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Kids’ Puzzles are more than just a fun activity

Puzzles are more than just a fun activity—they promote development in a variety of key areas, are great to do alone or in peer (or family) groups, and there’s truly something out there for every age and interest group.

Puzzles also help to teach kids numerous different things. These include shapes, colours, and sometimes even letters, numbers, and common animals.

Puzzles also allow parents to interact with their kids and teach them important life skills such as communication and cooperation. Just use descriptive language and simplify your explanations when showing them what to do and you’ll enjoy some quality time together.

Why Puzzles are Great for Child Development

Assembling puzzles is very good for kids. When you first introduce them to your child, you can interact with them and show them how to sort the pieces and put them together, and soon they’ll be taking the lead and showing you how it’s done.

Puzzles also promote the development of fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination, cognitive growth (particularly in the area of problem-solving), and they even help to build confidence and self-esteem.

What is the Right Age to Begin Using Puzzles?

Puzzles are great for children of all ages, but you do need to know which puzzles are right for which age groups. For instance, kids under 2 can benefit greatly from playing with puzzles, but you wouldn’t place a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle in front of a baby and expect to get results.

What’s more, kids at that age put nearly everything in their mouth, so small jigsaw puzzle pieces represent a serious choking hazard. Instead, look for age-appropriate puzzles that are specifically designed to challenge and benefit children in the age group of your child.

Choosing an Appropriate Puzzle

Choose a puzzle according to the age of your child. Rather than giving them something beyond their years, start the really little ones out with something like a jumbo knob puzzle (just 3-4 pieces) or a shape sorting cube (with stars, triangles, squares, and other shapes).

These preschool puzzles feature large enough pieces that choking is hardly an issue, and they’re simple enough and contain few enough pieces that kids have a much greater chance of successfully solving them.

As the child advances in years and develops intellectually, move them into increasingly more complex puzzles (as well as puzzles with themes that match their interests, which they will find more engaging).

The idea here is to constantly challenge the child without overwhelming or frustrating them. By selecting the right puzzle for the age and interests of the child (for instance, a favourite (cartoon character), you not only give them every chance of success, but you also allow them to learn, grow, and develop in a variety of key ways.