Ta-Da! Look at that wonderful floor puzzle your child JUST completed!! It’s big, and beautiful, and…finished?
Not necessarily! Floor puzzles are a wonderful educational activity on their own, but did you know there are some additional ways you can use these large projects to sneak-in some extra learning? Here are three tips for each level of floor puzzle: Beginner, Intermediate (24-50 piece) and Advanced (100 piece).
These puzzles typically have fewer, and larger, puzzle pieces – which is great for younger puzzlers. After your child is finished, work together to:
– Identify and name all the colors used in the puzzle
– Count how many objects (animals, symbols, people) are in the puzzle
– Group similar objects together (animals, people, big things, little things)
Intermediate Floor Puzzles
Puzzles with up to 50 pieces can be a wonderful accomplishment for your child. But, once complete, there are many ways you can encourage further learning. Try:
– Seeking patterns in the puzzle: Are there objects or colors that repeat?
– Creating a story about the puzzle: Use storytelling paper to write down what’s happening in the puzzle. (For example, for the Solar System puzzle below, write a story about what it would be like to visit each planet!)
– Identify and compare sizes of objects in the puzzle: What is the biggest? What is the smallest?
Advanced Floor Puzzles
Massive puzzles are so much fun to accomplish, and after you’ve spent all that time putting it together, it would be a shame to take it apart! Here are ways to keep enjoying your 100 piece floor puzzle.
– Measure the puzzle and talk about inches versus feet (how many feet long is the puzzle? How many inches?)
– Stare at the puzzle for a certain period of time, then look away and try to recreate the puzzle on a piece of paper from memory.
– Grab your encyclopedia, and do some research on the images or objects that appear in the puzzle. For example, if it’s the Underwater floor puzzle above, look up different species of fish, or find out what plants live in the ocean and what purposes they serve.
What are your favorite ways to play, and learn, with floor puzzles? Share your ideas in the comments below, or join the conversation on Melissa & Doug’s Facebook page!