Activity to sharpen up your Toddler Memory and Train them to be a Logical Thinker!
Merog never showed any interest in puzzles until he saw his best friend Rish (Our Neighbor’s son, a preschool teacher’s son) playing with his whole new sets of 3-4 piece-puzzles!
He always wanted to play with his puzzle pieces scattered on the floor and they used to fight like cats and dogs for the same. My friend and me got always frustrated with these kids :& So, I decided to introduce Merog with puzzles when he was 18 months old. Since then he always loved playing with variety of puzzles I had picked for him (How to pick right puzzles for your toddler is given below). On Merog’s second birthday, Rish gifted him his first Old-McDonald-Farm floor-puzzle for which he used to go nuts day and night. That time i realized, it’s time to move on and need to buy some 30-40 pieces puzzles for him.
This is how my puzzle-junkie’s journey began few months back, I would love to share steps to introduce puzzles to your toddler with an ease and how you can trigger their brains to become a logical thinker and sharpen up their memory for lifetime.
Easy steps to teach your child how to play jigsaw puzzles
1. Pick a right Puzzle for beginners (as per the age group)
Start with 3-4 pieces puzzle of your child’s interest. Once you see your child is mastering them, move on to the next levels gradually and then to floor/jigsaw puzzles.
I would suggest mommies to go for Melissa and Doug sound puzzles (Buy Here)
for their 18+ months old babies , it’s a wooden puzzle and very good exercise for fine motor skill development
(I had introduced it to Merog when he was 1+ yr old and he was happily playing with his new sensory toy named puzzle :))
(P.S. If you are looking for economic options in wooden puzzles then you may opt for any local toy shops)
2. Motivate them for participation
At the beginning they will need your guidance, eg. If you introduce, animals and vehicles at the beginning. Tell your child, if she can search out for pieces that has head, legs or tail part of animal or wheels, steering or windows in case of vehicle.
3. Look out for Solved puzzle image on the box
Turn over all the pieces and look out for the picture on the box, so as to know the expected image that your toddler has to make.
eg. (World-Map Puzzle, Bought it from Hamleys)
4. Find out the straight edged pieces
If they want, easiest method is to fix the outline of puzzle by fixing similar color/object pieces.(Depends upon child to child, my child tries to fix the puzzle object wise by sorting similar color objects as described in the next step.)
5. Sort pieces by colors
Now sort out exactly matching colored pieces and group them together and try to assemble things that are of exactly similar color / objects (eg. Joining two wheels of a vehicle side by side or 4 legs of an animal at the bottom, two eyes or ears side by side etc.)
6. Communicate with your toddler
Ask him/her as many questions as possible. Ask your toddler, “what does the piece of puzzle look like?” eg. does it look like a tree or leaves or flowers or fish or frog or sun or house ? ” What colors are on the pieces?” etc. And after fixing the parts, describe how it is made and why!
7. Spinning the pieces
your toddler finds the exact correct piece to fix it but some how it doesn’t get fix in a proper groove. So, just ask him/her to try spinning the piece and fix it.
8. Motivation and patience is the only key
Praise them continuously and have lots of patience throughout the process, clap for them, give a shout out and whatever that brings smile on their face and encourages them. (P.S. They expect your presence at least at the beginning stages else you will end up complaining, your toddler is not showing any interest in playing puzzles. Remember, Every child is different! So, don’t force your child for anything )
There are many benefits of solving puzzles at early age like,
-It develops Logical way of thinking
-Develops Patience, Focus and concentration at early age
-Fine Motor skills
-Problem Solving skills
Isn’t it a fun activity and food-for-Brain game for your Busy Bees?
Hope you try to introduce some brain fostering puzzles to your toddlers soon!!
Keep Patience! Happy Puzzling!! 🙂