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<p>Does anyone have recommendations for puzzles to move on to when the peg puzzles are too easy?  DD is about to turn 2, and I don't think she could handle a jigsaw, but the peg puzzles just seem so boring.  Or maybe there's something about them that I'm missing?  I mean, once they can put the shape in the hole, what else is there?  Weird that many of them are aged 3+.</p>
 

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<p>This one was a nice transitional puzzle:  <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSchylling-Train-Wood-puzzle%2Fdp%2FB000ELV4BE%2Fref%3Dsr_1_2%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331274821%26sr%3D8-2" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Schylling-Train-Wood-puzzle/dp/B000ELV4BE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331274821&sr=8-2</a></p>
<p>They seem to have a number of other puzzles like it in different themes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Not the same kind of puzzle, but another nice thing to move on to after peg puzzles:  <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMelissa-Doug-Beginner-Pattern-Blocks%2Fdp%2FB00005O63Q%2Fref%3Dsr_1_13%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331275388%26sr%3D8-13" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Beginner-Pattern-Blocks/dp/B00005O63Q/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1331275388&sr=8-13</a></p>
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<p>But I would also recommend just getting some jigsaw puzzles, too.  The way I figured it, it was better to have them a little too soon, because who knows when he'd be capable of doing one given that every kid is different.  Melissa and Doug makes decent wooden ones, and I've really been impressed with the quality of the Ravensburger cardboard puzzles.  I got some months ago and started putting them together with DS and talking about all the steps I was going through as I figured out the puzzle...talking about edge pieces, corner pieces, matching up the pictures, turning the pieces until they fit, pegs and holes and flat edges.  At first he'd just try to put the pieces together, not matching up the picture, then he started being able to put small portions of the puzzles together while I did the rest, and now he can put together 12 and 24 piece puzzles alone or with some verbal encouragement and strategic piece-handing (I don't tell him where the piece goes, just give him one that will jog his memory of what to do next).  I even got a 100 piece puzzle with a Thomas and Friends picture (he's an avid fan), and just make piles of the pieces for the different trains in the picture and he'll try to put them together.  Well, now he does put them together, and will get a lot of the other pieces in the puzzle as well as I put it together, but when we started doing it, it mostly was him staying interested in what I was telling him about the puzzle because he had pieces of Thomas to try to jam together.  And it was nice to give my own brain a little bit of stimulation!</p>
 

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<p>I think the patience puzzles here are pretty cool ... <a href="http://michaelolaf.com/store/13puzzles.html" target="_blank">http://michaelolaf.com/store/13puzzles.html</a></p>
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<p>I'm not a fan of this company (they use packing peanuts and their customer service is snotty) but their 3-d puzzles are cool. <a href="http://montessori-n-such.com/detail.aspx?ID=1727" target="_blank">http://montessori-n-such.com/detail.aspx?ID=1727</a></p>
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<p>I haven't ordered this one yet but it is AWESOME: <a href="http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510300480/5103/Montessori-Outlet-Roman-Arch" target="_blank">http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510300480/5103/Montessori-Outlet-Roman-Arch</a></p>
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<p>Or you could start making ball obstacle courses and stuff. Rolls off of one thing and the weight of it trips a lever ... I wouldn't do any of the stuff in this video with a toddler in the house but it is totally DIY inspirational. <a href="http://vimeo.com/7198223" target="_blank">http://vimeo.com/7198223</a> but for now we are just going to stick with ping pong balls, duct tape and some paper towel rolls.</p>
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<p>Enjoy! <3</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>Thanks for the replies!  The link with the patience puzzles is great.  They're kind of expensive, but really gave me some good ideas of what I could look for, or maybe even try to make.  I like the idea of doing regular jigsaws with her, too.  I always forget that I like doing puzzles, too, but they are pretty addictive.  I've actually been looking for more activities for myself that I can give DD a mini-version to do at the same time, so dual puzzling would be perfect.  Cloudbutterfly, how old is your LO now that he can participate in the 100 piece puzzle?</p>
 

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I like some of the pp's recommendations, and I'll also add that the giant floor puzzles are lots of fun for the 2-3yo range. I always find the giant Melissa & Doug ones at Savers for some reason, so check there if there's one near you. Tangrams are good too, and can be used for years with different (harder) pattern cards. Also look for the puzzles like <a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMelissa-Doug-Train-Sound-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB0001YNKWA%2Fref%3Dsr_1_3%3Fs%3Dtoys-and-games%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331306919%26sr%3D1-3" target="_blank">this</a> that are kind of a step between peg puzzles and jigsaws. Most of the libraries near us have tons of puzzles in the kid section (to play with there) so you could play there to see what she gravitates toward before buying too many new ones & finding out they are too easy or too hard for her.<br><br>
And some things you can do with the peg puzzles you already have to get a bit more time out of them:<br><br>
-Put the puzzle pieces in a big bowl of rice. Then she has to search for them first before putting together (good sensory activity).<br><br>
-Get a 3-4 peg puzzles and dump all the pieces out in a big pile together so it becomes one big mega-puzzle.<br><br>
-Blindfold her while she does the puzzle.<br><br>
-Hide the puzzle pieces around the house & go on a treasure hunt for them.<br><br>
-See if she can do the puzzle only with her non-dominant hand, or with her teeth, or her toes.<br><br>
-Trace the puzzle shapes onto pieces of paper & then draw/color in the outlines.<br><br><span style="font-size:9px;">Edited to fix typo</span>
 

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<p>I second the pattern blocks recommendation -- although I found that the M & D beginner set was a little simple for a child who was already very proficient with peg/chunky puzzles. The regular pattern blocks set seems like it will be used longer.</p>
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<p>Something I found great (and easy to make) for the in-between stage are homemade picture puzzles. The simplest ones are sturdy cardboard (although you could use wooden squares if you have access to them) cut into two, four, six or more pieces. I glued printouts of favorite pictures of people in our circle of family/friends to the pieces and she loves to assemble them (you could also just use pictures of animals, patterns, anything she likes -- I even saw one recently made out of patterned fabric).</p>
<p>We also made craft stick puzzles like these for our busy bag: <a href="http://impressyourkids.org/fathers-day-craft/" target="_blank">http://impressyourkids.org/fathers-day-craft/</a>  and they are a huge hit. She loves putting them together and, as a bonus, they store so easily and are a great quiet activity for a restaurant or waiting room. I made about 10 sets and keep each set together with a rubber band... all 10 sets fit in a zippered pencil case.</p>
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<p>Another idea is a set of picture puzzle blocks. You can make your own (same idea as the craft sticks, only 3D - glue pictures to each side, then cut apart with an xacto knife), or paint pictures on them, or buy them -- Etsy has some gorgeous sets. This is a clever idea: <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/home-and-living/home/110981-diy-holiday-gift-chalkboard-block-puzzle" target="_blank">http://www.momtastic.com/home-and-living/home/110981-diy-holiday-gift-chalkboard-block-puzzle</a></p>
 

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<p>He's 27 months old, but we actually haven't pulled that particular puzzle out for at least a month.  He was able to participate in it last fall, and started putting lots of the pieces in around his second birthday.  I think it has to have a picture they really love, though, and in our case the trains provide very identifiable smaller sections that are easier to deal with.  I got a 200 piece meerkat puzzle to do with him similarly around Christmastime, but there weren't any sections that stood out from the rest of the picture, so I couldn't even put it together with him in the room because he'd just play with the pieces like he would any other small object that can be made into a mess.  :)  I've also been reminded that I like puzzles...and I really want to put together the meerkat one!  Soon, hopefully.</p>
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<p>We have both the beginner and advanced tangrams, and so far he hasn't focused on the advanced set for long enough to finish one.  I think he could if he wanted, but the pictures don't interest him quite enough.  He likes doing tangrams on the computer or my iPhone, though, so it might just be that the advanced ones don't hold the pieces in place and he finds it frustrating when they slide around.  I haven't tried it on him for a month or more, though, so who knows.</p>
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<p>I'm realizing through writing this that I really need to put some of these puzzles somewhere more accessible!</p>
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<p>crunchy_mommy, nice suggestions for extending the use of peg puzzles!  I'll have to get ours back out.</p>
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<p>They have this puzzle at DS's preschool...it's really cool:  <a href="http://thefunwaytolearn.com/Geometric-Shapes-Maze-Puzzles-MD4305.htm" target="_blank">http://thefunwaytolearn.com/Geometric-Shapes-Maze-Puzzles-MD4305.htm</a>  I tried to find it when I posted before, but didn't know what it was called...finally figured out how to find it.</p>
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<p>Oh, and DS kind of makes his own puzzles with his Duplo blocks.  He really likes filling up the larger building plates completely with level after level of blocks, and finding the sizes of blocks he needs to complete a layer before adding another layer of blocks on top.</p>
 

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<p>I do the homemade puzzles too.  The easiest kind to make are cut out pictures from paperboard packaging you already have around the house (cereal boxes, etc).  Otherwise, another easy approach is to print out pictures and glue them to paperboard or cardboard and cut them out with an exacto knife.  The nice thing about they cost nothing, kids can make them themselves, and can be recycled once your kid is over them, or you can share them with a friend. </p>
 

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<p>After peg puzzles, these are some nice transitional puzzles:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This is a great introduction to floor puzzles: <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FInfantino-156-034-My-First-Puzzles%2Fdp%2FB0006N8YFO" rel="norewrite" target="_blank"><span style="color:#60499A;">http://www.amazon.com/Infantino-156-034-My-First-Puzzles/dp/B0006N8YFO</span></a></span></p>
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<p>Little harder:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FInfantino-Counting-Shapes-Floor-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB00009KX6X%2Fref%3Dsr_1_6%3Fs%3Dbaby-products%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751331%26sr%3D1-6" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Infantino-Counting-Shapes-Floor-Puzzle/dp/B00009KX6X/ref=sr_1_6?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751331&sr=1-6</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Next steps:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FCrocodile-Creek-Tall-Tower-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB0036BHADK%2Fref%3Dsr_1_6%3Fs%3Dtoys-and-games%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751495%26sr%3D1-6" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Crocodile-Creek-Tall-Tower-Puzzle/dp/B0036BHADK/ref=sr_1_6?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751495&sr=1-6</a></p>
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<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMelissa-Doug-African-Plains-Jigsaw%2Fdp%2FB000FPE038%2Fref%3Dsr_1_5%3Fs%3Dtoys-and-games%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751517%26sr%3D1-5" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-African-Plains-Jigsaw/dp/B000FPE038/ref=sr_1_5?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751517&sr=1-5</a></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JudiAU</strong> <a href="/community/t/1347377/puzzles#post_16911880"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>After peg puzzles, these are some nice transitional puzzles:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>This is a great introduction to floor puzzles: <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FInfantino-156-034-My-First-Puzzles%2Fdp%2FB0006N8YFO" rel="norewrite" target="_blank"><span style="color:#60499A;">http://www.amazon.com/Infantino-156-034-My-First-Puzzles/dp/B0006N8YFO</span></a></span></strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Little harder:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FInfantino-Counting-Shapes-Floor-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB00009KX6X%2Fref%3Dsr_1_6%3Fs%3Dbaby-products%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751331%26sr%3D1-6" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Infantino-Counting-Shapes-Floor-Puzzle/dp/B00009KX6X/ref=sr_1_6?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751331&sr=1-6</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Next steps:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FCrocodile-Creek-Tall-Tower-Puzzle%2Fdp%2FB0036BHADK%2Fref%3Dsr_1_6%3Fs%3Dtoys-and-games%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751495%26sr%3D1-6" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Crocodile-Creek-Tall-Tower-Puzzle/dp/B0036BHADK/ref=sr_1_6?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751495&sr=1-6</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FMelissa-Doug-African-Plains-Jigsaw%2Fdp%2FB000FPE038%2Fref%3Dsr_1_5%3Fs%3Dtoys-and-games%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1331751517%26sr%3D1-5" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-African-Plains-Jigsaw/dp/B000FPE038/ref=sr_1_5?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1331751517&sr=1-5</a></p>
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<p>We have the Infantino First Puzzles set. DD loves them. It's neat that there are several different sizes in the box. When she feels like putting together something all by herself that is simple, she does the 2 and 4 piece ones. When she's playing with dh or me, she does the larger ones. I really like the flexibility.</p>
 

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<p>We LOVE the mudpuppy brand of puzzles.  DS (23 months) can do the 12 piece jigsaws and really likes the completed pictures (we started out with one of their boxes of 4, 4 piece little golden book puzzles).  The pieces are sturdy and stand up to his use.  </p>
 

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<p>Tray puzzles are great.  Some have the same picture underneath and are easier.  Others are blank underneath.</p>
<p>See <a href="http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22099965" target="_blank">http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22099965</a> for a sample.</p>
<p>I find lots of them at garage sales for 50 cents to a dollar.  DS has gone from 12 to 25 pieces from ages 2 to 2.5.</p>
<p>They all say ages 3-7.  That's just because it's theoretically possible to swallow a piece or poke out an eye or whatever lawyers are afraid could happen.  </p>
 
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