We’ve been all about floor puzzles in my house lately, especially solar system floor puzzles. We have two different solar system puzzles and a coral reef puzzle. The reef puzzle is a little challenging for toddlers, but they had fun helping me put it together, and then they walked across it in their socks, pretending to walk in the shallow seas.
Our favorite puzzle seems to be the Melissa and Doug solar system floor puzzle, pictured below. We have put it together many times, and when it is complete, the astronomonsters like to roll around on it and say, “Space travel!” (We had recently watched a “Space Travel” episode of The Universe.) I’m glad to see they are using their imaginations, anyway.
The eldest astronomonster especially enjoys the puzzle. He is 3.5 years old now, about the recommended age for such a puzzle. The constant reassembling of such puzzles provides opportunities to talk to or quiz your child about the space objects pictured. For example, “Venus is a hot planet. Look at those thick clouds–they trap the Sun’s heat.” Or, “There is a nebula, a giant cloud in space. Stars are born in nebulae.” “What can you tell me about Saturn?” We also have some tiny astronaut and space shuttle figurine toys for which the puzzle becomes a play mat.
Do you have some favorite astronomy toys or floor puzzle activities in your home? Please share them in the comments!