As Adrian turned three, he developed a genuine interest in puzzles: jigsaw, wooden, magnetic, geo puzzles – any one would spike his interest. I sincerely encourage puzzles since they promote not only child’s mind and cognitive development, but also mental development. Puzzles advance hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem solving and cognitive skills. (We strive to complete at least one puzzle a day.)
Today, Adrian was in a puzzle-spree, so for about an hour, all he was doing was puzzles. First, he decided to construct every vehicle from control cards using Imaginets (buy here), which are brightly-colored magnetic blocks. The set comes with 50 full-color control-card design challenges, which a child can follow to construct animals, faces, vehicles, sports and more. The magnetic board surface also doubles as a dry-erase board, allowing a child to decorate a backdrop for his creations. The board also transforms into a wood carrying case with rope handles - perfect for storage and on the go.
Imaginets (buy here) are a little harder than Magnetic Pattern Geometric Shape Blocks (buy here) since the former comes with smaller cards which can not be used for overlay (as on the picture above). Adrian would simply use the card as a reference.
Giraffe Toy (buy here).
With Magnetic Pattern Geometric Shape Blocks (buy here) a child can simply lay geo shapes over the control chart (Level 1 difficulty – read a post here) offering even younger children an opportunity to practice their spacial, visual and fine-motor skills.
Adrian then assembled HAPE wooden Mosaic puzzle using a control chart which fits onto the board's surface (buy similar here). This puzzle is much harder as it is not magnetic and the geo-forms slide easily across the board. Design booklet presents progressive patterns, from simple color-matching while filling the entire board (like the one Adrian is using above) to partial designs. A child can also create a triangle, parallelogram, hexagon and other geometric shapes. I like that HAPE mosaic pieces are made of bamboo and finished with water based colors and bees wax coating.
Read more about puzzles: