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Fine Motor Skills

Today we played with ALEX’s 3D Cityscape jumbo puzzle.  It’s a 41 piece floor puzzle geared toward kids ages 3 and up.  Aside from the fun colors and designs depicting a cute little city, this puzzle also has a 3D component consisting of 3 vertically standing buildings.

The kids loved the 3 dimensional buildings, which my niece reported “make it look like a real town.”

Your 3 year old will more than likely need your help to get all the pieces together. I liked that it was a little more challenging so children can continue to enjoy it as they get older and become more independent. The puzzle includes a completed picture to help direct your kids as they work. Cue them not to concentrate too much on the colors of the building in the pictures,  as a few of them are different than what is shown, but have them use it to orient themselves and match up the types of buildings, people, and animals to their puzzle.

Fine Motor Skills

The Benefits of Floor Puzzles

1. They challenge kids’ visual motor and fine motor skills.

2. The large pieces and busy background also challenge the child’s visual perceptual and visual scanning abilities, which are the foundation for many skills, including reading and writing.

3. Unlike typical puzzles, floor puzzles get the whole body involved, as the children reach, move, and reposition themselves. Activities that incorporate the entire person help increase a child’s interest and attention, and are a key part of learning.

4. Floor puzzles are a great way to get older children involved with more developmental skills.


Puzzle Games for Older Kids

One of my favorite things to do with floor puzzles is to place the puzzle pieces on one side of the room and build it on the other side of the room.

1.  Create an obstacle course in between, which the kids can also help you do. Use floor pillows, tunnels (if you have them), and blankets to create a course that the kids have to climb over and through to get to the puzzle pieces.

2.  You can also have the kids simply perform animal walks to get to the pieces, such as a bear walk (on hands and feet), crab walk, or lizard crawl (army crawl).

Incorporating these components will not only help to strengthen your child’s core and upper body, which is a must-have for handwriting and fine motor skills, but it will also challenge their visual memory, as they try to remember and match which piece they need next.

Any way you do it, puzzles are great for encouraging your child’s developmental skills, and we thought ALEX’s 3D Cityscape was a winner!

Shop ALEX puzzles for a theme your kids will love and then let the fun and games begin!