Enhance Puzzle Play
During the last few weeks at Crayon Power, we saw a real interest build among our friends for PUZZLES! There are so many cognitive benefits to puzzles for young and older alike, and depending on the situation can also enhance social and emotional development, as well.
Simply sitting down and doing a puzzle is a fantastic way for a friend to spend some time. There is no need to add more, however, if you are finding you’d like to enhance that experience and create new possibilities, here are some ideas to ‘spice up’ puzzle play.
1. Puzzle piece mix up
Take the puzzle pieces of 2-3 puzzles and put them in a box or bin. Mix them all up. The friends now work on sorting and multiple puzzles at a time. It will be interesting to see which camp your child falls in; do they work on all puzzles simultaneously or do they focus on finding the pieces for one puzzle at a time?
Here is Rahm searching for his ’a’:
2. Puzzle piece dig
In a similar fashion, take the puzzle pieces and place them in a bin, this time fill with sand, or rice, or oats, or other dry ‘sensory’ filler. Add in child-safe tongs or other digging tools to create a sensory experience in addition to the puzzle play.
3. Create your own puzzle!
This can be done a variety of ways. There are blank puzzle piece kits to purchase where you or your child can draw whatever it is they want on their pre-cut puzzle! Another, more DIY way is to take a piece of cardboard and draw and then cut out the shapes (simple squares can work!). You can also take old photographs that you have copies of or no longer need and cut them in half or quarters and have your child arrange them back together again! Popsicle stick shapes are also a creative puzzle game to create and play together.