Early training with the Lea-Puzzle

As an example of how the puzzle can be used from early on here is a short story of a Finnish infant and his ways to use the puzzle.

Janne received the puzzle as a present from his grandfather at the age of 10 months. At that age the only use he found for the puzzle was tasting the puzzle pieces.

Three weeks later he found out that the puzzle pieces could be stacked on each other. He turned the puzzle pieces and the board over and over again and explored the cut-outs with his little fingers. At this stage the puzzle pieces had just the right size for grasping and dropping. Janne quickly noticed that he could throw the puzzle pieces and get an adult to bring them back. Now the puzzle piece "house" was set aside because the small corners could get broken.

At the age of eleven and a half months Janne started to put the orange circle and the blue square in the correct cut-outs. The other two pieces were quite apparently too demanding and frustrated him so they were kept aside. He started to recognise the box of the LEA Puzzle at a distance and was very proud to be able to open and shut the lid and put all the blocks into the box.

At this same age of eleven and half months Janne started to watch very carefully when an adult drew a line around a puzzle piece to create a picture of the piece, then showed how the puzzle piece could be placed on the picture.

At the age of exactly one year Janne could spend quite a long time in getting the puzzle pieces out from their cut-outs and then putting them back. The circle and the square were placed in their correct cut-outs every time and he clearly preferred playing with them but he was able to place both the house and the apple in their cut-outs although his motor abilities and concentration were stretched to their limits. When all four pieces were in the correct places he made every one in the room aware of how clever and dextrous he was.

A month later, at the age of 13 months Janne started to become interested in the black and white side. Again the circle and the square were the easy ones and the house the most difficult.

When the forms were now drawn on paper he looked at the smaller and smaller forms for long periods of time and then looked at the adult as if asking "what do you try to tell me?". Now and then he pointed on the circle saying "loh" (circle is in Finnish "pallo" = Janne's "loh"). He used also the signs of ball and apple (there is a deaf member in the family so he was accustomed to use signs from early on) and about two weeks later started to use "nah" for apple (apple = omena = Janne's "nah").

When three Lea Playing Cards were put in front of him he quite often could point with his finger on the correct picture when asked "where is the ball" and "where is the TV (=square)". However, it took another three months before he could really concentrate long enough so that binocular visual acuity could be measured.

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