Gus loves playing with noise puzzles from @melissaanddougtoys including this transportation puzzle and others featuring musical instruments and animals. Puzzles play an important role in early childhood development as they teach and encourage young children to use a number of physical, cognitive and emotional skills. Wooden puzzles like this one provide exercise in hand-eye-coordination, fine-motor skills, spatial awareness, awareness of shapes and surrounding areas, problem solving, memory, understanding cause-and-effect, and building vocabulary as a parent, sibling or caregiver names the item pictured on each puzzle piece while he plays. Once the child learns the new words, he can name each piece on their own. Noise puzzles are excellent for little ones with amblyopia or low vision because these puzzles offer the satisfying reward of sound after each puzzle piece is placed back on the board, so there’s more incentive for the child to keep trying to get it right. The images on this particular puzzle are more detailed and with less contrast than the other Melissa and Doug sound puzzles. I start by letting Gus remove the pieces and put them back at his own pace. Then I’ll remove maybe 2 or 3 pieces for him to place back. Then we’ll gradually work our way up to removing all the pieces beforehand. I think it’s best to start small, especially during patch-time, so the task doesn’t feel too challenging in the beginning.
(Turn volume on to hear the sound puzzle in action!)