The Montessori First Puzzle
The Montessori First Puzzle consists of the Montessori egg and cup, the Montessori wooden box and cube and the Montessori peg and ring. They are 3d puzzle fitting exercises are your baby’s first puzzle. These wooden puzzles are developmental aids that are offered to babies at different stages of their development. They are offered after the initial, grasping toys.
- The first wooden puzzle helps develop eye-hand coordination as your baby had to judge the distance and position that they need to hold one piece to fit it into the other.
- Since the Montessori egg and cup, the Montessori wooden box and cube and the Montessori peg and ring. each has two pieces; this toy encourages your baby to use both their hands together.
- The Montessori First Puzzle is designed to challenge your baby to use various hand grasps and also encourages wrist rotation.
- These wooden puzzles help your baby practice intentional release i.e. letting go of objects voluntarily as the place the egg into the cup or the cube into the box.
- These 3d wooden puzzles encourage hand to hand transfer.
The Montessori egg and cup and the Montessori wooden box and cube (7-8 months)
The Montessori egg and cup can be introduced around 7-8 months when the baby is able to sit on their own. This deceptively simple toy is perfect for those little hands that are trying to take things out and put them back in. The size of the toy is designed keeping in mind the stage of development of the hand which is ready for whole hand grasping. At this stage, the baby will begin to use all the fingers of the hands together to grasp something and also may begin to use the thumb. This stage is also called the radial palmer grasp.
Once they have mastered the Montessori egg and cup, the Montessori wooden box and cube can be offered as the next level of challenge. Holding a cube requires more precision than holding an egg and positioning it into the box also demands them to focus more on the alignment of the cube and the box in order to be successful. The egg will go into the cup irrespective of the orientation of the egg, but the cube will go into the box only in the exact position.
There are a few ways you can show your child how to play with the Montessori egg and cup and the Montessori wooden box and cube:
1. Place the toy on the floor or table and simply take the egg or cube out of the cup/box and put it back in – do this slowly with precise movements and don’t talk while you show them.
2. Hold the cup/box in one hand and use the other hand to take the egg/I out and place it back in. You can alternatively switch hands to encourage your baby to use both their hands equally.
3. Hold the cup/box in one hand and place the other hand on the egg/cube to cover it, flip it over the take the cup/box off – this encourages rotation of the wrist.
The Montessori peg and ring (9-10 months)
The Montessori peg and ring can be introduced to the baby after they have had some experience working with the egg and cup and box and cube. This toy is designed for the next stage of development of the hand when the palmer grasp begins to move towards the pincer grasp. By now thumb opposition is progressing and the hand is capable of finer movements.
There are a few ways you can show your child how to play with The Montessori peg and ring
1. Place the peg on the floor or table and hold the ring around its edges in a ‘c’ grip and slowly place the ring on the peg till it goes all the way through– with precise movements and don’t talk while you show them.
2. Place the peg with the ring already around it and using the ‘c’ grip, take the ring off the peg slowly, trying not to touch the ring to the peg. You can alternatively switch hands to encourage your baby to use both their hands equally.