Activities for the First Jigsaw Puzzle - Square

Babies:

• Show your child one maple piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Trace the outside edge with your finger. Once they show interest, let them explore the piece.
• Show your child one cherry piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Trace the outside edge with your finger. Once they show interest, let them explore the piece.
• Place one cherry piece and one maple pieces in front of you. Trace one interlocking side of one piece. Pick up another piece. Trace one interlocking side of the second piece. Interlock the pieces. Trace the connection line.

Toddlers:

• Place all of the puzzle pieces in front of you. Trace one interlocking side of one piece. Pick up another piece. Trace one interlocking side of the second piece. Slowly interlock the pieces. Trace the connection line. Repeat with the other pieces until the puzzle is solved. Remove the pieces in reverse order. Repeat until the child initiates the puzzle.
• Introduce language: jigsaw puzzle, dark, light, checkerboard, half, stripe, square.

Preschool - Elementary Age Children: Introduce fractions

• Show the checkerboard pattern. "One puzzle". Separate the puzzle. Count the four pieces to the puzzle. Point to each puzzle piece - "One of four". Select a puzzle piece. "One of four." Select another piece and connect it to the first. "Two of four". Select another piece and connect it: "Three of four". Select the last piece and connect it: "Four of four". "One puzzle"
• Repeat above. Provide terminology - 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4.
• Show the striped pattern. "One puzzle". Separate the puzzle into fourths. Point to each puzzle piece and label as 1/4. Select one cherry piece "1/4". Select the other cherry piece - "1/4". Connect the two pieces. Repeat for the maple. Count the two sections, "One, two". Point to one section, "One of two". Repeat with the other section. Connect the two sections. "One puzzle".
• Repeat above and introduce terminology: 1/2.
• Repeat above. This time when you combine the 1/4s, say "1/4 + 1/4 = 1/2". Point to the cherry pieces - this is 1/2 of the puzzle. Point to the maple pieces - this is 1/2 of the puzzle. Connect the two halves - this is the whole puzzle, this is 1 puzzle. 1/2 puzzle + 1/2 puzzle = 1 puzzle.
• Repeat above, with checkerboard pattern to add 1/4s into 2/4, then 3/4, then 4/4 or 1. On a separate occasion introduce terminology.
• Repeat above, but instead of addition, when you separate the puzzle into four pieces, introduce subtraction: 1 puzzle. Count pieces. 4/4 puzzle. Remove a piece and count remaining pieces: 3/4 puzzle. Remove a piece and count remaining pieces: 2/4 puzzle. Remove a piece and count remaining pieces: 1/4 puzzle. On a separate occasion introduce the terminology.
• Repeat above with striped pattern. 1 puzzle. Separate sections and count. 1/2 puzzle. Separate into pieces: 1/4 puzzle.
• Introduce terminology: 1-1/2=1/2 and 1/2-1/4=1/4.
• Repeat with the striped pattern in the manner of 1-1/2. However, this time introduce division and multiplication. 1 puzzle. Separate sections and count. 1 divided into 2 pieces. 1 divided in 2 is 1/2. Combine the pieces. 2 halves make one whole.
• Repeat above, but this time also divide the sections into 1/4s. Take a section, 1/2. Separate into pieces, count 2 fourths. 1/2 divided into 2 pieces. 1/2 divided in 2 is 1/4. Repeat with other section. Rebuild the entire puzzle, adding fourths.
• Repeat above, but this time introduce multiplication of fourths. Count the cherry pieces. Combine cherry pieces, two fourths. Two fourths make 1/2. Repeat with maple. Combine the halves - two halves make one whole.
• Introduce labels for 1,1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4.
• Introduce labels for 1/2.