When working on a jigsaw puzzle, my family has a process.  We start by sorting the pieces to find all the straight edged pieces.  With the outside edge of the puzzle completed, we know that the rest of the pieces go inside it.  However, finding the right place for a particular puzzle piece can be a challenge, even when you know it goes inside the “frame”.  How our stuff goes together can be “hands on”, working through trial and error, or it can be a mental exercise.  I like to tackle the blue sky first in a jigsaw puzzle.  With no texture, that is usually a process of trial and error for me.  My sister-in-law likes to place pieces by comparing them to the actual puzzle picture, making it more of a mental process.

Knowing where things go within a space is called “spatial awareness”.  Some of our family members were blessed with this skill from birth.  They just seem to know how things go together.  Others have trouble deciding where to put the sofa.

Spatial awareness can be practiced and learned.  Children begin to learn this skill with blocks and other toys.  Lockers, backpacks, drawers, and suitcases give older children opportunities to practice this skill.

Think, learn, and teach some skills about the placement of things in your life’s puzzle.  Ask yourself questions as to why you put things where you put them.  Talk with your family about their things with a focus on how they are put together, stored, and used.

One of our grandsons was putting together complex puzzles at a very early age.  We used a picture of him in a tee shirt design about puzzling.  Here’s a link to that: