Using puzzles to learn seems like a no brainer. Kids LOVE working with puzzles so having puzzle activities in your classroom that also provide learning opportunities is a win/win situation. Puzzles help strengthen fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They are also a great way to work collaboratively with a group. Here are several ways you can use puzzles to help students practice learning objectives.
Alphabet Puzzles help students practice letter recognition. Each letter includes several beginning sound pictures. These pictures help students make connections to the learning of each letter and also teach students new vocabulary. Puzzles are hands-on, which most young learners find to be more fun than doing a worksheet.
Help with Rhyming
You can use puzzles to help reinforce rhyming. My Rhyming Puzzles are a fun, hands-on activity to help students identify rhyming vowel sounds. Each piece has an image and its word, so students can work on rhyming sounds and reading skills. Encourage students to say the words out loud. For example, “Cat / hat, they rhyme.” We want them to be able to hear the endings and understand that they are the same.
Identifying Beginning Sounds
Beginning Sounds Puzzles give students a variety of activities to help them as they learn phonics. As children are putting each puzzle together, they are creating a strategy to put each piece together. Not only are students practicing their beginning sounds, they are engaging their brain to improve cognitive skills.
There are so many other puzzle activities that I have created for young learners. You can see them by clicking here.
When giving children puzzles to put together, it's important to ensure that it is on their skill level. Puzzles reinforce so many academic skills and allow for children to develop problem-solving skills and strategies. Any time you have the opportunity to add a fine motor component and a hands-on activity, young learners are more likely engage in the learning processes.