In continuing our ❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study, Adrian put together the Parts of a Penguin Puzzle (buy here), which is a true Montessori puzzle: simplewith an aesthetically pleasing wooden design, while teaching a child parts of the animal.
Puzzles are good not only for your child’s mind and cognitive development, but also for mental development. Puzzles promote hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving and cognitive skills. This puzzle also teaches about a penguin and its parts: a belly, back, head, and webbed feet. A penguin is a bird with a large head, short neck, elongated body, and wings. However, penguins cannot fly, and they rather use their wings to swim underwater, where they search for food. A penguin's black-and-white color makes it hard for predators to see it in the water, both from above and below. https://player.vimeo.com/video/200886476
We talked about penguins, and Emperor penguins in particular, who are the largest penguin species: reaching 4 feet tall and weighing up to 90 pounds. They are easily identified by their orange "glow" on their cheeks. Emperor penguins are also the only animal to inhabit the open ice of Antarctica during the winter. Temperatures in the Antarctic can fall as low as -140° F (-60° C), which is much lower than in the Arctic (the North Pole) where in the winter the average temperature is about −40° F (−40° C). Most penguin species lay two eggs at a time, but due to the difficulty of raising chicks in such a harsh climate, the Emperor penguin only lays one egg, and it is the Emperor Penguin Dad who does all the work once the egg is laid. Dad keeps the egg warm by standing with the egg on his feet under a brood pouch. He does this for up to nine weeks, without food, waiting for the chick to hatch. During this time, the male may lose up to half its body weight. (What a commitment!) Once the egg hatches, the female returns, and the male heads out to the ocean to feed.
For more on Polar Unit inspired activities, see here our ❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study • 🎅🏻 🇦🇶Land 🌊Water 🌬Air.
p.s. Adrian has been using similar Parts of Animals Zoology puzzles since two years old (read a post here), but starting at 34 months, he has begun exhibiting an interest in jigsaw puzzles, and I wrote here about the importance of puzzles in child's development.