Quick: grab the rice and some puzzles. Let’s make a puzzle sorting station.
Do you have a toddler who is iffy on puzzles?
Maybe a preschooler who has outgrown their puzzles?
Oooh or a kiddo who loves puzzles and loves sensory bins and will go bananas if these two loves combine?
The puzzle sorting station is perfection. It checks off every box for our kids and makes for one fantastic activity.
RELATED: Looking for more easy indoor activities? I have a whole PAGE of indoor ideas.
It’s one of those magical activities
Some activities are just plain magical.
Like the pouring station.
Or the LEGO bath.
They work for all kids, varying ages, different levels and they make time move just a little faster on days when it might actually be moving backwards.
I decided it was time to try this activity with my youngest (3) who HATES PUZZLES.
RELATED: My favorite puzzles for kids – come see this puzzle list for ALL ages.
That’s right. My son is NOT a puzzle fan.
He’s never connected with them. He’s never loved them. Puzzles are not what makes him tick.
His brother and sister? Very into puzzles. Different kids, different interest.
But I know that puzzles are so valuable for kids so I do want to introduce them to him (and you never know, a fun introduction to a toy can be the catalyst a child needs for future play / a stronger relationship to the toy).
RELATED: Check out what else you can bury puzzle pieces into…
How does a puzzle help a child?
Puzzles do a whole lot of good for kids – they are filled with amazing learning.
When a child is doing a puzzle, they are learning:
- spatial awareness (how an object is oriented to others)
- problem solving
- shape recognition
- hand-eye coordination
Puzzles aren’t just about fun. Puzzles are some serious business.
How do you set up a puzzle sorting station?
It’s so easy.
Here’s the 411:
I set a towel on my carpet to define the learning space for my son. In my 28 qt storage container (this is a Sterilite bin from Target – in store only), I dumped my beloved resealable storage bag of years old rice (about 5 lbs worth).
I found three good chunky puzzles and dumped the pieces into the rice.
Now it was my toddler’s job to find the buried, hidden pieces – sort them out – and place them into the correct puzzle.
RELATED: Wonder how I did this activity without a big mess? I taught my son how to be tidy with bins.
Making a sorting station was a HIT!
These photos – these are the first times I had ever seen my three-year-old sit and do a puzzle. He actually stayed with this activity for 20+ minutes.
He even came back later and buried the pieces again. He set up his own puzzle sorting station and that is too cool for words.
RELATED: Need some ideas of how to store puzzles? Check out these tips.
This is a must-try
If you have a toddler or a preschooler – run and grab the chunky puzzles. Get them in some rice and get your child sorting. Making a puzzle sorting station is such a perfect quick and easy activity… it’s mind blowing.