Hidden Puzzle Pieces Challenge

Puzzles are a fantastic activity for children, they allow them to develop their problem solving skills, work on their persistence and practise using trial and error methods. Some children are naturally drawn to puzzles while others require further encouragement to play with and complete them. By hiding puzzle pieces in a sensory material you can engage both of these types of children.

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You can use any sensory base to hide the pieces in. We choose rainbow rice simply because we had it in the cupboard. The best way to hide them is to put the puzzle pieces on the bottom of the tray and pour the sensory material over the top. Once it has been played with however you will just need to push the puzzles pieces under the sensory material individually.

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Early Years Learning Framework

Outcome 4 - Children are confident and involved learners

4.1 - Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

4.2 - Children develop a range of processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

4.3 - Children transfer and adapt what they have learnt from one context to another

This Activity is for:

  • Children who are not showing an interest in puzzles

  • Children who are finding the puzzles you have too simple

Encourage children to:

  • Talk about the puzzle pieces they find, describe them and discuss where in the puzzle board it could go

  • Work collaboratively with each other

Extend on this by:

  • Wrap the puzzle pieces up before putting them in the sensory material

  • Hide the pieces of two puzzles at a time

Simplify this by:

  • 1:1 scaffolding with the child

  • Using puzzles with few pieces

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