Round about the time that my son turned one, I realized that he had would often place the cap on his drinking bottle after he had finished drinking. Then I noticed it was happening with other things too-like he would try to screw back the vaseline cap onto its container, or to fit his sister's Lego blocks together and pretty much try to 'fit in' anything that could be 'fitted onto' something else!
This got me excited and I thought he was ready for one-peice puzzles. So, without wasting time, I got him a puzzle with about 6 different animals, where he could fit each animal into its appropriate space! Well...I realized I was probably a little too ambitious. He did have the general concept of putting each piece into a particular space(probably from seeing his sister do her puzzles), but he wasn't able to fit the right animal into it's correct space...(nonetheless, I took heart)
What I then did was to get him toys that he could start stacking together or that fit into each other. These, he has taken to beautifully! Obviously fumbled here and there a bit (often preferring to "demolish" than to stack!) but he got acquainted with them easier. He still needs to learn that a star shape goes into the star groove only and not the circular or triangular groove...but hey...we"ll get there.
I'm pretty sure these toys are developing in him the foundational skills necessary for taking on the board puzzles! I will be sure to let you know when he conquers the one-piece animal puzzle which is patiently waiting for him!
For those of you with babies&toddlers, what toys are you investing in them with the aim of developing them cognitively? What's your baby's favourite toy? How does your baby/toddler occupy herself?