Kids (and sometimes adults) don't realize that when they are solving puzzles, be it jigsaw puzzles, mazes, hidden pictures, crossword puzzles, or word searches, they are training their brains to PROBLEM SOLVE. This is a skill that will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives. Puzzles and puzzle games help reinforce logic, creativity, critical thinking, fine motor skills, and visualization. For this reason I started BOTH of my children out at an early age doing puzzles. We started with those that had the picture to match, and moved to the little board puzzles. Meghan is up to the 24 piece puzzles at 3 1/2 and can do them in less than 5 minutes.
Now Ben is 8 and he's asking for 500 piece puzzles. He can whip out a 100 piece in no time flat, so he just got his first 500 piece. I told him if he could finish it in one day I'd pay him $5. (Might get a lot of quiet time today...hehehehehe).
What makes me sad is that last year I started taking some of Ben's puzzles he was finished with, and some that were too easy, to my classroom. MY KIDS COULDN'T DO THEM!!!!! I was dumbfounded. Do people not do puzzles with their kids anymore? Do they not realize how important they are for helping develop their little minds? Needless to say, we started doing them a lot, every chance we got, and now they are getting better and better. I make them different number puzzles as well that they LOVE to do. Here are some of the St. Patrick's Day number puzzles that I made. I can't wait for them to get their hands on them and put them together. They really do just LOVE it! AND it's good for them. BONUS!!! They also get a number puzzle sheet to do and they are getting SO GOOD at these which really help with counting on, one more/one less, ten more/ten less...all that good mental math stuff.
Sample Recording Sheet
This week has been our Winter Break so we've ALL been working together on this 2000 piece puzzle, our 2nd this year!! (And YES, that's the WHOLE dining room table). It's wonderful to work together towards a common goal and share in that family time together. Here's what we've done so far. Still have a lot to go, but already looking forward to the next one!!
If you are interested in my St. Patrick's Day Number Puzzle pack you can click on the pic below to take you to my store. I'd love to hear what you think. BUT WAIT....I did THREE St. Patrick's Day Packs and you can get them bundled for a better deal if you click the bottom picture (SORRY BOTH PICS ARE THE SAME BUT THAT WAS THE COVER PIC FOR THE BUNDLE TOO). There is one with a graphing center, the number puzzles, and a place value (with dimes and pennies) center/SCOOT. Been a busy little one this week, but really enjoying the time off.
Click here for the BUNDLE of all THREE St. Patrick's Day centers.
It's a GORGEOUS day here in South Georgia so I'm going to head out and get some fresh air with the kids now. Hope you all are having a WONDERFUL day where you are and that you'll visit again soon!