Do you know what this is? (Montessori teachers, shhh)
Yes, it's a puzzle, but a very special one!
Why is that, I hear you ask. Well, it's a Montessori zoology puzzle!
Faithful to the Montessori ideals of beauty, realism and simplicity, this horse puzzle is not just a horse puzzle. It represents all mammals. Traditionally in Montessori zoology, one animal is taken to represent all from that class. A horse for mammals, a goldfish for fish, a robin for birds, a turtle for reptiles and a frog for amphibians. It's up to the child to classify other animals by comparing their features.
And have you seen what's underneath the pieces? Not only do those puzzles teach animal body parts but they also connect the parts to the skeleton! Finn was surprised to notice that the horse's tail bones were not as long as the tail hair and that there were no bones underneath the mane!
Another very attractive puzzle is the goldfish one. This was the first one we bought when Finn was just 2 years old and he loved it from the start. He was very interested in learning the particular names of the different fins and curious about the fish's gills. These puzzles are such a great introduction to zoology for a toddler.
The quality of these puzzles is fantastic. They are so nice to handle that even adults are drawn to them.
When Finley is a bit older, he will be able to trace around the pieces to make his own drawings of a horse and goldfish, labeling them if he wants to.
I love these two puzzles so much that I contacted Marie-Louise at Tower High Learning, where I bought the puzzles, and asked if she would be happy to give away one skeleton puzzle to a lucky reader... and she was! Not only will she give a puzzle away, but she will send it anywhere in Europe!
For your chance to win, visit Tower High Learning, and write a comment on this post stating which of the skeleton puzzles you would like to win (choose between horse, goldfish, turtle, frog and bird). Please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you. Only one entry per person please. The competition is open to readers from Europe.
The giveaway will run until 1st November at midnight (British time). The winner will be chosen at random and will receive an email from me.
Good luck to all!