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  • Writer's pictureAngela Russ-Ayon

16 Open-ended Questions to Ask Young Children About Puzzles

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

If you want to learn what children are thinking when they assemble a puzzle, you have to ask the right questions. Not just any question will do. Open-ended inquiry encourages high-level thinking because there are many possible responses (Lee, 2010). Asking OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS is one of the best ways to enhance children's curiosity and guide them through a learning process without telling them what to do. The answers children give reveal what they are feeling, thinking, and comprehending on a topic. With these types of questions, parents and educators delve deeper into children's thoughts and ideas, guiding them to the next steps for learning by introducing more complex activities or experiments. Here are 16 open-ended questions to ask young children about puzzles:

1. What do you know about puzzles?

2. What makes this a puzzle?

3. What do you do with a puzzle?

4. How do you solve a puzzle?

5. Tell me about the puzzles you have seen.

6. Do all puzzles lay flat/stack/look the same?

7. How do the pieces feel in your hands?

8. Are puzzles supposed to be easy or hard/challenging? Why?

9. Why are there so many puzzle pieces?

10. What do you do with all of the pieces?

11. How do you know how to put a puzzle together?

12. Why do you have to be patient when solving a puzzle?

13. Why do you need time to complete a puzzle?

14. How do you begin to solve a puzzle?

15. How do you know how the puzzle should look?

16. What do you have to do to solve the puzzle?


Author of: The BIG Book of Open-Ended Questions to Intentionally Support Young Children in Learning: Topics for Preschool thru 1st Grade Buy Now!

Angela Russ-Ayon is a mom-preneur, children’s author, interactive trainer on the subject of early childhood, and an award-winning artist/producer of music for young children. She presents educational strategies to child care providers, parents, and educators nationwide for AEYCs, R & Rs, child care agencies, and the like. She is a member of the Recording Academy and is the sole owner of Russ InVision Company. For more information on Angela, her workshops, keynotes, and accomplishments, you are welcome to visit © 2021, Russ InVision. All rights reserved.

Find out more about Angela Russ-Ayon and her affordable interactive keynote and workshop presentations coast-to-coast on the subjects of early childhood development, STEM (science and math), open-ended questions, and creative engagement. Visit her training page. offers fun music and movement songs and physical activities for distance learning, virtual classes, webinars, childcare facilities, after-school programs, homeschooling, preschools, daycare centers, kindergarten classes, or rainy-day recesses.

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Lee, Y. (2010). Blended teacher supports for promoting open-ended questioning in pre-k science activities. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Virginia, USA.


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