Using TANGRAM PUZZLES To Grow

Today’s post looks at how playing with a Tangram Puzzle can support the development of your child’s language and communication skills. Continue reading to find out more!

Vocabulary

  • The Tangram Puzzle is effective in supporting the development of concepts such as colours (red, blue, yellow), shapes (triangle, square), sizes (big, small), and locations (top, bottom, in between) in a structured and fun way.
  • Select a concept to focus on so that it’s not too overwhelming for your child.
  • Teach the concepts before attempting the puzzle
    • Lay out all the different shapes of the same colour and introduce the shapes by highlighting their characteristics (circle – no corners, round; square – 4 equal sides, 4 corners; rectangle – 2 long sides, 2 short sides, 4 corners)
    • Discuss the different positions to place the pieces (top, bottom, in between, above, below, next to)
  • Discuss what pieces needs to go on the puzzle first and where (e.g. let’s place the red triangle at the very bottom)

Following instructions

  • You can also use the Tangram Puzzle to support your child’s ability to follow instructions.
  • Hide the cheat sheet that shows solution for each puzzle, then provide verbal instructions to direct your child on which pieces to pick and where to place them.
  • You can start with short instructions and gradually increase the length and complexity as your child becomes more confident
    • 1 key word instruction: find the triangle; put it in the middle
    • 2 key word instruction: find the red triangle; put it next to the circle
    • 3 key word instruction: find two red triangles

Expressive language

  • You can develop your child’s descriptive language by encouraging your child to use words to request for pieces
  • Verbally prompt him/her by saying “what shape do you need? a circle, triangle, square, or rectangle?”. When your child chooses a shape, consolidate his/her learning by saying “you want a circle, can you say “I want a circle””.
  • You can gradually increase the complexity of the language by adding numbers, colours, sizes into your child’s descriptive language e.g. “I want two blue circles”.

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