Welcome back, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Today’s post in another topic I’ve been wanting to share; how to do puzzles with babies!
Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)
This week’s Theme: Farm Animals
Activity Description: Puzzles: Complete farm animal puzzles together.
This Activity’s Main Area of Development: Cognitive
Specific Skill: Matching
O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 Week
1. Our warm up activity was signing, as usual, using the farm animal figurines as props. They really like it and I’ve noticed they are trying to actually sing along more. I hear the occasional word but it is mostly babbling with a kind of “singing” voice. It’s nice to see this progression…..karaoke, here we come! (anybody who knows me, knows I love karaoke!)
2. The first thing I do with the puzzles is review the animals and sounds. This can be helpful because even if your baby knows how to recognize all of the animals in one setting (ex. on tv, in real life, as toy figurines, etc.) the same animals in cartoon (in a book or a puzzle piece) might not fit the exact image they recognize. – They might look different to your baby.
3. My girls find puzzles challenging. They need a lot of support to complete puzzles successfully so the first thing I do, is take away all the pieces. Then I choose one, show it to the baby (while naming it) and ask the baby to find it on the puzzle board. This makes the task as easy as possible because the baby only has one thing to try to do (find the animal that I asked). After the baby finds the animal, then I give her the puzzle piece so that she can place it in. If she needs help putting it in, I help with that too. So cute – around 1:00 minute, if you listen closely, you’ll hear M say “cock-a-doodle-doo” to the picture of a rooster.
4. In case you are wondering why the above video only features M, it is because O either didn’t want to cooperate or genuinely couldn’t find what I was asking. (It’s hard to tell with O because she is the kind of person who often doesn’t like to do things because she is being asked to). There have been countless times where it seems like she doesn’t understand and then if I go away and come back, she will have it completed – with extra bells and whistles!……… then there are times where she actually doesn’t understand….so she keeps me on my toes, for sure.
Anyway, I included this video of O to show how to add more support if your baby is having difficulty. First you will see me name the incorrect things she points to (I don’t just say no, I name it and ask again). Next you will see that she is distracted by the other pieces, so I take those away. After that, you will see me ask if she needs help (I tell her where it is). And lastly, I help her place it in correctly. With all of the support, she is able to complete the task and she is happy about it.
5. Here is another method I use to try to explain matching. I put the puzzle pieces directly next to the spot where they need to be placed. This is another technique you can use to offer support.
…..O had a bit of a meltdown because M was sitting on her hand, then M started crying and I decided it was time for a nap!
As they continue to grow and learn, I will gradually take away the support….and eventually I will move in the other direction to make puzzles even more challenging for them. I hope this helps you!