Updated: Jul 30
Can you imagine being in your thirties and not knowing how to put a puzzle together?
A few weeks ago, I (Judy) was helping the kindergarten teachers go through a few supplies that had been donated. We came to a floor puzzle – the kind for young children that have very large pieces – and I began explaining how they might use it in their classrooms. I was met with some confused stares, so I took the puzzle out of the box and began demonstrating what I meant. That’s when I realized that neither of them had ever put together any kind of puzzle in their entire lives. They have both studied early childhood education and have taught kindergarten for 11 and 12 years– but they have never seen a puzzle. I shouldn’t have been surprised; I know what life is like here. But it still shook me. For our kindergarten teachers to not only have never seen a puzzle before, but to be unable to “see” how a piece with one half of a rabbit should go with the piece with the other half of the rabbit opened my eyes to yet another layer of the poverty in education around us.
The excitement of our teachers upon learning this new concept tempered my discouragement and turned it into determination. We can change this! We can give our 3, 4, and 5-year-olds the chance to learn something their teachers never learned. According to a teach.com article entitled “The Benefits of Puzzles in Early Childhood Development,” puzzles develop physical, cognitive, and emotional skills such as: hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, shape recognition, memory, problem solving, patience, and more.
We want to offer these kinds of learning opportunities to our students! Interested in helping us make that happen? Our School Wishlist on Amazon has several kinds of puzzles! Some will be used in the Kindergarten playroom that we are developing – more on that soon! Others will be used in the classroom, so we need a full class set. Take a look at all the fun puzzles on our wishlist! It might seem like such a simple thing, but purchasing a few of these puzzles will give our students the opportunity to learn and develop in ways no children in their community (and few in their whole country) have had before.
There are lots of other fun and super important things on our wishlist too! Check them out here.
We have about a month to fill a box truck to be shipped with needed supplies and helpful items! You can find more Lemuel wishlists on Amazon as well. Visit our Fill the Box! page for more information.