My daughter loves puzzles. We have several cheap puzzles that we got in the Target dollar section and Walmart’s clearance section. This is one of the Walmart puzzles.


She can easily solve them herself, providing that we’ve done them a few times together. Floor puzzles are more difficult as they’re free-floating without nice borders to help placement. I haven’t been able to teach her about constructing the border on these puzzles first, then filling in the rest. The strategy that works best for her is to build things she recognizes. In this puzzle, she’d look for “more crab” or “more octopus” and such.

Unfortunately, being a toddler, she is easily bored and moves onto other things. This means that I usually have one completed puzzle on the floor and one just-started. I am not allowed to complete them and put them away either. If she sees me trying to do a puzzle for her she’ll freak out. I either have to wait until she’s completely distracted elsewhere (rare) or asleep (but I want to clean up before bedtime, since these go in her room). The only way she’ll let me complete a puzzle is if she’s riding on my back.

You heard me.

It happened one day that I was trying to do a puzzle and she decided to climb on my back. That was fun. So fun, in fact, that she allowed me to do the puzzle while she balanced and squirmed around on my back. So if I want to put a puzzle or two away I have to submit to being a human horsey.



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