cute starter jigsaw puzzle set last Christmas : it had 10 puzzles of increasing difficulty.  We're now nearly halfway through with one puzzle per day.

I asked yaya to cut the picture on the box as a guide.  Then our new easel doubles up as an inviting workspace for leave-behind puzzles thanks to our trusty washi tape and contact paper with the sticky side up.

Best of all, when I come home from work she proudly takes my hand and shows me her puzzle for that day.  It still fills me with wonder at the progress preschoolers make in just a few months with a few days of play.

I love that she's discovering something new I leave each day, and that I'm discovering something new about her too.

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