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Sunday, August 05, 2007

24-piece jigsaw puzzle

Despite having a nice little room mostly child-proofed, filled with all her favorite books and toys, Ana likes to hang out in the living room if I am there, or in the nook by the kitchen if I am in the kitchen.

She is quite independent, does her own thing, but, prefers to hang out where either D or I happen to be working. And, likes to occupy the whole sofa and living room floor with her toys and books! I have given up on straightening out the house - by the time she is 4 years old, she will know and understand better - till then, I just say to the guests, "welcome to my house, try not to trip on any toys".

Ever since she was 14-15 months old and had enough dexterity to pick up the pieces and place them where she thought they should go, Ana has been doing puzzles - some newer Melissa & Doug™ wood puzzles as well as a few older wood puzzles that belonged to D. She progressed from simple ones to 9-piece to 18-piece jigsaw puzzles by age 2.

Slowly she has now graduated to 24-piece puzzles. She seems to love them. When I get her a new one, she forsakes all other toys for a few hours and makes me sit with her pleading, "Amma, let's do the puzzle. Amma, Ana ishio do the puzzle, please!" (Yep, the little booger says "please" whenever she wants something badly).

So, when I gave her this new 24-piece jigsaw animal puzzle, I knew I had to clear my schedule for the next hour or more, to help her do it over and over.

Now, she is possessive, so, she doesn't actually let me do the puzzle and I don't want to do it for her. I simply sit next to her and ask her a few strategic questions like: "Hm., here's a frog head, where's the rest of the frog, Ana?" or "Where did the bunny ears go?" and such so that she looks around the pile and finds the jigsaw piece with the rest of the frog, or the bunny ear and knows to put the pieces in the right place.

A lot of it is pattern recognition, and once she gets the large picture and what patterns to look for, she simply grabs the next nearest piece and places them where they should go without really trying to do them in any particular order.

It would have worried me a bit if she always did them in the same order - would make me suspect rote or mechanical or memorized way of putting the jigsaw pieces together, but, she seems to be doing it in her own way each time, talking to herself, asking the questions like I did the first few times:"Where is the goldfish?" "Oh, here it is" and so on...

Sometimes, she'll pick a piece and know that she might need at least one more in place before she can fit it, so, she'll say to the piece, "No, you go back. Not yet" and continue to do the puzzle...

It is a lot of fun to just hang around quietly and watch her do the larger jigsaw puzzles these days. After the initial few rounds, that is.

I got her a slightly more challenging 6-in-1 block puzzle of farm animals and already she is beginning to show enough interest...

More on Baby Puzzles here...

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At 9:36 AM, Blogger Sandeepa said...

Hey Sheela
Could you do a post on DMC on the toys that Ana loves and you get for her ?
The puzzles are so great, it would be nice to have a list of possible toys, puzzles etc.. Great as gift ideas too

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

absolutley, Sandeepa! Thank you for suggesting it!


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