One thing the staff really miss about nursery is the persistence of three-year-olds. The best place to learn which children have extreme determination is at the puzzle table, atching them calmly and patiently working their way through a range of puzzles. Sometimes they are so deep in her learning that they don’t notice, or sometimes they warn you that you are not allowed to help because "I can do it myself".
Providing a range of puzzles and construction materials at home can create learning activities that encourage concentration, perserverance and determination too.
Puzzle play is alaso a great time to build thinking skills, problem solving and fine-motor skills. Besides finding the correct sizes and shapes of pieces, children need to work out which directions the pieces can sit so that they can complete the puzzle. This creates an opportunity for the eyes, hands and brain to work together to make something happen!
The CBeebies website has lots of age appropriate interactive puzzles for three and four year-olds, as well as their app for tablets and mobiles. These games are great, but nothing beats the real thing.
If you would like to buy new jigsaws, The Works online shop provides a wide range of different jigsaws for different age groups and budgets. My mum deserves a loyalty card for this one.
If you do not want the expense or waste of buying new jigsaws, you can easily stick comic book images onto cereal boxes and cut them up in funny pieces, or have your child draw their own picture on the card before you make your DIY jigsaw. Online, lots of different sites suggest covering your picture in sticky back plastic, or laminating them before cutting them out, but you really don't have to especially if you are just cutting geometric shapes.