Puzzles and LeapPads
by Amy P.
(SF Bay Area)
My son Aidan is a huge Pixar movies fan and my husband bought him a Disney Cars puzzle when he was about 3 1/2 years old. This is a simple 24-piece wooden puzzle with a picture of Lightning McQueen, his favorite character. The large wooden pieces are very good for his little hands and the shapes are easy enough not to frustrate him. He loves to put it together then roll on it!
The next preschool toy that Aidan loves are his LeapFrog LeapPad interactive books. He, of course, has a Cars LeapPad and he's got ones for The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, too. Aidan doesn't play most the structured games in the books, rather he prefers to point the stylus at different parts of the picture for the sound effects. When he was younger he'd spend hours doing this. As he gradually got older, he'd play the simpler games like mazes.
The puzzle and the LeapPad games both keep Aidan mentally engaged and I could practically see new brain synapses connecting as he played quietly.