Last year for Christmas, amid the dolls and Little People toys and DVDs that Savannah received, we snuck in a gift of educational wooden puzzles. I wasn't sure she would like them, but I did. And I figured it's never too early to get her started on learning.
She loved them - I was thrilled. It was her absolute favorite toy and we spent hours playing with them. By the time she was 2 1/2 she knew all of her letters, numbers, and shapes. At first I thought it was just in relation to the puzzle - that she had memorized the spaces and would only know the letters if they were in the puzzle - but then she started pointing out letters to me when we would go out to run errands.
"Look, Mama....K! O! H! L! S!" (A girl after my own heart - I love shopping there).
So, I realize I am not the only mama to discover the awesomeness of the wooden puzzle, but the best part about these is the price - less than $8 for a set of 4 puzzles (plus shipping). I found this set here. And if you want the storage case, only $8 more for that. They are good quality, sturdy, and have taken much abuse over the past year and have held up well. They're not quite as nice as the Melissa and Doug puzzles (they don't have the little knobs, for instance) but for the price, you can't beat it.
I found similar ones at Target; these include one extra puzzle and a storage case, but for $40.
But $8 for educational puzzles? Works for me!
Be sure to visit Shannon for more Works for me Wednesday.