Thursday, July 24, 2008

Developmental Post #16

Playing with Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way to work on fine motor and cognitive skills with your preemie. Your preemie can work on picking up pieces and putting them into the proper place. Puzzles help preemies work on making choices, recognizing simple shapes and hand strength and agility. For young preemies, the best puzzles are very simple with large pieces. You don't necessarily need to find one with knobs - personally I think that the simple ones with knobs are easier because your preemie can feel the sides of each shape without distraction. Bright, high contract colors are also great for beginning puzzles.

Here are some ways to incorporate puzzle play into your preemie's play time:

1) Introduce a simple puzzle. Let your preemie feel each piece. Show him/her how the pieces fit into the puzzle. Encourage your preemie to take the pieces out of the puzzle. Don't worry if your preemie puts them back in the right place or puts them back at all. This is all about getting the concept.

2) Putting pieces back in - once your preemie has mastered taking the pieces out, try and get him/her to put each one back into the puzzle. Once he/she gets the concept of putting pieces in, show him/her how each pieces goes into a specific place.

3) As your preemie masters the simple puzzles, slowly introduce new ones that are more complex.

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