Sensory Puzzle Upgrade

Puzzles are a favorite item for many therapists because of the many, many ways you can use them to promote developmental milestones. This activity will show you how to jazz up an ordinary puzzle and make it a more enticing sensory experience!

  • Any wooden puzzle that you want to spice up
  • Hot glue gun (keep out of reach of children)
  • Feathers, googly eyes, pom poms, etc
  1. Gather up the sensory items you will be using to add to your wooden puzzle.
  2. Plug in the hot glue gun out of reach of children.
  3. Cut your sensory items as needed until they are the appropriate size for your puzzle.
  4. Use your hot glue gun to attach the sensory items to the puzzle. 
  5. Once the glue dries, let your child explore the new sensory elements of the puzzle (make sure you always supervise your child playing in case they detach any of the small embellishments).
Three ways to use your upgrade puzzle:
Puzzles target so many motor skills and you can use them in so many activities to promote development:
  • Create an obstacle course with puzzle pieces placed throughout the course. Your little one can have fun going through the course to pick up puzzle pieces. This will increase balance, coordination and motor planning.
  • Use a crawling tunnel with the puzzle pieces on one end and the puzzle base at the other. Your little one can practice crawling and improving core strength and coordination while completing the puzzle.
  • Have your child sit on a small exercise or playground ball with the puzzle pieces on the floor and the puzzle base on a table in front of your child. Then have your little one reach down repeatedly to collect one piece at a time and place it in the puzzle. This activity encourages balance and core/hip strength.

Author: Brittany Gardner