These wooden Animal Zoology puzzles are faithful to the Montessori ideals of beauty, realism and simplicity (buy similar here). This horse puzzle is not just a horse puzzle – it represents all mammals. Traditionally in Montessori zoology, one animal is taken to represent all animals from that class. So in this set, a horse represents all mammals, a goldfish represents all fish, a robin – all birds, a turtle – all reptiles, a frog – all amphibians, and a butterfly – all insects.
Adrian, at 29 months, has been really enjoying these puzzles since they are realistic and represent animals he is familiar with. In the process, he gets to practice his fine-motor skills by manipulating tiny knobs. Puzzles also promote his hand-eye coordination as he flips, turns, and remove pieces of a puzzle: the eyes see the puzzle, and the brain envisions how the puzzle needs to look or what piece needs to be found and placed correctly. Then the brain, eyes, and hands work together to find such piece, manipulate it accordingly, and fit it into the puzzle accurately. Also, by looking at various pieces and figuring out where do they fit requires effective problem-solving skills. Lastly, cognitive, spatial, letter and color awareness skills are being develop when a child follows step-by-step directions, and accomplishes a goal of a completed puzzle.
Julia also enjoyed these puzzles. She traced over the individual puzzle pieces and colored them in. She then cut the animal silhouette and glued it to the contrasting colored card-stock.
A true collaborative project indeed!