Jigsaws have a lot of educational value for children of all ages. This is because doing a jigsaw requires children to use various aspects of the thinking process.
A baby learns to identify objects by their form and not necessarily what position the item is in. A table is a table; whether it is upright, lying down, or on its side – it doesn’t matter. The easy puzzles produced for young children produce more refined and defined abilities and perception.
One of the first things a child learns is that it does matter which way up the pieces are to fit into the hole. A standard early childhood puzzle is made from wood with a picture and has gaps where the pieces fit to finish the image. For example, there might be a separate tree, flower, and a house that complete a puzzle with a country scene. These puzzles are typically sturdy as the first response is usually to force a piece into place, taking no notice of its shape. With adult supervision, the young child learns to manage the piece until it does fit accurately.
Children can draw several learning lessons from these basic puzzles. They learn hand-eye coordination to place the piece into position. Getting the piece in perfectly also means perceiving the shape of the hole and the shape of the piece. At first, the child solves the puzzle with trial and error. The example and direction of an adult begins to set the thinking process. The child begins to practice spatial awareness and mental manipulation as well as physical. But, this only comes after the child has discovered how to put the piece in correctly through memory and trial and error.
The role of an adult at this phase is significant. Discussing the image and demonstrating the right method to complete it quickens the child’s learning process. Puzzles can produce a great possibility to increase vocabulary and identify objects and situations outside the child’s immediate experience. Learning the piece only fits in one way is a pre-reading facility. A letter has to be the correct way up and not reversed or upside down in a word.
You can buy early childhood puzzles in differing degrees of difficulty as the child’s spatial and logic skills become more advanced. The child also learns recognition of colour and shape through puzzles with adult dialogue, increasing the potential of the child’s perception and evolution. The green shape only goes in the green hole. This matching activity promotes early reading skills.
At this stage, it is a good idea to introduce a new puzzle and complete it with the child. Make this a fun activity. Do the puzzle with the child long enough to hold the child’s interest, but be prepared to move on to a new activity if she gets bored. Eventually, when the child’s mastery and confidence have increased, she will want to do it alone. With encouragement, a child will practice until the skills are natural. Then is the time to add puzzles with a more significant challenge.
Puzzles help develop reasoning and deduction processes and skills like spatial awareness, matching, and sorting. Above all, jigsaw puzzles offer an ideal opportunity for language development and fun interaction with your child.
This post was written for https://artandfablepuzzlecompany.co.uk
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