Puzzle Warehouse
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Puzzle Warehouse

Puzzling With a Toddler

This month my plan was to write about the ‘Carl Larsson’ 1000-piece puzzle by Cobble Hill. It’s a wonderful collage of the art of the Swedish painter (1853 – 1919). I started this intricate work and then our house welcomed our family returning to Canada from Australia! This included our 2-year-old grandson, who loves to help me puzzle! I had to quickly finish while naps and bedtime happened and then brought out more appropriate alternatives.

I had some wonderful Melissa and Doug puzzles on hand. My grandson easily mastered First Shapes Jumbo Knob. This is a wonderfully sturdy wooden puzzle of a house with 5 different shaped pieces. The knobs make gripping the pieces easy for tiny hands. You need to match the shape as well as the picture underneath. My toddler mastered this very quickly and keeps going back to it over and over and over again!

We then moved onto another Melissa and Doug wooden puzzle of the alphabet. This one also has knobs to pick up the pieces with. Under each letter is a picture of something that begins with that letter. Lots of fun learning words and sounds!

MasterPieces has a 36-piece wooden alphabet that also includes the numbers 0 – 9. This may be a bit harder for younger ones as there are no knobs to grip, but the pieces are sturdy and can be moved around to fit.

Floor puzzles are a fun way to get active when puzzling with small children. 

The 48-piece Alphabet and Numbers puzzles put out by the New York Puzzle Company feature the artwork of Paul Thurby, These measure 24” X 18” when completed. The artwork offers whimsical characters as well as words. Learning happens while playing!

As children get older, you can introduce them to some more complex jigsaw puzzles. This 35-piece tray puzzle by Cobble HillRed Barn Farm will bring many hours of learning barnyard animals and the sounds they make.

Puzzling can be a lifelong love. Start them young and let the heart and mind expand with this wonderful pastime.

-Mary Ellen

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