Thursday, July 21, 2011

Puzzle work supports prereading skills....

Puzzles are undoubtedly one of the best activities for toddlers and preschoolers for so many reasons--spatial awareness, problem solving skills, matching, sequencing, visualization, concentration.....I could go one.

One other major skill puzzle-work supports can be reading.
Here's how--
Preschoolers and Toddlers benefit from activities that let their hands/brain practice working from left to right (the direction of print). When your child works a puzzle, first encourage her to take the pieces out and place them on the left side of the puzzle. Then, as she places them back in the puzzle, she's training her eyes, hands, and brain to work in a left-to-right progression.

I made this "work mat" for Quinn to use when she does puzzles. She takes out all the pieces and puts them on the left where it says "puzzles" and then knows to put the puzzle frame on the large rectangle.

I made this out of the back of a piece of used posterboard and it took me about 20 seconds. Nothing fancy, but just something to remind her how to organize her puzzle work. This also helps keep all of the pieces together and that way we aren't searching all over for that last piece!

Even when working peg puzzles with infants, I always modeled for them how to take out the pieces and place them on the left side. It's never too early to begin!

Posted by Picasa