Puzzles are one of our staple materials, they are so well suited to the Montessori home environment. Today the boys and I looked through some of our old puzzles and pulled out a few favourites. It gave me the idea to compile a list of the puzzles we've used through the years! It's interesting to look back on as there are some clear themes.
Although I've provided links to the puzzles I think it's more interesting to see what the child is working on at this age, the concepts not the exact puzzles. I can see during this period Otis started with the two piece jigsaw puzzles. We started by presenting one puzzle in a basket and then later worked up to putting all of them out (there are five in the set). During this period Otis also used lots of puzzles with knobs, using that pincer grip. The puzzles were chosen keeping in mind the child's interests (animals and vehicles). As well as being great for coordination and concentration many of these puzzles also work as language materials where the child is learning the name of things. During this period there were also a lot of sequencing puzzles, small to large, short to tall and narrow to wide!
I have listed these puzzles at the age that Otis used them however it might be different for other children. Today Otis (at five years) used the Children of the World Puzzle and loved it, he paid more attention to the countries and dress. This was the perfect age to introduce the alphabet puzzle and geography puzzles, Otis would have been using the Montessori Puzzle Maps at school. During this period he used a lot of the large format floor puzzles and just started the parts of an animal puzzle.
The 'part of' puzzles (Butterfly, Apple, Fish) became really popular at this age. Otis also really got into the Ravensburger brand jigsaw puzzles that he could complete on a tray or table. With the Ravensburger puzzles I look for beautiful and realistic imagery and topics that I know will capture his imagination.
I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of our puzzles through the years!