Top Seven Ways to Use a Puzzle Board
Puzzles provide a lot more than just hours of entertainment for kids and adults. Puzzles are tools that can be used to teach reasoning skills, math skills, logical thinking and spatial relationships. A puzzle board is a flat surface with pieces cut into it so that when they’re put back together the work creates a picture or pattern. It’s an educational toy as well as one for fun! This article will describe 7 ways to use a puzzle board in your house or classroom.
Teach the ABCs and 123s
Using a floor puzzle, trace letters on each of the pieces with chalk so that young students can put it back together to form words (such as cat, dog, etc.) Have them work through numbers 1-10 by tracing those numbers using small blocks. To introduce numbers 11-19, play a number bingo game using the alphabet and numbers on the puzzle.
Teach Geometry and Spatial Relationships
There are many types of geometry puzzles shapes, sizes, color schemes, etc. Use a geometrical shaped puzzle to teach important math concepts like angles, fractions (one half versus one fourth), perimeter, etc. Have students identify shapes by creating symmetrical patterns or design a unique pattern using all the pieces.
Practice Critical Thinking Skills
There are puzzle boards that have mirror images about the center axis, so that when you flipped it over and put it back together, it makes an entirely different picture! Use this to teach students how to think critically and look at the same problem in a few different ways before they try to solve it, browse around this site.
Puzzles can be made for any subject matter from everyday life such as clothing, kitchen utensils, furniture, etc. (we call these ‘Everyday Objects’ puzzles) to tools, transportation, dinosaurs and more. Use puzzles to teach logic skills such as the difference between related things (such as math and science) or different kinds of animals (including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles etc).
Teach Reading Skills
Puzzles can be found with letters cut into them so that you can spell out words. These can be used to teach beginning reading skills. A slightly more advanced version includes letters that when put next to each other spell out a common word or phrase (such as ‘sad’ from S, A, D). After students are familiar with those puzzles, you can progress to ones where the adjacent pairs of letters make up phrases like ‘be happy’ or ‘nice and neat’.
Teach Language Arts Skills
Language arts skills can be taught by using puzzles like those that have sections of a story (such as from children’s books) cut into pieces, which when put back together again tell the complete story. For example, if you were doing this with the story ‘The Three Little Pigs’, there would be one piece for the introduction of the story, three pieces representing each little pig and their houses/straw/sticks and then one piece for the wolf’s visit. As students put it together they are also reading the story but in a fun way!
Puzzles are Fun!
Using a puzzle board doesn’t have to be about learning it can be just for fun! Have students work alone to put the pieces back together or in partners to solve puzzles together. If you’re feeling adventurous, bring out a 3D puzzle board with pieces that have to be turned and twisted into place.
Puzzle boards are a great way to enjoy some family time or learn something new. The puzzles can be put together in many different ways, which makes them more interesting and challenging for adults as well as children. If you’re looking for an inexpensive gift idea that will help improve the cognitive skills of your loved ones while giving those hours upon hours of entertainment, then puzzle boards may be just what you need!