This week’s newsletter will focus on the benefits of puzzles for the developing brain of the child. Puzzles are easy to add to the classroom and can lead to hours of focused and fun learning.
The first type of puzzle that adds an extra dimension of learning are puzzles that relate to shapes. Learning shapes in both a lesson on vocabulary and on learning what defines each of the individual polygons is an important part of the sensorial area’s curriculum. Because children learn best through tactile experiences that immerse them in a subject, inviting children to hold shaped puzzle pieces allows them to learn the shapes on a deeper level.
For little hands, this wooden shape sorter is a perfect extension to the shape
curriculum in the classroom. The wooden shapes are thick and help children count and trace the sides and angles and can learn the names of the shapes as they match the shaped blocks to the matching puzzle opening on the box.
When teaching the polygons, using the geometric cabinet in the sensorial area of the classroom is a great place to start. The geometric cabinets have an assortment of shapes to teach children the names of the polygons as well as drawers of different sized circles and rectangles.
Adding a multilayered nesting shape puzzle adds additional practice for children with the shapes of circles, triangles, squares, and pentagons. This puzzle allows children to observe the same shape in various sizes to reinforce the names and qualities of each individual shape. And for a fun extension, add this beautiful wooden mandala flower puzzle to the shelves in the classroom.
Practical Life Puzzles
While teaching the different parts of the practical life curriculum of the classroom, including puzzles on the shelf can be a great way to reinforce vocabulary learned through previous lessons. When discussing the topics of care for oneself, lessons should be given that relate to brushing hair, washing hands, and brushing teeth. Adding this knobbed puzzle can help children remember new vocabulary while using a pincer grip to grab the big wooden knobs.
Puzzles teach children how to problem solve, lengthens their ability to focus and teaches them visual discrimination and special awareness. These puzzles about hardware tools and garden tools can be easily related to the practical curriculum of caring for the environment.
Mathematics Puzzles and Extensions
Do you have children practicing their numbers in the mathematics section of the classroom? Adding a number puzzle is a wonderful way to add an extension to this learning. As the children remove the pieces, they can trace the top of the number to reinforce learning the shape of the numerals from 0-9.
While children are learning about numbers in the mathematics area, it is important to teach them the concept of set making. This is typically taught first with the
spindle box, and can be expanded to include an object sorting element. With this wood sort and count lesson, children will practice both their sorting and categorizing skills as well as their counting skills.
This week’s worksheet includes counting practice. Simply use a stamp, stickers or even a marker to color in or mark the boxes with the value that corresponds to the proper numeral.
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