A long time involvement with Montessori education, both through my children’s schooling and as a volunteer parent, spurred a deep desire to learn more about the Montessori philosophy. I watched with increasing fascination how the children learned and worked with the materials. I discovered the intricate web of interconnected concepts Maria Montessori devised from babies and toddlers to adolescents. She truly was a visionary woman. The more I learned, the more I wanted to become even more involved. Puzzle Heads Educational Products became a reality and a line of wooden puzzles, inspired by the Montessori philosophy, was created for all children to enjoy.
About The Puzzles
All of the puzzles are handmade from start to finish in the Puzzle Heads workshop and studio. All designs are original and begin as a hand drawn piece of art, converted into a digital file. Stencils are created for screenprinting the colors one by one by hand. All screenprinting is done with water based inks and varnishes on Baltic Birch plywood boards.
Each puzzle is cut individually with a scroll saw and all edges are sanded smooth. The solid wood construction ensures the corners and edges of the puzzles will never get rounded or look “frayed”. This heritage quality construction means they withstand heavy use in all kinds of environments and classrooms.
Most puzzles for children in stores today are very busy, multicoloured jumbles. A key concept in The Montessori Method is to focus the child’s attention on one idea at a time to maximize learning. Our puzzles feature large beautiful images of the subject, with little distraction in the background.
Another key concept in The Montessori Method is learning the “parts of” things. Montessori kids learn the correct terminology in naming the parts of an insect, the parts of an apple, the parts of an eagle and so on. This is called nomenclature. Puzzles that are used to support this kind of learning are called nomenclature puzzles. They are typically cut into pieces that correspond with the nomenclature terminology. This is why the pieces in these puzzles may not look like those found in traditional jigsaw puzzles.
Despite the Montessori design features of the puzzles, there’s no denying their appeal to children in all learning environments. The proof is in the smiles on their faces and the requests to do them over and over again. You can be assured that a Puzzle Heads puzzle adds beauty to your classroom and makes a great gift that will last many generations. The educational aspects are the secret sauce that only you need to know about.