Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back to Basics: Classic Toy #6

With the increase of time spent indoors due to weather, I have decided to continue blogging about some of our favorite classic toys. My favorite classic toys are those that require some thinking skills, improve basic physical development, and can be done alone by a child or together with a parent or sibling. Puzzles definitely meet all these requirements!

Puzzles are great because there is such a variety to choose from based on interest and developmental level. For example, Baby Bear has a couple of Melissa & Doug puzzles that he loves. One involves matching shapes and colors, and the other is about matching vehicles. Matching is the key word here. Baby Bear has other non-matching puzzles that he can do with help, but these two are his favorites because he can also do them on his own. All he has to do is find the picture in the puzzle that looks the same as the piece in his hand and then manipulate it to fit in the space.

For older kids, you can increase the complexity by doing a puzzle that has more pieces, a puzzle with pieces that look somewhat alike, or a 3D puzzle. Preschool and lower-elementary age kids might also like creating their own puzzles. One simple way to do this is by lining up 5-10 craft sticks, taping them together on one side, having the child draw a picture on the other side, and then removing the tape. This adds an element of creativity that may appeal to kids who otherwise don't enjoy doing puzzles. The classic puzzle has come a long way!

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