How To Get Lots Of Learning Value From An Old Kid Jigsaw Puzzle
Parents readily agree that kid jigsaw puzzles are great educational toys. But too often do they go ahead and blindly buy another and even more complex ones. This only serves to develop the same skills.
Few ever consider taking the same puzzle, modify it slightly, and then use it again to develop logical and systematic planning skills. These are skills that normal jigsaw puzzles don't automatically develop.
It gets your child to do more done in the same time. It's even a critical skill for adults!
Regardless of a kid's age, a puzzle is often randomly built... there's no plan how to do it.
A child merely studies the puzzle picture and then randomly chooses and builds pieces that obviously fit together.
Although your child will eventually complete the puzzle, no planning takes place. It takes much longer than it should and the same inefficient methods are taught over and over.
Step 1 Use any old kid jigsaw puzzle with a plain cardboard or wooden reverse side. Preferably use one with 12-36 pieces.
Step 2 You go first and build the puzzle - picture side up.
Step 3 Place a piece of cardboard, tray or any stiff surface on top of the completed kid jigsaw puzzle.
Step 4 Turn the puzzle upside down onto the new surface - picture side down... plain cardboard reverse side up.
Step 5 Use a permanent marker to draw a straight line through all the edge pieces. Once completed the line will form a square or rectangle.
Step 6 Scramble the puzzle pieces - picture side down.
Step 7 Now, encourage your kid to seek out and build only those pieces with a line on. Ignore the pieces without lines. On completion all the edge pieces of the puzzle will be in place.
Step 8 For younger children turn the jigsaw puzzle picture side up. Older children may find it more challenging to complete the puzzle reverse side up.
Step 9 Seek and fit the center pieces to complete the middle part of the puzzle.
Children soon learn to seek and complete the edges when building any puzzle.
Building the edges is the key to a systematic logical thinking process. The same skill is used when working on complex problems.
This method teaches children to automatically start at known, clearly defined areas... defining the "edges" of a problem. And then to complete the lesser known parts.
This skill of logical and systematic planning and doing has been a vital ingredient of numerous great inventions.
Hopefully this simple and easy customization of an old kid jigsaw puzzle will give your child the same critical skill.
If you're interested in a few more puzzle variations, go here.