Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Joey & the Map

For Christmas we got Joey a map puzzle.  Yes, he already had several other map toys, but this one was supposed to be different because it tells him the state and capitol while allowing him to manipulate the pieces.  Well, I was initially a bit disappointed because, aside from it being overpriced (over $25 at the store with tax), the voice is not all that clear and there is no way to keep the pieces in place for storage, so it's easy to lose pieces.  Also, I thought the pieces would be a bit difficult to handle for small hands. 

Turns out, Joey loves it. We came home yesterday and he got it down to play.  Of course, I helped him put it together by gesturing to him where the pieces went and calling out the names of the states and capitols as he handled the various pieces.  Today, more than once, he sought out the puzzle, putting together 9 pieces in their correct places before asking me to help - I'm so proud! 

About the puzzle, again: my initial thought was that a peg on each piece would be better, but it's good for his hands to get the practice and I realize now that for his ability not having pegs is better and helps improve his manual dexterity.  He doesn't have a hard time handling the pieces. 

So, instead of attempting to return it, as was my original plan, I'm considering modifying it by buying double-sided magnetic tape in hopes of keeping the pieces in the board during storage.  I'm a fan of letting him play and discover on his own, so this is important for me, especially because I'd like to ensure that Kaelie can play with it later on too. 

About Joey learning geography:  In addition to the puzzle, Joey also plays with a floor map of the usa, an interactive map (I usually keep this in the car), and listens/watches various youtube geography videos.  Hope that helps!

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