Puzzles at 33 months and our secondary shelf

We have a secondary shelf upstairs which Joshua works at before bath, in the mornings after getting up and waiting for me to shower or before going for a nap.  We found it necessary as we have upstairs and downstairs at our house and I found that Joshua enjoyed working nearby while I am busy.


I have tended to put materials on this secondary shelf that I do not have available downstairs. Puzzles are a good way to fill in some time and engage Joshua for a reasonable period of time in a small area that I have upstairs. I have reserved the bigger items such as art and blocks for downstairs. One of the puzzles is reasonably basic for Joshua but he loves shapes and geometry so this is there for him to work on. He has mastered the leaf and fire engine but the life cycle of a butterfly puzzle is proving to be challenging for him, the multiple layers are enough to keep him working hard.


I have also made available some items for counting – Joshua’s number book and the 1-5 discs stacking puzzle – as Joshua has shown interest in counting and letters (letter book) as well as some cars and tools and some Duplo.

Realistic Animal puzzles collage

1. Life Cycle of a Bee
2, Life Cycle of a Turtle

We have recently added two new puzzles to our collection of the life cycle of turtles and life cycle of bees. Joshua is particularly enjoying the turtle puzzle, he is very drawn to sea life and our recent visit to the aquarium and the zoo have been great experiences for him. These puzzles are beautiful and realistic layered photo puzzles, it makes me wonder why toy makers and manufacturers don’t make more of these for children instead of abstract or cartoonish type puzzles and toys. If you are overseas they are quite hard to find, this is a UK based company but I did find the website here, there are links to where these retail from overseas.

Do you have a secondary work area for your child? If you have any puzzle recommendations I would love to hear them.


Activity of the Day – Puzzles

I recently got out some jigsaw puzzles for my friend’s son who is 4.5 years old. When Joshua saw this he was immediately interested – he is always drawn to what older children are working on. He has not shown interest in puzzles for a while, not even knobbed ones so I had put these away. Having worked previously on 2 piece puzzles without knobs successfully I decided to provide jigsaw puzzles with more pieces to help Joshua develop his jigsaw puzzle abilities. I found these which are fabulous as they have 2, 4 and 6 piece puzzles (if overseas from here) and this one which is a wooden board puzzle and fits nicely into its own tray and is 5 pieces (if overseas I found a similar car puzzle here).

Let’s try 2 pieces Joshua.



Too easy. I knew Joshua would be able to do this as we have already done 2 piece puzzles before. Let’s try 4 pieces.
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With some prompting and encouragement, Joshua did this one reasonably easily. Fitting puzzle pieces with more than one side to fit is slightly challenging, as well as matching the picture too. Easy hey? Let’s try 5 pieces.

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We practiced this a few times before moving onto 6 pieces.

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This one was trickier still and needed a bit of encouragement and help but Joshua completed 2 6 piece puzzles successfully. These are generating interest so I think they will remain on the shelf for a little while and I will be looking for intermediate puzzles of 8, 12 and 20 pieces to increase the challenge once Joshua is ready. The next step is to have him pick them out of a basket all jumbled up and to sort them out himself to make into the different puzzles. Joshua still gets frustrated easily if he cannot get the solution immediately so these are teaching him logic and patience and well as improving fine motor skills.

Activity of the Day – Two piece puzzles

Joshua loves puzzles. He has been doing single piece puzzles with knobs on them for quite a long time. The complexity with which he has been working on these has increased as time goes on so I decided to try him on 2 piece puzzles without knobs. This proved a little frustrating about a few weeks ago so I presented these again. Success! Joshua is showing a lot of interest in puzzles again at the moment so I have left this one available for him to access on his shelves.

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Once done Joshua picked all the pieces up and put them away on his shelf. The basket with handles is wonderful for storing this activity.