Toddlers are smarter than we give them credit for. Like did you know that by the time your child enters toddlerhood, she will be able to put a puzzle together? Yes, that’s right! Being able to put a picture together from its pieces marks a great milestone in cognitive development and also displays a fast-growing imagination.
If you want to boost your child’s cognition – especially her imagination – even further, we have a unique DIY project for you called Ice-Cream Stick Puzzle. It is easy to make, fun to create, and can keep your child engaged for hours. You can scale-up the difficulty-level of this puzzle too, as your child grows older.
You Will Need:
- A colourful photograph of your child’s favourite cartoon character, story book, or any other simple picture.
- Craft sticks – you can recycle ice-cream sticks
- Marker or sketch-pen
- One enthusiastic toddler and creative mommy!
- Place the coloured picture, face down.
- Place the craft sticks on the back side of the picture, at equal distance, leaving at least 0.5 cm space between 2 sticks.
- Glue the sticks on.
- After the glue dries off, draw straight lines between the sticks. Using a scissor, cut along the lines. The ‘pieces’ of your puzzle are ready.
- Ask you tiny tot to now put the puzzle together!
Physical skills- Holding puzzle pieces and turning them around till they fit.
Cognitive skills- Figuring out what goes where.
Emotional skills- Patience and that feeling of accomplishment when the puzzle is complete.
Fun Tip: After the first time your child puts the puzzle together, you can number the sticks on the reverse side. That way you can use the puzzle to teach your child numbers too. As your child grows older you can use more complex pictures to make the puzzle. You can even use your own photographs, or those of family members.