Silas used to really love puzzles, but he seems pretty bored with them lately. I think the ones he has aren’t challenging enough for him, but when I’ve offered him the next level of puzzles (there’s a big stack at the library), they’re outside of his ability range and well into his frustration point.
His puzzles that he’s been working on are the wooden ones with pegs (like this), and the ones I’m thinking of as “next level” are those cardboard ones with the frame (sort of like this, but with far fewer pieces).
Today, I had the inspiration to give him two puzzles at once. I took his “emergency vehicles” puzzle and his other transportation puzzle and dumped them both out. This was much more challenging, and he worked on it intently for a long time. When he completed it, he clapped for himself and then did it again. He also pointed out the differences between the duplicate types of pieces (“yellow car!” [taxi] “blue white car!” [police car]).
This puzzle combo was especially hard because there are cars and helicopters in both puzzles, so he had to figure out which one went where.
Now I’m trying to think about his other puzzles and new ways to use them. For example, maybe I’ll pull out his musical instruments puzzle. By putting that with a vehicles puzzle, I’ll create a combination puzzle/sorting activity. Will he figure out that the best way to solve this is probably to separate the instruments from the vehicles and THEN do each puzzle? Certainly not at first, but maybe eventually.
Update: I gave Silas the instruments puzzle and a vehicles puzzle. On the SECOND TRY, he figured out that the right thing to do was to sort them first. Then he decided he was bored. He’ll still do it to humor me, but his heart’s not in it.