The Learning Journey has taken puzzling with preschoolers to a whole new level. Their Create a Scene Neighborhood features 60 different pieces, with interchangeable parts so that children can create their own unique scene and story. So yes… there is more than one way to complete this puzzle, allowing for endless combinations and fun story telling!

The puzzle features different categories of puzzle pieces. After unboxing, our toy testers first began sorting and categorizing by shapes. All the doors/rectangles went in one pile, the squares/windows next to that, the garden/ovals in another, etc, etc. Other categories included people, pets, and objects. They soon realized that there were multiple ways to create the neighborhood and that’s when the story telling began!

“The boy has to be next to the fish, because that’s his favorite pet.” -4 year old

“Flowers are below the house. Who doesn’t love flowers in their garden?” – 6 year old

Research shows that arranging thoughts, concepts, and words into categories facilitate meaning, improve memory and allow for faster retrieval. Children were learning vocabulary of objects, emotions, and shapes as they repetitively revised their puzzle and created their ever-changing narrative.

As children played together cooperatively, they practiced social skills like requesting and negotiating roles. “Can I unhook my house?” and “Can we switch it? I want the cat to look at the flowers.” They also took note of different facial expressions on characters, working on EQ (emotional quotient) as they attached story lines to how people felt. “He looks surprised. Let’s put him next to the birthday party.”

The Create a Scene Neighborhood is a fantastic puzzle that promotes cognitive skills such as problem solving, creativity, and fosters imagination and even pretend play.