I have a "love-hate" relationship with toddler learning games. I love to know that my kids are getting some kind of knowledge or skill out of something they like doing. But, I hate ALL of the PIECES! There are memory game cards, and puzzle pieces, and little blocks ALL OVER my house. We get a new game or puzzle and they play with it once or twice and we are super careful to get it all put back together and put away. But then pretty soon I'm finding a card to the newest memory game chewed up by the dog on the front porch, or a puzzle piece in the laundry. It makes me crazy!
I don't know how to solve this problem without spending all of my days putting puzzles back together and re-organizing toys OVER and OVER and OVER. But I do know that I want my kids to have a little bit of independence and to learn to take care of their things themselves and I want them to have puzzles. And while I think it will probably be several years still before we make much progress in that area, I have noticed that there are a few things that seem to help. So I suppose my goal is to minimize the mess, while still allowing them some exploration and the chance to learn through play.
They do SO much better with the board puzzles (I don't know what they are really called- but you the know ones where all of the pieces fit inside a big board?). Like THIS...
I think it helps to simplify the "putting away" process when putting the shapes or letters in their places is part of the fun.
I also LOVE the toys/games that are made of wood. The cardboard/paper stuff gets chewed on by the baby and ruined way to easy.
So one of my latest lasering projects is to make durable and all-in-one games/puzzles/toys for toddlers out of wood....because I have toddlers at home, and that's what we do.
Another of my "toddler-learning-game" pet peeves is the memory game. Maybe it's just because I'm a little OCD, but I hate lining up a bunch of cards in nice straight even rows on the floor only to have some little person bump them with their hand or foot and scatter the little annoying cards across the floor. I've tried playing the game up to the table, but that doesn't usually work either so I made a "Memory Game" Puzzle. Now all of the little pieces have their place and it can be played on the couch or on floor or in the car.
This is just the beginning of my wooden toddler toy/game plans and I'm super excited about it. The Shape and ABC Puzzles are now available HERE and the Memory Game will be available to order SOON!
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