A puzzle is a game where your little one is required to put pieces together in a logical way in order to arrive at the correct solution. Puzzles are great for your child’s mind and cognitive development as they help them improve the hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, shape recognition and memory.
Here is what you can do to help your child develop his/her puzzle skills:
*Pick an Appropriate Puzzle. Choose a puzzle that is appropriate for your child’s age and development.
*Tie into Your Child’s Interests. Find puzzles that depict a subject matter that interests your child so that s/he will be more motivated to put it together.
*Look at the Image. Make sure that your child can see and refer to the image of the final product (usually on the box) as they work on the puzzle but also remember, the image might not always be available.
*Find the Outside Edges. One of the easiest places to start on a puzzle is the outside edge. Have your child try to find all of the pieces with a straight edge and then the ones with similar colours to hook them together.
*Sort the Pieces by Colour. Have your child help sort the pieces by their predominant colour. If they don’t know their colours yet, show them a puzzle piece and ask if they can find others that look like that.
*Spin the Piece Around. Sometimes kids find two pieces that they know go together but can’t quite figure out how. Encourage them to spin the piece around and try all sides before giving up.
*Simplify It. Too many pieces might be overwhelming to little ones. If they don’t seem to know where to start, just give them a few that you know go together.
*Show by Example. When you find pieces that match, make sure to get your child’s attention to show them how you hook them together.
*Give Positive Reinforcement. Praise your child when they get some pieces together. Have a party; clap and dance if it makes them smile!
Read to your child daily and make sure s/he understands what you are reading to them. Hence, focus on reading only a few books per day but take time during your reading to discuss the pictures and the storyline. Make the story come alive by creating voices for the characters and by using your body to act out the story. Ask many questions to assure that your little one comprehends the story and s/he is able to discuss it. Let him/her ask you questions, too.
Most importantly, make sure that your child is enjoying the book you are reading. When children have positive interactions with books, they are developing good feelings about reading, which will motivate them to continue seeking out books and other literacy materials as they grow.
You can start teaching colours to your toddlers at as early as 12-18 months. Toddlers usually love bright colours so start teaching them the basic colours first: red, green, yellow, blue. Let them understand the concept of these basic colours before you go beyond these four colours.
Once the child has a solid knowledge of colours, you can teach him/her how to mix primary colours to obtain secondary colours (orange, green and purple):
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Every child is unique and we believe that success and growth come from encouragement and praise. Our approach focuses on building every child’s self esteem and confidence through fun, positive feedback and rewards. We nurture their natural strengths. A child sees the world around them with wonder and awe, we believe in encouraging their natural curiosity.
We strongly believe that it is never too early to teach a child, but how that teaching is done, will be key to how they view learning as they grow. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that your little one is enjoying the activities and having FUN while doing them; keep them short but do them often and take any natural opportunity as it arises on daily basis to learn together.