puzzles and more puzzles

This morning we did puzzles. This afternoon we did puzzles. And this evening we did puzzles. For some reason, my children were all in a puzzle-frenzy today. Puzzles were done and re-done, and pieces seemed to be everywhere all day long.

For fear of sounding like a Melissa and Doug commercial, here’s my disclaimer: I do not work for this company. It just so happens that they make really fantastic products, and every friend and family member–myself included–seems to buy these items for my family. No joke.

Here are some of our favorite puzzles:

  • Jumbo ABC Chunky Puzzle: This is one of the first puzzles I ever bought for my children, so it’s seen some wear and tear. However, like all of these puzzles, it’s holding up remarkably well. I’ve used this one not only with each one of my kiddos a gazillion times, but I have also taken it to my tutoring sessions with younger students. It’s awesome because the letter pieces fit perfectly in small hands, and the pictures that go along with each letter are familiar and friendly. Another cool thing about this one is that the letters stand up, so Maddy and Owen like to spell simple words with them then mix the letters up and start again.
  • Vehicles in a Box Puzzle: This is one of Owen’s favorites. It has four separate puzzles in the same box. Each puzzle is stored in a separate compartment in the box, and the pieces are shape-coded so kids can sort them easily. For a little guy who likes both things that go and things that go back perfectly to where they belong, this puzzle is perfect for my boy.
  • Huge USA Floor Map Puzzle: I love when I see this one out on our floor, because I am far from a geography expert; another goal I have for my children is that they have a more solid background in geography than I. So, for a children’s 50-piece USA map puzzle, this one totally rocks. The pieces are thick and sturdy, and while doing it, children are learning the 50 states! Each state has a tiny picture of something state-related, so the visual associations that Maddy and Owen make with the states sparks conversation and helps them understand more about our country.
  • Magnetic Car Puzzle Game: Cora has recently begun to use this one more often, because she’s realizing how she is learning to control things better as she’s growing. This puzzle has a tow truck piece with a magnet on the end of a string which puzzle-doers use to pick up the other ‘broken-down’ car pieces on the board. The colors, like every other one of these puzzles, are bright but simple, and the car shapes give Cora just enough challenge to keep her engaged without being frustrating.
  • Farm Cube Puzzle: This is a newer one for us, and it seems to be the most challenging for Maddy and Owen. It’s actually six puzzles in one set, and each side of every cube is part of a picture of a farm animal. The secret is the border of each cube; in order to complete the puzzle, the borders must match.

On top of these, Maddy, Owen, and Cora did a bunch of the peg puzzles and several other huge jigsaw floor puzzles that we have accumulated over the years. Maddy also rocked two Fancy Nancy 100-piece jigsaws during her rest time. Holy puzzles!

Don’t get me wrong–we do have puzzles from other companies and other brands–but no other children’s toy brand seems to have so many brothers, sisters, and cousins under our roof. It’s one, big, happy M & D learning-while-they’re-doing-them puzzle family! Owen put it best–today, they were puzzle artists!



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