Unbelievable...my 26 month old son is doing 24 piece jigsaw puzzles.
I have some boxes of puzzles for when my five and eight year old nieces come over for a visit. Ian somehow found them, and of course dragged out the one with a picture of Cookie Monster and Elmo on it. He opened the box and delighted as pieces of his heroes fell all over the floor. I decided this was a great opportunity for some one-on-one time with him and helped him piece it together. He was so excited to find that all those pieces came together and made his furry blue and red friends.
Now, the boy is obsessed! Frequently throughout the day, I find Ian working on a puzzle. It is amazing how quickly he is able to put it together. When I watch him complete a puzzle, he likes to tease me and start singing the Clean Up Song while lifting up an edge or corner piece, like he's going to put it away. I'll join in and start singing the song along with him and he'll giggle and state, "No Mommy, no," and puts the piece back in its place.
True to toddler form, Ian loves to do the same puzzle over and over again. This has definitely helped him learn how the pieces fit together. He could probably do a few of the puzzles with his eyes closed. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I once watched him complete, take apart, and reassemble his Cookie Monster and Elmo puzzle four times in a row before trying a different one.
So question is, does this take the place of his garbage truck obsession? No way! When he hears the garbage truck coming down the street, he drops whatever puzzle piece is in his hand, runs as fast as his not-so-little leggies will carry him to the front window, and excitedly screams, "Garbage truck, garbage truck coming!" Imagine how crazy he would become if I found him a garbage truck puzzle!