Time required
Can last from a couple minutes to much longer
Puzzles with 4-5 large pieces.
How to Play
Provide your child with different puzzles to solve. Allow your child to take the lead, and provide support as they go. If your child experiences difficulty, ask if he/she would like your help.
Some Tips
Talk out loud as you solve the puzzle to show your child different things to complete the puzzle (e.g., "I turn all the pieces over first so I can see all of them", "The straight edges go on the outside", "Here is a corner piece", "I match up the blue parts of the puzzle"). Have a couple puzzles of different difficulty levels to make it easier or more challenging for your child. Try to start with the puzzle together before breaking it up, or give the child a picture of what the finished puzzle looks like. This way the child will have an idea of what they are trying to complete. If you don’t have a puzzle available, try cutting a picture from a magazine or a colouring book into four or five large pieces and having the child try to fit those pieces back together.
Make it Easier
If you child is having trouble with a puzzle, you can have them try an easier one. Puzzles that have fewer pieces, larger pieces, and simpler pictures (e.g., fewer colours and contrasting colours) are easier. You can also offer more hints and help if they need it. These hints could be verbal such as “Remember to look for pieces of a similar colour.” Or they could be non-verbal, for example, pointing to an area that a child can look at.
Make it Harder
As your child learns how to do puzzles, you can challenge them with harder puzzles. Puzzles that have more pieces, smaller pieces, and more complex pictures (more similar colours and more detailed pictures) are harder. You can also have your child complete the puzzle more independently, by using small hints and reminders.
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