There are so many educational benefits of jigsaw puzzles that every child should be encouraged to use them as often as possible. Jigsaws can help develop children’s co-ordination skills problem solving skills memory skills; and shape recognition skills and the giant road puzzle has all of those benefits and much, much more.
Here are some of those extra benefits:-
1. the pieces are much larger than normal so children can get involved from a much earlier age.
2. the pictures on each piece make it easy for children to find the right pieces and for you to ask questions about each piece as it fits into the puzzle.
3. once the jigsaw has been finished it can be used as a giant road mat. Find a few toy cars, trucks and emergency vehicles from the toy box and let them play!!!
4. and finally, because the pieces fit together in many different ways, your child can create a new road system every time that they play! They won’t get bored of their puzzle therefore!
If you want to extend your child’s learning then you can follow the tips below to make it a bit more challenging and educational for your child:-
1. Introduce a treasure hunt for younger children and a quiz for older kids
If they are young, ask your child to find the ice cream van, the red car, the shape with the ducks on etc… and make it more like a quiz for the older ones by asking them to find various pieces without actually saying what is on the piece i.e. don’t say to an older child “Find the ice cream van” – say something like, “Find the van that we see at the park on a hot sunny day.”
2. Start asking questions about what you see on the puzzle as it’s being built. How many ducks can you see, how many people are waiting for the bus etc…?
3. While kids will love playing with the completed map by moving the cars and trucks around the track, you can develop their learning even further by asking them questions about what they are doing e.g. How could you get to the ice cream van? Did your car stop at the zebra crossing to let the people cross ? (which could then lead onto a great discussion point for road safety) etc etc…
4. Create a traffic jam !
I love this one – Let’s make a traffic jam with all the cars ….
I’ve seen children carefully place hundreds of cars nose to tail on this giant road….. It’s a perfect way to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination.
In addition, you can ask questions like, “Let’s make a traffic jam using just red cars? “ which is great for sorting and colour recognition. Then, by counting the red cars in the traffic jam you’ll also be helping develop your child’s numeracy skills. and then you can ask…. “Can you make a traffic jam with all your blue cars?” “Which traffic jam is the longest, and which one would you prefer to be in?” and now you’ve introduced problem solving as well as maths!
Before you know it you’re developing your child’s observational, listening, numeracy and literacy skills, and even their social skills as they learn to take turns etc….
It’s always a good idea to give the kids the opportunity to play on their own first.
I love observing what they make of a new situation – it’s a great way to let them use their imaginations before you intervene, (and I’m always surprised at the different things they come up with to do!!!)
Experience has taught me that if they don’t think that you’re watching or listening to them, then they really do enter into their own little world and it’s so lovely to see!!!!
All in all another great educational puzzle from Orchard Toys!
Written by Lisa Bradburn
Lisa is the managing director of what2buy4kids. Lisa’s wish is to make your job of finding a gift for the children in your life easier, or help you to take some of the time and frustration out of the search for that special gift for kids.