It's funny, but it was a while before I thought of trying to do jigsaw puzzles with Little Miss C. We had the typical baby/toddler puzzles where you get wooden shapes with little peg handles to fit into the appropriate cut out holes, but it was only when someone gave me a promotional jigsaw that she showed an interest in that I thought of looking for appropriate ones for her to do. Since then we've picked up several in charity shops as well as being bought a few as gifts and they have to be one of her favourite things to do.
They are great for encouraging the fine motor skills required for putting the pieces together and now that she's getting older there is the added challenge of her trying to work out which pieces fit together and match up the pictures on them. Quite often with larger puzzles I will choose the next piece and hand it to her, but smaller puzzles with only eight or nine pieces in total are now do-able on her own, especially if it's a picture that she knows well, such as a particular pig that seems to be famous and on everything right now! Puzzles are also great for helping to increase vocabulary and understanding too – telling her to find pieces that have particular things on them or just looking at a completed puzzle and asking her to name things in the picture.
I love finding traditional toys and games that hold LMC's attention whilst also being educational like this. As much as I also like the high-tech toys and games that she has, there's something slightly romantic about old-fashioned jigsaw puzzles and sitting down and doing one together that's magical. The fact that they can be done over and over again, and also picked up cheaply second hand, just makes me love them even more!
What old fashioned toys and games do your little ones enjoy?