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Have you ever watched a 2 year old build a puzzle? My daughter just turned 2 and she loves doing 24 piece puzzles. What fascinates me is how well she is able to put them together despite not understanding some of the basics of puzzle building, such as border pieces have a solid edge and therefore only go on the outside of the puzzle.

As adults, we have deeply ingrained processes for solving puzzles. I put the picture of the box in front of me and start with the border and work toward the center. This isn’t the case for my daughter, and I’m guessing most 2 year olds. She usually starts with any 2 pieces she can get together and builds out from there. She never looks at the box and usually doesn’t look at the picture on the puzzle pieces. From my experience doing puzzles with her, it appears she is looking at the shape formed by the edge of the puzzle pieces to put the puzzle together. She is often hunting for pieces that have the same edge as the space she is trying to fill. As you can imagine, it isn’t a simple approach, but it’s one that works quite well for her. She is very good at putting a puzzle together.

What I love about doing puzzles with my daughter is that it opens my mind to new perspectives. It’s not that her approach is better but it’s what works best for her right now. Over time, she’ll find better formulas and adjust her approach to puzzle building. For me, I’m going to watch and learn from her on how to keep an open mind because it is not just puzzle building but almost every aspect of my life where I can learn more by keeping an open mind to new perspectives.

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