Getting Jiggy With It

When I was growing up one of my mom’s hobbies was putting together jigsaw puzzles. She often had a card table set up with an on-going project. Sometimes she would let me help, and she taught me how to separate edge pieces out first. By around age 10, I had my own table and puzzle board to work on. In recent years it’s a hobby that I have embraced again from time to time. The hardest part, besides finding room to set up a table, has been keeping little hands from running off with my pieces.

I have found that puzzles are a fun and educational learning tool for my children as well. We have a variety of little wooden puzzles with shapes, letters, numbers, and animals for toddlers. Then we have a few floor puzzles with an alphabet train and the solar system. We also have some 10-piece wooden puzzles that fit together to form a picture. From there we move up to a half-dozen 25-piece puzzles with a built in board that my parents got a deal on. Then we have a few fifty and one hundred piece puzzles.

My middle daughter is at just the right age (3) to start working on more puzzles together. I’ve started going through the process with her of sorting the edges and the middles. She doesn’t completely distinguish the difference yet, but she will. Right now I only give her a few pieces at a time to try to fit together. I give her some hints about where the piece might fit, or have her examine colors on a piece that might match a section she has already done. She is learning to pay attention to detail and process things in a logical manner while building confidence and just plain old having fun.

Pulling out the puzzles for my middle daughter has my oldest intrigued with doing them a bit again. I don’t know when, but somewhere along the way she and I got out of the habit. It may be one that we should revisit. In the meantime, with a little rearranging I’ve set up my table upstairs.  The winter-time just gives me the itch to get up to my elbows in little puzzle pieces and sawdust.  It also gives me something to do nearby the baby while she is napping.   Now if I can just get my “little helpers” to stop being quite so helpful.

Explore posts in the same categories: Entertainment, Homeschooling/Education, Parenting

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