Kindergarten Worksheets > Visual Discrimination > Missing pieces
Strong visual discrimination skills are honed through repeated practice observing small details in images. These challenging missing pieces worksheets are designed to encourage your child to recognize small details in printed pictures, such as orientation, color, and continuous lines. These missing pieces puzzles are a wonderful introduction for young children to puzzles, as they contain only four pieces.
Why I Like Missing Pieces Worksheets
Visual discrimination is such an important skill. It is critical for young children to be able to identify and recognize small details in printed images if they are to read successfully, complete math problems accurately, and be comfortable and confident in any and every academic area. But honing this skill does not have to feel like work! These Missing Pieces worksheets are a fun way to look carefully at details in illustrations in order to complete a whimsical picture. Children also love to use paste, so this activity will be engaging on several levels.
Tips for Using the Worksheets
Begin by cutting out the squares at the bottom of the page so they are ready to be pasted in the correct spots. Then show your child the three pictures on one of the beginning worksheet pages and ask him to guess what they are. Most likely he will be able to identify each picture despite the blank area.
Next, ask your child to choose one picture to complete and then show him the cut squares. If your child has difficulty picking the correct square to add to the picture he has chosen, ask him to talk about the colors he sees in his picture and then look for a square with the same colors. It is likely that this direction will help him select the correct missing piece.
If your child needs to “test” each option before making a selection, that is fine. The process of looking at each cut square placed in the empty box gives children additional visual discrimination practice.
Once your child correctly chooses the missing square, he needs to decide how to place his square in the empty box to accurately complete the picture. If necessary, show your child how to slowly turn the cut square until the picture is completed. Then allow your child to paste the square into the empty space. Direct him to place a dot of glue in the center of the empty square and then place his selection into the space. By putting the glue on the paper instead of on the cut square, your child’s hands will stay dry and he will be better able to position his choice accurately on the worksheet page.
The intermediate worksheets pose a greater challenge because the pictures on the worksheet are missing two parts and children have six cut squares to choose from. Begin by asking your child to find the pairs of squares that belong together. Then ask him to choose the picture that goes with the squares he chose. The pictures on these intermediate pages are distinct and different from one another in color and shape, so your child will likely be able to correctly choose the picture that is missing the squares he chose.
Now the challenge for your child is to accurately position the two squares in the empty boxes. Some trial and error guessing may be necessary, and this is fine. As I mentioned earlier, “testing” the squares in the empty boxes is additional practice with visual discrimination. If your child slowly turns a square in one box and it does not seem to fit, suggest that he move that square into the second empty box in the picture and try again.
These missing pieces worksheets are wonderful opportunities to practice picture completion and can be a precursor activity to more challenging floor or board puzzles for your child.
Additional activities to supplement these missing pieces worksheets:
- If your child enjoys puzzles and these worksheet pages, he may have fun working with each of the worksheets again, but in a different way. Try printing out the worksheet once more, but this time cut each large picture into the three squares and add the fourth square from the choices on the page into the mix. Perhaps your child will prefer to choose the missing piece from the bottom of the sheet before you cut the picture into parts. Then give your child a blank piece of paper and the four pieces that make up the picture. He can then glue the four squares together on the blank page to recreate the picture.
- Cut three to five squares of various sizes out of construction paper. Ask your child to line them up from smallest to largest.
- Find three or four pictures of a family member at different ages. Ask your child to put the pictures in chronological order.
- Partially hide one of your child's toys in a specific room in your house and ask him to find it. Tell him which toy he is looking for.
- Before discarding old magazines, let your child rip off the cover and cut it into several pieces. Challenge him to tape the cover back together by putting each piece in the correct place.
- Use the cards from a matching game to ﬁnd two pictures that match and one that does not. Show your child the sets of three cards and ask him to find the card that does not belong with the other two.
- Ask your child to look in a cupboard at the items inside. Then, have him close his eyes while you rearrange the items. Challenge him to tell you what you moved.
- Instead of using your child’s usual toothbrush or comb, substitute a new one in a different color and see if he notices. You can also do this with a favorite cup or pillowcase.
- Take a picture of a family member. Then change one detail in the picture (add or remove a hat, for example) and take the picture again. Print the pictures and ask your child to spot the difference.