If you follow me either on Facebook or Twitter, then you know one of the Goyers’ favorite pastimes: puzzles. Two-year-old Alyssa loves puzzles. “Play puzzles with me, Mommy?” I hear every day. Buying a puzzle isn’t free, but they aren’t that expensive (from one dollar to five dollars). I think the cost is worth it, especially when Alyssa plays with each puzzle a few times a week.
When Alyssa first started playing with puzzles, she connected the shapes. One day I was talking with my friend Emily, and we looked over to see Alyssa had made a perfect square . . . but the picture didn’t match. How she put all the pieces in the wrong spots but still had them fit—I have no idea! Recently she has started looking at the pictures. 🙂
Puzzles are great for logical thinking. I never taught her, but Alyssa begins by picking out one object in the picture and building around that. Smart cookie!
Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, but a smaller puzzle is easier to start with. Then you can work up to bigger and more complicated puzzles. I started with block puzzles and board puzzles with ten to twelve pieces, but now we solve larger puzzles.
Recently Alyssa completed a thirty-six-piece puzzle by herself in eighteen minutes! I also love sitting beside her and helping her, too. “We did it!” she declares when the puzzle is finished.
One of the great things about puzzles is they’re portable. When I first bring a puzzle home, I keep it in the box, but after a while the picture on the box isn’t needed for reference. I then throw away the box and put the pieces into ziplock bags. I often put these bags of puzzles in my purse or Alyssa’s backpack. I’ve pulled them out in hotel rooms or even doctors’ offices, and they help the time to go fast. More than that—they’re fun!
So try a puzzle with your kids this summer, and when you finish, send me a photo! I’d love to see it!