Puzzled!

Teaching my two and a half year old how to build a puzzle

After mastering the initial chunky knob, pin and one piece puzzles, I’ve started teaching my toddler how to build a real puzzle. We have had such fun experimenting, even though we only manage for 5 minutes at a time before she gets up to jump and run around!

My top tips on where to start and how to go about it:

  1. Start off with simple 2-4 piece puzzles.
  2. Initially, you the parent make the whole puzzle while your child watches, and then encourage your child to take it apart.
  3. Make the puzzle and leave one piece out, encouraging your child to place the piece in the correct place. Your younger child may have difficulty in placing it correctly but will be able to show where the piece needs to go.
  4. Make the puzzle and leave two pieces out, encourage your child to place them correctly.
  5. Continue grading the assistance given until you are only placing one puzzle part and your child places the rest, perhaps with some assistance.
  6. When your child can do this, mix the pieces together and encourage him to do it all by himself.

And don’t forget!

  • Remember to always work on a flat surface such as the floor, on a mat or on the table.
  • A picture of the puzzle should always be available, to refer to and help your child find the correct pieces and to complete the puzzle accurately.
  • Always give your child positive reinforcement.

 

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