Finding puzzles for beginners is not easy. Many have too many pieces and tiny knobs or no knobs at all for lifting the pieces. This is the exception. Beautifully crafted in wood with stout handles, the five geometric puzzle pieces fit into a slanting board that lifts it off the table top or floor. Each shape is painted to match the place on the board where it fits. You can talk about the colors and shapes as they use this toy to reinforce shape and color concepts. Marked 1 and up, we think this is a better choice for 18 months and up.
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SNAP IDEAS: For children with difficulty grasping objects, adapt this by slipping a large foam curler over the handle. Children can also use these shapes for tracing or making patterns by pressing them into play doh. For all the reasons listed above this is a solid choice for developing language and math concepts as well as dexterity and matching skills. ACTIVITIES: Play a shape finding game. Play a circle game by looking for all the things in the room you are in that are shaped like a circle. Another time make a riddle of it. I Spy something in this room or on the table that is the same shape as the circle. Declare today Circle day and eat a lot of foods that are circular..i.e. cherrios, doughnut, crackers, burgers, berries. Cut up a banana into disks and count how many sweet circles there are to eat.
Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Five big geometric shapes are easy for toddlers to grasp with the big wooden handles. In addition to knowing and naming these basic shapes the puzzle pieces are color coded as a clue for beginners. Use the color words to reinforce color concepts and matching skills.
SNAP: These geometric shapes are especially easy to grasp with their oversized handles. In addition to learning the names of these basic shapes and colors, use them for tracing or stamping into play dough.
Play an I SPY game: Pick up the circle shape and say I see more circles in the room. Let's see how many we can find. Now hunt for other circular shapes such as a dish, a clock, a wheel on a toy. Expanding what we mean by circles helps to build the concept. Work on just one concept for a few days before moving on to the squares or triangles. You can even bake cookies in the shape-of-the-day...use different size drinking glasses to cut out big and little circles.
Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.
Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.
Toddlers can fit together these splinter-free, giant, peg-handled whole piece puzzles together. Lift the fish and there's a matching fish below. Each puzzle has three distinctive pieces to know, name, and match. Learning to rotate the whole piece into the slot is no small task.
SNAP INFO: Developing the dexterity to fit these whole piece puzzles into the slots takes practice. The big knob handles are certainly a help! Toys like these also help kids develop language if you ham it up a bit! Knowing and naming the familiar objects in these puzzles gives you plenty of opportunities to talk about the animals or food pictured. ACTIVITY: Use sound or color cues for an animal as your tot tries to figure out which one you are thinking of.
Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Twelve two-piece rubbery puzzles of familiar objects makes this a good place to begin with older toddlers. Start with a few sets at a time. Talk about the objects, what they are called, and what they do. 2 & up.
SNAP INFO: These whole piece puzzles are relatively easier to rotate and discover where and how they fit. They are also handsome for language games and dramatic play. ACTIVITY: Play an I Spy game with some of the pieces. Say," I'm thinking of something that flies-what is it?" Can the child find the butterfly?..."I spy something that has wheels." Can the child find the car.
Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.
You will need to put this big 17-piece/36"-round puzzle mat together. Toddlers will have fun knowing and naming and helping you put the whole-piece puzzle parts into place. It has a cow, chick, flower, butterfly, tree, and other big pieces. For playtime together fun, roll a little car around and stop at the tree or the sheep or the bee. Use this colorful playmat for talking about colors and familiar objects. Also available with Three Bears House theme. Marked 0 & up, meaning it can be used as a playmat, but we think the pieces will be lost by the time an older toddler is ready for puzzle and play. We’d say more like 18 mos. & up. (800) 666-2539.
Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
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