It's Puzzling!

School-age 2

A variety of puzzles have been brought into the School Age 2 program. They consisted of small medium and large pieces. As well, there were puzzles with no pictures to follow and a bin of clear plastic puzzle pieces with nothing on them. Spencer spent part of his afternoon so focused on a sea animal puzzle. He stated “I’m trying to find the pieces of each fish and put them together.” He was able to look at the lid of the box to guide him with where the pieces went. He practiced problem solving skills while maneuvering the pieces to fit and asking for help. “I did it he said proudly. I want to show my mom when she comes!”
Boy putting together sea animal puzzle of 100 pieces
Elora discovered the blank puzzle pieces and Tracey explained that those pieces could be used to actually make your own puzzle by putting one together and then drawing on it with the permanent markers. She also worked on patience while trying to find the right number of pieces to make the perfect size puzzle. “I need some help finding the corner pieces Tracey,” she said. The educator and Elora took many clear puzzle pieces out of the bin and finally together found 4 corner pieces. Elora had to figure out how to get the puzzle she had just created over to the cart without it falling apart. Using more problem-solving skills it was decided to place the puzzle pieces on a paper (so it would be easy to see the colours she would use) and then place it on hardcover book to safely store it for continuation the next day.

Child looking for corner puzzle pieces

Once other children saw Elora putting her artistic skills to work while carefully drawing her picture with the permanent markers, other children wanted toparticipate as well. They were discussing their ideas with one another, sharing who they would be giving their puzzle too, and asked one another for help to place the pieces together and find more corner pieces.

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The school age children are always up for a challenge. While some of them enjoy figuring out pre-made puzzles, the clear pieces encouraged them to use visual spatial reasoning, creativity, hand-eye co-ordination. It allowed for self expression, provided a sense of belonging, and allowed expression.

Perhaps more additional puzzle solving activities will be added to our cart. Some children have started trying to solve the rubix cube on our cart. Providing them with challenges that allow autonomy, problem solving, and a sense of pride will continue to enhance their cognitive skills.