Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Appreciated, Unappreciated Gift

Puzzle play is an important skill to build!
Common toddler puzzles are found at most toy stores and book stores. But there are puzzles that can be very beneficial that we do not always think to turn to! One of these toys was a Christmas gift this year.
Jacob received three puzzle trucks for Christmas. When I first saw them I thought they were super cute but I could only imagine the disaster they would turn into having them in my home! All these little pieces that would never be put together. I thought they would be cute on a shelf in his room or out of the way somewhere! I did not think that they would be a toy that Jake would be able to play with or would even want to play with, boy was I wrong!
I ended up putting the trucks in our Structured Play space on a little desk along with his new wooden beads. I just set them up against the wall. Jake saw them there the first day and wanted to play with them. I let him thinking he would quickly lose interest. That did NOT happen! Everyday he starts and ends our Structured Play time by playing with the trucks. He has really learned how to put them together (as have I) just by playing with them and guessing and checking. I swear he could sit for an hour and play with these trucks! I absolutely love watching him! 
He studies each piece and thinks about it very thoroughly before he places it on the little peg. If he cannot get the piece to fit properly he shakes his head and tries it somewhere else. He is teaching himself to turn, flip and push the pieces to get them to fit, something he does not do with the standard Doug and Melissa puzzles. 
He also plays with the trucks, here he is saying, "up, up, up" as he lifts the bulldozer's bucket. These puzzle trucks help with logistical thinking, problem solving, and facilitates imagination. This unappreciated gift surely turned into a valuable learning tool!

Have you every received a gift that you thought you should return or give away only to quickly see the value it could bring? Tell us about it!

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