I saw a post from @busytoddler on Instagram and decided to borrow this idea. It worked so well, I wanted to share!
I took three puzzles--these were all food-related--and I dumped all the pieces on a cookie sheet with edges. This helped keep the pieces from getting lost, but it was also something new and different, which made the whole process feel more exciting and like a special treat.
Just having to scan through more pieces to work the puzzles added a little challenge and interest, but I made it interactive by calling out things like, "Find a red food!" Or "Find the cupcake!" So she would really have to hunt.
After the first round, we added a number puzzle to the mix, which was great practice because Zu can easily count to ten, but she's still working on reading numbers so she was able to practice recognition.
I wondered if she would lose interest if I weren't there to name specific pieces to search for, but when I left the room to switch the laundry, she kept working and got all three puzzles nearly completed by the time I returned.
I'm not saying this activity will babysit your kid for thirty minutes (that's a job for Mickey Mouse's [Godforsaken] Clubhouse) (#kidding) (#notreally) but it was a nice alternative to playing Family (the Mommy is so bossy!). And she did request to do it again (twice) after the first set. She might have kept going after that, but it was bath time. Definitely an activity to keep in mind for indoor winter days.
Also, I may need to invest in another Hanna Andersson nightgown. She gets home from school and immediately wants to put it on. It's comfortable AND beautiful, obviously. She asked me this morning if it was pajama day at school. (It wasn't.) (But, oh, she wishes it were.)