In Music Mind Games, Michiko uses a foam puzzle to teach notes and rests. All of the pieces of the notes are separate: hollow note heads, circles to fill in the note heads, stems, flags, as well as all of the rests. She then starts with a whole note and teaches the notes, adding pieces as she goes. Whole note, half note (add a stem), quarter note (add a stem and fill in the note head), etc.
Music Mind Games Puzzles
In the next video, you can some of Michiko's students using the puzzle to copy some Blue Jello cards. By copying the cards the students are learning to really know all of the parts of the notes and where they go.
Isn't it amazing what a three year old can learn with the right materials?
Michiko had a puzzle maker create puzzles for her in bulk, which I obviously cannot do. The benefit of using a puzzle is that when it is time to clean up all of the little pieces have a place and you immediately know to look for a missing piece. I could buy some thick foam and cut it out with an exacto knife but I haven't found anything that seems sturdy enough. Instead, I have been considering using sheets of magnets that I would cut out with an exacto knife.