Puzzles are an essential part of the Montessori curriculum. Through puzzles, children develop concentration, hand- eye coordination, cognitive skills, fine motor development and more. In addition to the benefits, puzzles are a fun activity that children enjoy. These vary from size, texture and topic which provides different learning opportunities and endless fun.
Melissa and Doug are an American manufacturer that produce wooden toys, craft and plush toys. Their toys are educational and are great materials for children everywhere. It was founded by Melissa and Doug Bernstein in 1988
where they worked their hardest to create great products and even answered the phone at all hours. Their goal is to provide fun, creative toys that are also educational and safe. There are many puzzles that are included in the list for Montessori materials for toddlers as previously mentioned.
The importance of puzzles – why they matter
Puzzles are a good educational activity for toddlers since they come in different themes and topics such as colors, animals, shapes, letters and more. This helps develop the cognitive skills as it increases their visual awareness. In addition, it helps them better understand the themes and how they come together. As they continue to play with puzzles, they learn the power of choice and strategy as they begin to recognize how pieces come together. It also helps them learn about shapes, letters, animals and so much more. This helps their memory as they try to put the pieces together since they’ll start remembering where the pieces go and where they fit. Melissa and Doug puzzles are great to add to your toddler’s cognitive activities list.
More benefits of using puzzles
- Fine motor development is another benefit of puzzles since they will eventually assist them in hand writing and drawing. Children learn to grasp the puzzle pieces of all shapes and sizes and manipulate them into fitting where they belong. Through this task, children learn dexterity and small muscle movements in both their hands and fingers.
- When completing a puzzle, toddlers and children must think and develop strategies to achieve their goals of completing the puzzles. This process involves problem solving and reasoning skills that they can later transfer into their personal life.
- Puzzles are great educational toys that promotes cooperative play. As kids work together, they learn to share pieces, help in teaching their friends where the pieces go, they take turns and will last share their excitement when finishing a puzzle and most likely will look to find additional puzzles to complete.
Melissa and Doug toys – Wooden alphabet puzzles
- The First Play Wooden ABC-123 Chunky Puzzle is a beginner’s puzzles that is very colorful, with pieces that stand and stack. This puzzle encourages fine motor development and helps teach numbers, figures and letters. It does as well help teach colors, shapes and problem solving.
- The Alphabet sound puzzle includes twenty-six pieces that are slightly raised for easy grasp and have colorful pictures to reinforce the relation between the letter and the sound. This wooden alphabet puzzle pronounces the correct name of the letter when they are placed correctly in the puzzle board. This interactive sound puzzle is a great way to offer independent learning.
- The Self- correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzles includes fifty-six wooden pieces with beautiful detailed pictures that makes learning the letters and matching the pieces fun. This puzzle is self- correcting which means that each piece only has one match that fits which ensures the children correctly fits them together to develop a sense of mastery.
More fun puzzles Idea – Wooden animal puzzles
- The Farm Cube Puzzle is a wonderful play item for children to enjoy. It has sixteen cubes with amazing animal pictures and can be put together in six different scenes with six different farm animals. Pictures includes a cow, horse, chicken, pig, sheep and ducks. It’s a fun and creative way to learn about farm animals.
- My First Wooden Cube Puzzle – Animals is a similar puzzle with nine blocks that has pictures of an alligator, cow, horse, dog, cat and giraffe.
- Farm Animals Jigsaw Puzzles in a box set includes four wooden twelve piece farm animal jigsaw puzzles that are stored in a wooden box. This is a great item for traveling since it’s stored inside a portable box.
Sound puzzles – Sing along!
Children enjoy a good nursery rhyme and it helps them develop language and cognitive skills. Nursery rhymes enables children to become interested in rhythm and patterns of language. With these two puzzles they can enjoy putting pieces together as well as listening to some of their favorite rhymes.
- The Sing Along Nursery Rhymes Puzzle in Yellow includes six favorite rhymes like Rind around the Rosie, Row, row, row your boat, Hickory Dickory Dock, The Farmer in the Dell, Pop goes the Weasel and The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
- The Sing Along Nursery Rhymes Puzzle in Blue includes Humpty Dumpty, Mary had a Little Lamb, Jack and Jill, Twinkle Twinkle little star, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Hey Diddle Diddle.
Additional Fun – With Puzzles of course
There is a pretty big variety of puzzles that can be found online and in stores. You can search which puzzles fits best with your child or classroom and know they will have fun and learn at the same time. There are puzzles that are touch and feel where the child can stimulate their senses with different textures. Some puzzles include jumbo knobs for easy grasping and others have chunky pieces that stand up for pretend play. Other puzzles have bigger pieces for easier cleaning. EIther way, children will sure enjoy playing with the puzzles while they enjoy the art work, shapes and even sounds.