Puzzles Feed

โœ‚๏ธ DIY ๐Ÿ‚Fall Inspired ๐Ÿ–ผPuzzle

Puzzles are an excellent tool for enhancing your childโ€™s cognitive and mental development, by stimulating intellectual abilities such as critical reasoning through fine-motor manipulation. I encourage Adrian to complete at least one puzzle a day (at his level: 48-60 pieces does not take himโณ long). Julia, on the other hand, works with large quantity piece puzzles (she is currently working on MonaLisa 300 pc puzzle buy here), so we always have a puzzle on the floor that she is working on.

Surely, children have their favorite puzzles to which they go back to and assemble over and over again, but there is nothing like an excitement of assembling a new puzzle for the first time. So, what about making a puzzle! Thisโœ‚๏ธ DIY is very simple, quick and inexpensive. Use a vivid ๐Ÿ–ผpicture from a catalog, calendar or even a large picture of the family/children and cut it in pieces, creating a DIY puzzle. 

DSC_0107I am using is a double-sided ๐Ÿ‚ Fall picture I found in a catalog. With this type of DIY puzzle, you can adjust the level of  ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“‰difficulty based on your child's age.


DSC_0107I laminated the picture for durability and used paper-cutter for cutting.
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With smaller children, ๐Ÿ“‰choose a bright image with many distinct objects and cut it in fewer pieces (2 or 4 squares) or simply cut the picture vertically, for easier assembly.  

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๐Ÿ“ˆWith older children, the smaller the pieces, the harder it will be to assemble the puzzle, so cut it accordingly to your child's level.
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Offer a child to assemble the puzzle.

For more on puzzles, read here "Jigsaw Puzzles Roundup for a Three-Year-Old," and for more on the importance of puzzles read here a post  "National Puzzle Day."

Also, see here "Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets ๐ŸŽฅ (Inside of the BODY Unit Study)."

Adrian really enjoys the Solar System puzzles (see here) a post "๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study." 

For logic puzzles, see here a video of Adrian assembling Color Code in a post "Color Code Logic Puzzle Game (Sensorial ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘ƒ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)," and here "Wooden Tangram Puzzle at 41 months."


Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets ๐ŸŽฅ (Inside of the BODY Unit Study)

We are continuing our BODY Anatomy Unit Study by exploring how the amazing body mechanism works. It can be hard for a child to conceptualize what goes on the inside when most of the process remains unseen while taking place on a very small scale. So I try to make abstract concepts concrete with hands-on materials, puzzles and interactive fun so that the child gets a better understanding of how the body works.
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To illustrate different body systems, I made "Organ System Puppets" using recycled ice-pop sticks and interactive LeapFrog stickers which work with Tag Reading System Pen (buy here). LeapFrog interactive human body discovery set (buy here ) includes a jumbo two-sided activity board, which offers a child a hands-on opportunity to learn human body facts, body systems, health nutrition and more. And to make human organs as concrete and tangible as possible, we are also using organs from a Human Torso model (buy here).

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Adrian really enjoys assembling this Boy 5-Layer BODY Wooden Puzzle (buy here) which includes five puzzle systems that exist within the human body: skeletal, respiratory, digestive, muscular, and integumentary system.

By making the learning experience hands-on and interactive, unseen mysteries are being revealed, offering a child a glimpse of the inside of the body!

DSC_0009Muscles make up 40% of your total body weight. To take one step, you use 200 of them! Also, you can be using nearly 2,000 muscles when you wake up in the morning and go to brush your teeth! Muscles cannot push, they rather pull. So a perceived body "push" is actually another muscle's pull. Did you know that it takes triple the amount of muscles to frown than to smile? And, guess what is the strongest muscle in your body - the tongue! 

DSC_0009Our heart, the only muscle that never stops working, is relentlessly supplying our body with life-potent oxygen and nutrients, even when we are sleeping. However, in addition to functioning as a natural pump and producing blood full of oxygen, the heart also creates its own electrical impulse while producing electrical energy as well as blood. Carrying nutrients and oxygen from your heart to the other parts of your body, bloodplays an important part in your bodyโ€™s function. Laid end to end, an adultโ€™s blood vessels could circle Earthโ€™s equator four times! 
DSC_0009The digestive system has two main functions: to convert food into nutrients the body needs and second, to rid the body of waste. To do so properly, the system requires the cooperation of a number of different organs throughout the body, including the mouth, stomach, intestines, liver, and gallbladder. 

Did you know?

  • The large intestine is actually shorter than the small intestine, only being about 5 feet long in an adult. The intestines are named for how wide they are, not how long they are.
  • 90% of what we eat is assimilated in the small intestine.
  • In your lifetime, the digestive system (mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver) will handle over 50 tons of food and liquid! 

DSC_0029The liver is the largest and most metabolically complex internal organ in humans, performing over 500 various functions such as neutralizing toxins, fighting off infection, manufacturing proteins and hormones, controlling blood sugar and helping to clot the blood. Did you know that the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, making it possible for one person to donate part of their liver to another person? 
DSC_0029Humans cannot survive for a long time without oxygen. The longest period a person was ever able to hold the breath was six minutes. Lungs are responsible for receiving, filtering, and distributing that air throughout the entire body.  The surface area of the lungs is very big (up to 800 ft2!) because the inside of the lungs is covered in tiny bumps called alveoli, which help lungs absorb more oxygen all at once. Did you know that your left lung is about 10 percent smaller than your right one?DSC_0009 

Other fun facts about the BODY (for more read here):

  • Human bodies give off a tiny amount of light, which is too weak however for the eye to see.
  • Neuroscientists have found your brain is more active while you sleep than while you are awake.
  • Babies donโ€™t shed tears until they are at least one month old.
  • Human bones are around 31% water.
  • When you listen to music, your heartbeat changes in response to the tempo of what youโ€™re listening to.
  • Your pinky finger is responsible for 50% of your handโ€™s strength.
  • Our mouth produces about one liter of saliva each day (which equals to more than 2.5 cans of your favorite drink)!
  • The average person has 67 different species of bacteria in their belly button.
  • Scientists estimate that the nose can recognize a trillion different scents!
  • Sneezes regularly escape your nose at more than 100 mph, the speed which is excessive if driving in America.  Coughs often can get up to 60 mph. (Thatโ€™s about how fast you can drive on most highways.)
  • You lose about 4kg of skin cells every year! (Not to mention losing 100-125 hairs per day, from a stack of about 100,000 hairs on one's head).
  • Human teeth are just as strong as shark teeth.
  • Humans are the only species known to blush - Horray to human humbleness :)

For more on inside of the body materials and activities, see here the "๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study" summary post.


๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study

How mysterious is the inside of the body! Children are simply fascinated to learn all about our body-machine that works day and night, without any rest, performing tasks no computer is capable of performing. Our eyelids blink reflexively, our lungs are constantly expanding and contracting, delivering fresh oxygen throughout our body. Our heart muscle relentlessly pumps blood to every cell of our body, delivering life-potent oxygen and nutrients night and day: whether we are asleep or awake. Our nervous system lets us feel, taste and experience whether pleasure or pain. Our white blood cells fight for us whenever an intruder, be it a virus, fungus or a nasty bacteria, attempts to disrupt our equilibrium. The body is an amazing mechanism, and it is our job to keep it strong, healthy and happy! And we can do it better if we know more about how does our body work! By understanding what goes on the inside of our body, which is mainly unseen and performed on a such a small scale, we can truly appreciate the work that the body is doing all the time - even if we might not know it.

DSC_0017The DK Visual Dictionary of the Human Body book [top-left] (buy here) is an amazing comprehensive compilation of anatomy of science, covering extensive topics with outstanding photographs. The brief text compresses many details into a few sentences, and the charts combined with the text give a clear overview of the subject. The book even has an illustration of an exact torso and detailed explanation of organs. This book can be appropriate for an elementary level and up. Adrian mostly looks through the pictures as the vocabulary is very scholarly.

Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body book [top-right] (buy here) is Adrian's favorite! Simple fun rhymes take a young reader for a ride through the human body where they visit the right and left sides of the brain, meet the Feletons from far off Fadin (when they stand in the sun you can see through their skin), scuba dive through the blood system, follow food and water through the digestive tract, and a whole lot more!

LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body Discovery Set (buy set here and the TAG pen here) shows a child how the amazing human body works. The set includes a jumbo, two-sided activity board, growth chart, interactive sticker sheets and glow-in-the-dark stickers. Your child will learn hands-on human body facts, body systems, and health nutrition. (Please note that the set works with Tag and the LeapReader Reading & Writing System, which is sold separately - buy here.)


DSC_0017Human Torso (buy here), comes with eight organ pieces and fully illustrated instruction manual. 

DSC_0015Did you know that the size of your child's heart is as big as his/her clenched fist? 

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The sensorial bowl filled with red hydro gels ("red blood cells") offers a tactile and visual stimulation as children have to retrieve the organs, name them and place correctly into the Human Torso Model Kit (buy here). This is a super-fun ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปsensorial invitation to explore the inside of the body! 

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See here a ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ of how we "made" these gel beads in"Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel โค๏ธ๏ธ Water Beads" post.


Inside of the Body Books, we are loving.

Interactive books have been favorites lately amongst my children. These informative science books are perfect for my curious explorers who have lots of questions and unending desire to flip and turn!

These wonderful flap books take a young reader on an amazing fact-filled voyage through a body from brain to toes with tons of interactive flaps to open and discover! 

1st [smaller] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ Look Inside: Your Body (buy here) is a wonderful flap book, which introduces children to the way their own bodies work in a fun and informative way. This hands-on book offers many surprises to keep enquiring minds entertained, including flaps beneath flaps and a cheeky peek inside a toilet cubicle. Your child will be truly fascinated to learn how their brains work, what happens when they eat, how their lungs use oxygen and much more. 

2nd [bigger] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ See Inside Your Body (buy here) is a larger version anatomy book which further helps a young reader to get a bigger visual presentation of parts of the human body.



DSC_0037Children are also loving the entire My First Discoveries series and The Body book (buy here) is a great addition to our anatomy book collection. 
DSC_0037Through transparent overlay pages, a child will find out what happens to food and air and blood in our bodies; where our bones, muscles, veins, and nerves are; and how our brain works and controls what we do.

Children love interactive learning which makes scientific subjects fun and comprehensible despite its complexity. 

DSC_0033How the Body Works book (buy here) offers a young reader a chance to discover what makes up a small growing human body and how each of the different parts work separately and together: how do we breathe and digest food to provide energy to walk and run and play? 

  DSC_0015The transparent overlay pages add a new dimension to a traditional ๐Ÿ“– reading.


 DSC_0015Another great addition to our Anatomy unit study is this Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle, Boy (buy here), which includes five layers of systems that exist within the human body: skeletal, respiratory, digestive, muscular, and integumentary system. Adrian loves assembling it over and over again.  

DSC_0009See here a video post ๐ŸŽฅ "Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets."


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See here a ๐ŸŽฅ video post "DIY ๐Ÿ’‰ Blood Model (BODY Anatomy Unit Study, Science๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธโš–๏ธ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)."


 

IMG_7689We also explored how our brain and senses work: see here "The BODY: 5 Basic ๐Ÿ‘…Tastes.

IMG_7686Did you know that much of what we think of as ๐Ÿ‘…taste is actually ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปsmellโ—๏ธThe back of your nose is linked to your mouth at the throat so that you can smell the food as you chew it. That is why when you have a ๐Ÿค’cold, tiny hairs in your ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปnose get clogged with mucus. This stops them from wafting smell particles deep into your nose and makes it hard to smell or taste things. That is exactly why you cannot "taste" anything when you have a stuffy nose!


 What's Inside Animals

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This Inside ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿด Animals flash card set (buy here) comes with 16 beautifully printed double-sided photo/x-rays. The images are protected with a special, scratch-resistant coating. The set even comes with two human skeletons to compare and contrast the image of the human to the walrus, giraffe, snake, owl, etc. 

DSC_0002These cards can be used on a light table, or with a help of a ๐Ÿ”ฆflashlight, or simply against a window (what we did) to reveal the skeletal system of the animal!  
DSC_0002This is an excellent way to introduce your child to animals and anatomy.

IMG_7667For more on Inside Body, see here "Giraffe (Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study)."

Stay tuned for more anatomy lessons ...


๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study

There is something fascinating, captivating and intriguing about the Universe! Although Cosmos appears empty and dark, it sparkles with thousands of mysterious glittering lights. Also, while purportedly having an infinite nature, the universe keeps expanding! It holds billions of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, and although the space between stars and galaxies is largely empty, it contains particles of dust, radiation (e.g. light and heat), as well as magnetic fields and high energy particles (e.g. cosmic rays).

DSC_0002What we are reading/using:

  • Julia is holding In the Sky My First Discoveries: Torchlight (buy here). Discover a torchlight which brings empty black pages to live revealing images and messages!
  • There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (buy here) delivers content in a fun rhyming way.
  • The Visual Dictionary of the Universe Eyewitness Visual Dictionaries (buy here) is a comprehensive edition which will keep your preschooler as well as elementary child totally captivated.
  • [on the right] Ravensburger Outer Space Puzzle, 60 Piece, (buy here) with its bright illustration of our Solar system and astronauts entices Adrian to assemble it over and over again (Adrian first assembled it at 44 months).
  • [middle] Round Kids' Puzzle of the Solar System, 50 Piece, (buy here) also features the Milky Way, galaxies, quasars, asteroids, and more. The color of each planet's elliptical orbit matches the color of the planet to enhance the educational experience.

 

DSC_0029This puzzle (buy herefeatures an astonishing 2x3 feet illustration of our Solar System.

Read here about this Solar System floor jigsaw puzzle in a "National Puzzle Day" post where Adrian assembled this puzzle for the first time.

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Children also love reading National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Space (buy here). This book, with its colorful illustrations and simple text, introduces young children to the wonders of Space, explaining basic concepts of the universe, beginning with what is most familiar and expanding out into the cosmos.

DSC_0024These flash cards about Outer Space (buy here) are amazing! They feature full-color photographs, many taken from NASA's own spacecraft. The back of each card offers young space explorers easy-to-understand facts about planets, stars and spaceships in our Solar System.

DSC_0029Our "Solar system"  - what does it mean? "Solar" means "of the Sun," and a "system" is a collection of objects that interact with one another to form a whole - that is the fundamental interaction for each object being the one it has with the Sun. There are many different types of objects found in the solar system: a star (our Sun), planets, moons, dwarf planets, asteroids,comets, dust and gas. The Sun comprises over 99.8% of the Solar System mass (being the biggest object in our system), with Jupiter (The Gas Giant) accounting for most of the remaining mass. All objects in our Solar System orbit the Sun - that is move around in elliptical paths. The Sun exerts enormous gravitation pull, keeping orbits of these objects, called the ecliptic planes, roughly the same, thus preventing collision or any object going astray.

DSC_0013The Universe is incomprehensibly huge: it would take a modern jet fighter more than a million years to reach the star nearest to the Sun. And, traveling at the speed of light (300,000 km per second), it would take 100,000 years to cross our Milky Way galaxy alone. Adrian used Imagination Magnets (buy here) to assemble a rocket ship. The set contains colorful pattern cards which are numbered in progressive order of difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert. As each pattern becomes more challenging, patience and confidence is gained through trial and error. (See here a post "Imaginets, Magnetic Pattern Geometric Shape Blocks & HAPE Wooden Mosaic Puzzle.")
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This hand-crafted โœจSolar System set (buy here) has been children's favorite hands-on material to go along any solar system discussion! These needle felted planets, made from wool and organic cotton, are proportionally sized to each other with names embroidered on the back. Adrian loves how ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปhands-on COSMOS study can be! He can basically hold the Solar System in his hands.

 
DSC_0024We also talked about terrestrial (rocky) planets (1-4) and gas giants (5-8), and the asteroid belt that separates the two.

Adrian also explored the Cosmos sensorially ....
IMG_6640See here the post  โœจThe Universe ๐Ÿ‘‹๐ŸปSensory Bin (๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study).

No one knows the exact size of the Universe since we simply cannot see the edge (if indeed there is one). All we know is that the visible Universe is at least 93 billion light-years across. (A light year is the distance light travels in one year โ€“ about 9 trillion km.) However, scientists believe that the Universe was not always the same size. They propose that before the birth of the Universe (the Big Bang which took place nearly 14 billion years ago) time, space and matter did not exist. However, one of the theories is that since the Big Bang, the Universe has been expanding outward at a very high speed, meaning that the area of space we now see is billions of times bigger than it was when the Universe was very young. Such would also imply that the galaxies are also moving further apart as the space between them expands.

DSC_0002See here ๐ŸŒ˜ Solar Eclipse Play Dough Craft DIY Big ๐ŸŒžSun -Small ๐ŸŒ‘Moon Science Experiment.

Stay tuned for more from our  ๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study ...


Color Code Logic Puzzle Game (Sensorial ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘ƒ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)

Adrian really enjoys Color Code puzzle (buy here), which is a logic game, featuring patterned see-through stackable colorful tiles. Color Code is a unique game where a child layers these see-through tiles to create different multi-colored shapes as shown in the included challenge booklet. The booklet offers challenges from one to one-hundred, which are arranged in the order of progressive difficulty. Simple beginning logic challenges Adrian was able to complete since he was two years and three months. 

Since then, Adrian has been working on these logic challenges in order following the booklet, slowing moving on to the next level in the progressive order of difficulty. 


DSC_0158Today, Adrian has finally reached the last "MASTER 100" challenge. Will he succeed?

Through trial and error, Adrian succeeded in completing the last MASTER 100 level in 1 minute and 37 seconds. 
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Color Code is a fun way to develop logical thinking, pattern recognition skills, patience and critical reasoning. Have your child tried Color Code?