One of the genius things about the Montessori approach is how materials and activities build upon each other. Montessori puzzles are a great way for children to develop concentration, hand-eye coordination, strengthen hand muscles and work on so many more skills! Plus, they are a fun activity that so many children just love! Let’s dive in and discuss the progression of Montessori puzzles and why we love them!
Montessori Puzzles Explained
Age: 7 months+
Why use Montessori Puzzles
Montessori puzzles are a fantastic way to help children develop many important skills, such as:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Pincer grasp
- Visual discrimination
- Hand strength
Which Montessori Puzzles Should I Get?
The Pincer Grasp Block is the perfect place to start for a baby. This material is a fantastic way to start puzzle work and develop pincer grasp. This grasp is an essential skill all children need to master in order to carry out basic tasks, such as using scissors, holding a pencil, and even eating and dressing themselves.
Montessori Single Shape Puzzles are a great next step for babies. We introduced this material to Natasha at eight months old. It’s taking a while for her to fully be able to master this work, which is just fine. First, start by introducing the circle. This shape is easiest because it doesn’t matter which angle the piece goes in. Then, introduce the square, followed by the triangle. Before moving to the next shape, I would let the child master the one already being used.
After the child has mastered single shape puzzles, you can introduce puzzles with multiple shapes or where the pieces are different sizes. For example, the Montessori Three Circles Puzzle or this Circle Sorter are fantastic puzzles! Both consist of circles that are increasingly larger. fc Alternatively, this Rectangle Puzzle is a great option! The idea is the same as the circle sorter – increasingly larger rectangles.
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Puzzles such as this Montessori Multiple Shape Puzzles or Montessori Geometric Puzzle Board present increased difficulty because the shapes are not isolated. Size and Shape Comparison Puzzle is even harder because the shapes are also increasing in size.
This beautiful Shape Sequence Toy is also a great way to practice visual discrimination. It is a bit more complicated to arrange the pieces by size, shape, and color! This is very complicated for young children. I really like this specific version of this puzzle because all of the shapes are available in each color. I prefer this to the versions of this puzzle where the colors are progressing from lightest to darkest per shape.
These wooden shape puzzles present an interesting challenge to children. They can serve as a starting point for jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are more complicated and will require more concentration and patience.
Eventually, you can introduce these Montessori Wooden Cylinders.
Remember, there is a simple trick for presenting such puzzles! Please read my article about presenting puzzles to children! If your child does not master a puzzle immediately, don’t worry. This process can take time. Leave the work out for a while, but if you see your child getting frustrated or upset, it may be wise to remove it for a little while and bring it back out after a few weeks. Every child develops at their own pace, but they’ll get it eventually!
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I hope you have a fabulous day!