This past weekend, I felt so accomplished for finding three large knob puzzles for Alia at a consignment sale, specifically these vintage ones from Melissa and Doug. Aren’t they beautiful? With real animal pictures as supposed to the animated, cartoonish images like the ones sold these days.
My eyes twinkle when I see jigsaw puzzles, and I think I’ve become a puzzle hoarder. Hehehe… There are so many benefits of playing puzzles for children such as developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, attention, and concentration (more on the benefits, click here). Plus, isn’t fun when you’ve put all the pieces together? Well, I’ve seen that big smile on Alia’s face whenever she completes a set. 😀
To accommodate those tiny hands of her, we buy large knob puzzles from Melissa and Doug. It’s also recommended that they play with puzzles that have one piece per separate hole. This was her first puzzle which we bought when she was 10 months old.
She also plays with a larger set at her playgroup. We also borrowed a couple of other shape puzzles which have smaller knobs (P’Kolino):
Just like many things in life, it’s all about practice and practice and practice. Alia still gets frustrated when she can’t fit the pieces, and it’s because she still hasn’t mastered the whole concept of turning the pieces around until they fit. I usually watch her play, and offer help when she asks.
I’ve been learning many things about Montessori method (it’s very inspiring and it has helped me become a better parent and teacher btw), and I learned a way to present the puzzles. Below is how I leave the puzzle on Alia’s shelf – pieces in a basket next to the board. I’ve noticed that she’s more interested in them when placed this way. Maybe it’s because she sees that the pieces need to be put in their correct place. So I’m teaching her to take the basket first and then the board to the floor/her desk, and then put them back on the shelf once she’s done with them.
As of March 2015, we have about 12 knob puzzles (small and large knobs, all are Melissa and Doug’s). Except her first puzzle, all are used bought from Goodwill (I heart Goodwill! :p), Craigslist/OfferUp, and consignment sales. I now need to find a way to keep them organized! 😀 Puzzles, we love 😀
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