Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Time For Puzzles

The days are getting pretty dark here in the upper Midwest. Not much light to play outside after dinner, so what to do? It's the time to bring out the puzzles! Sam has really gotten into working on puzzles - even by himself! If you have an only child you know how rare the "Mama come play with me." broken record turns off. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with my son, but it's such a pleasure to watch him get COMPLETELY engrossed in play.

We have two different kinds of puzzles - wooden and paperboard. The wooden ones are beautifully made by the people living at Community Homestead in Osceola, Wisconsin. Community Homestead is a non-profit rural community living and working with people with special needs. They sell there wares at Sam's Waldorf School's Holiday Fair in winter and May Fair in the Spring. The puzzles are painted with watercolor so the wood's grain shines through the color. I find them just breathtaking! Here are the two Sam has so far.

This one with the fairy in the boat I usually pair with reading Elsa Beskow's book Peter in Blueberry Land. As Peter takes a ride in a boat that uses a leaf for a sail with the Blueberry King's sons.

Sam received this puzzle for his birthday after we stayed a weekend at Farmer's Inn in Viroqua, Wisconsin. I find it fun to have memories tied into the toys Sam plays with as it makes them have more of an alive quality.

Then of course there are the paperboard puzzles form Ravensburger. While not nearly as atheistically pleasing as the wooden ones, they are of very good quality and available in many different difficulty levels to match to your child's ability.

Here is Sam at his "desk" putting together his 60 piece Ravensburger dinosaur puzzle. He's learning about doing the edges first and then filling in the middle. Although, sometimes he just likes starting with the T. Rex (his favorite dinosaur.)

It really is fun seeing his mind work to figure out what piece goes where. And best of all, it's a great quiet activity before bedtime, which for us makes the transition all the more easy. What puzzles do your kids play with?

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