Pediatric Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapists Inspiring Play

Purposeful Play with Puzzles

Purposeful Play with Puzzles

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When it comes to toys and purposeful play, puzzles pack a punch! For the month of April, on our IG page, we shared with you some of our favorite puzzles, where to start with your child, and ideas on how to utilize puzzles for play!

Take a look at some of our favorite ideas:

1. Chunky Puzzle Stacking

Colorful inset puzzles with chunky pieces like this one from Mellissa & Doug are great puzzles to start with.

Have fun stacking pieces up like blocks and knocking them or blowing them over like the Big, Bad Wolf!

2. Repurpose Old Inset Puzzles

Have an old inset puzzle lying around? Gather some small colorful items (like buttons, paper, pom poms), and get to sorting!
Look at this beauty! Buttons are a great choice to work on those fine motor skills.

3. Work on Balance Skills!

Go fishing or catch bugs with these magnetic puzzle pieces from Melissa and Doug.

Here, Chloe is standing on an Air Ex pad, but you can use anything squishy like a pillow or couch cushion. Standing on squishy surfaces is a great way to challenge balance and helps with developing strong feet and ankle muscles.

4. Puzzle Hunt!

Sprinkle or hide puzzle pieces around the house or yard. You can work on navigating around obstacles as well as prepositions like, “The spider is hiding around the corner.”

5. Multi-Puzzle Mix Up!

Do you have multiple puzzles at home that your child has already mastered? Pick 2 or 3 and toss all of the pieces into a basket and mix them up!

Your kiddo will have fun and keep busy sorting through the basket and finding pieces.

6. Obstacle Course!

You can use almost any game or activity during an obstacle course. Using puzzles pieces is our favorite. Put puzzle pieces at the start and have your kiddo go through the course with one piece at a time. Little ones need movement more than ever these days!

7. Hide Pieces in a Sensory Bin

Take pieces from your kiddos favorite puzzle and hid them in a sensory bin. Here we use Pfluffle by Educational Insights.

8. Make Your Own Puzzle!

Check out this simple, but genius idea by our friend Chloe!

You don’t need to spend money on new puzzles when you can make your own out of an old magazine! Adjust the amount of pieces depending on your child’s age, and let those big kids help you cut.

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