Monday, June 28, 2010

Play Diet - Puzzles & Patterns

Last week I introduced the Play Diet and talked about Books/Music/Reading. This week I am going to talk to you about Puzzles & Patterns.

Reading, math, science and even social studies all revolve around patterns. The more you can do with patterns the more of a foundation your child will have for all academic success. Many puzzles have an obvious completion element giving that, "I did it!" feeling helping to build confidence.

Babies love to look at patterns such as simple black and white pictures when the are first born to more colorful pictures as they get older. You can link Boomerings in a simple pattern and hang them in their crib or car seat. Make more complex patterns as they get older and then you can use them to teach them how to create their own patters with the Boomerings. Play & Learn Snail is a fun first puzzle for little ones. They can start out by just fitting a couple pieces together growing to put them all together as they get older.

For toddlers, Measure Up! Cups is great for building simple patterns. They even create a pattern while they are picking them up! Giant Pegboard is another good patterning toy. They can create patterns with shapes or colors. They can stack a pattern up or make one across the board. Place & Trace it a fun first puzzle. With large cut-out pieces easy to put it the board, your child will be successful every time.

Preschoolers love our Busy Learning Collection which includes Busy Farm, Busy Bugs and Busy Pets. They come with cards where your child will complete the patterns or they can use the manipulatives by themselves to create patterns by color or animal/insect. Playful Patterns works for both puzzles and patterns. Have your child fill in the pictures on the cards using the different shapes to work on puzzles. There are simple ones for children just starting to use these moving up to harder ones for more experienced children. Use the shapes to create patterns. Your child can make patterns using shapes, colors, or size.

Puzzles & Patterns are great for school ages children as well. Two fun pattern toys are Zip Track and Tricky Fingers. Build Zip Track using different color patterns. Make different patterns with Tricky Fingers either from the cards or making up your own. Labyrinth is a great puzzle game that is always shifting and changing making it challenging for all ages.

I hope you enjoy Puzzles & Patterns with your children. If you need more suggestions or have questions about how you can incorporate it into your child's play, don't hesitate to email me.

posted by:
Cara Retz
Educational Leader, Discovery Toys

No comments: