Materials: large wooden puzzle
You may notice your toddlers getting more interested in solving puzzles. You may also notice that they don't quite have the tactics needed to successfully solve them on their own. By working on puzzles as a group you can turn it into an activity in team work, while also being able to teach some strategies for solving puzzles.
Bring a simple wooden puzzle to the group (either at a table or at circle time). Give each child one piece of the puzzle to hold onto. Say, "We are going to work together to put this puzzle back together. Do you think we can do it?"
Take turns, and have one child at a time put their puzzle piece in the puzzle. Say, "We are going to go around in a circle one at a time. You will need to wait your turn."
When a child struggles to place a piece you can stop them and say, "Let's look at your piece together; what colors do you see? What shape is it?" Then help them identify features that they can match to the pieces in the puzzle.
You can also encourage children to cheer for each other. Once the puzzle is done hold it up so everyone can see. Congratulate the group on working together.
- Start with the simple shape puzzles, but get more complicated as your kids get better
- As children get more advanced, rather than giving them each one piece, you can change the prompt by placing all pieces next to the puzzle and inviting one child at a time up to pick which piece they are going to solve.
What We're Learning:
- being a member of a group
- following instructions
- fine motor development and control
- language and vocabulary development
- visual discrimination
- spatial reasoning
- turn-taking strategies and self-regulation