Sometimes it’s hard for me to find cool ways of sneaking some math into our day, but recently we’ve been on a puzzle kick.
Puzzles are a super way of getting your brain moving in clever and creative ways, allowing you to stretch those critical thinking skills.
Math is so much more than just number recognition and basic facts. Math is actually the study of numbers, equations, functions, and geometric shapes and their relationships. And there’s a whole lot when it comes to their relationships.
Puzzles help us bring to life those those relationships.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Color Puzzles–Fun Math and Logic for Kids:
Actually, these color puzzles are fun for kids of all ages. In fact, I’ve done so many of the puzzles I’ve found on this site, that some days an hour will pass and it feels like a heartbeat to me.
And I’m not really a puzzle person.
It’s just that I find these addicting.
These are the four color puzzles from Erich Friedman, the puzzle king.
Erich created every single one of these puzzles, friends; it’s amazing. It’s incredible. Honestly, he must be brilliant.
All I did was make these puzzles accessible to my kids for their summertime tabletop surprises. I wanted to be able to print them out, have the kids work on them whenever they could and not have to be plugged into a device.
So it has worked out well.
And if you want to try these awesome four-color puzzles, check out Erich’s site:
Or if you want to download the printable, you may do so here: color puzzles teachmama.com
Throw your email in the box below, and the printable will magically arrive in your inbox!
If you choose to share this printable, which we hope you do, please first link to Erich’s site, and then share this post. Thank you!
Do you know that when Maddy was young, I totally forgot about puzzles?
When she was two, I had a girlfriend and her two children over for a playdate. My pal was explaining how her son, who was also two at the time, couldn’t sit still for television programs but could always sit still to work on a puzzle.
I felt like the earth stopped moving. I was holding Owen at the time, and I remember nearly dropping him. He was about six months old, and he was wiggling out of my arms, and at the same time, I felt dizzy and nauseous.
OH MY GOSH! HOW I FORGOT ABOUT PUZZLES?!
How will Maddy ever succeed in life, having never even seen a puzzle until she was 26 months old?!
So as soon as I could politely usher my friend out of the house and get my kids strapped into the car, you better believe I beelined for the toy store.
I grabbed an alphabet puzzle and a number puzzle–two chunky Melissa & Doug classics–and we used them for years and years since.
I’m sure I overreacted. Maddy did not need a puzzle right there and then, but my point is that puzzles are important, friends.
Our little ones–and we as adults–need puzzles for many reasons.
In fact, a University of Chicago study found that
Children who play with puzzles between ages 2 and 4 later develop better spatial skills . . . Puzzle play was found to be a significant predictor of spatial skill after controlling for differences in parents’ income, education and the overall amount of parent language input.
In examining video recordings of parents interacting with children during everyday activities at home, researchers found children who play with puzzles between 26 and 46 months of age have better spatial skills when assessed at 54 months of age.
“The children who played with puzzles performed better than those who did not, on tasks that assessed their ability to rotate and translate shapes,” said psychologist Susan Levine, a leading expert on mathematics development in young children.
Read more here: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2012/02/15/puzzle-play-helps-boost-learning-important-math-related-skills#sthash.4iDTDIbD.dpuf
And it’s no secret that puzzles are said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. The Fischer Center for Alzheimers recently wrote about a study from the University of California, Berkeley with these findings:
Reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and solving challenging puzzles may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Now a new study shows how mental stimulation may protect the brain. . . .
“We report a direct association between cognitive activity and Pittsburgh compound B uptake, suggesting that lifestyle factors found in individuals with high cognitive engagement may prevent or slow deposition of beta-amyloid, perhaps influencing the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” the researchers write.
Read more here: https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/crossword-puzzles-alzheimers/
So? Get those puzzles out, friends. No matter how old your little ones are, puzzles are for everyone.
Follow us on Instagram: @teachmama1 / #tabletopsurprises
Want a little more math fun?
- 26 puzzle
- sums in a row
- fractions with food
- LEGO baseball
- math and writing
- driveway shuffleboard math
- street sign math
- mind-blowing math tricks
- 3 hands-on totally cool math games
Or follow our rockin math pinterest board:
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.
The updated address for Eric Friedman’s four color puzzles is http://www2.stetson.edu/~efriedma/puzzle/4colors/.
Hello, Can you explain what exactly do you solve with these puzzles? What’s the challenge in them? I’m confused as to what you do exactly? Thank you.
directions are on the top!
when i click on the link for downloading the puzzles, it takes me to a whole different page. Advice??
should be fixed, my friend! hope this helps! thank you!!!