- A simple puzzle 10-15 pieces
- 10 minutes to hide the pieces around the room
Recipe for Fun!
Have the children go to another room or turn around and close their eyes. While they are not looking, hide the puzzle pieces around the room – on a dining room chair, behind the couch, under a book, etc. Then let the children in to search for and find the pieces. When they have found a piece, place it on the table and continue looking for more. After all pieces are found, have children work cooperatively to complete the puzzle.
- Parallel play is when children play near others, doing the same activity, but not yet interacting. This helps children become more aware of others, model behaviors, express emotions, and develop communication skills. Finding the puzzle pieces is an individual activity that takes place with other children doing the same thing in the same location.
- Cooperative play is a goal-oriented activity in which children work together to complete a task. Children work together to assemble the puzzle. They can take turns to place pieces, share space and learn to work alongside others.
For an easier time:
- Hide puzzle pieces within plain sight.
- Use a simpler puzzle with fewer pieces or that has individual object pieces, rather than interlocking pieces.
- Hide the same number of puzzle pieces as there are children. Pre-assemble the rest of the puzzle so children can complete the puzzle with the few missing pieces.
For extended challenge:
- Hide pieces in several rooms so children have to search harder to find them.
- Use a more complex puzzle with more pieces and a higher degree of difficulty to complete.