Everyone loves jigsaw puzzles: they’re fun for people of all ages, including children! Not only are jigsaw puzzles great fun for toddlers and children, but they’re also an excellent educational toy as well, with many benefits related to cognitive development.
They are great logic puzzles for children, helping them develop their cognitive abilities, such as motor skills, problem-solving skills, and reasoning skills. The great thing about jigsaw puzzles is that they are a fun toy: they combine entertainment and education, making them an excellent learning tool that many children love to play with. Most jigsaw puzzles for toddlers are designed to be bright and colorful, making them appealing, too.
The Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles For Children
Jigsaw puzzles have a number of great benefits. Not only are they great fun, but they also help children develop cognitive skills in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Problem-solving skills: These puzzles help children develop problem-solving skills because they must figure out the correct way to put all of the pieces together. Several aspects have to be considered: the shape of the remaining pieces and the open spaces in the puzzle, the color of the piece and how it fits in with the rest, etc.
- Motor skills: The process of manipulating the pieces and placing them together with the rest of the puzzle helps develop motor skills.
- Spatial skills: Children must learn to mentally visualize the puzzle piece and where it fits in with the rest of the puzzle. Mentally rotating the piece in the mind helps bring thought into the realm of abstract thoughts, thinking about the results of the action.
- Self esteem: Completing gradually more difficult puzzles helps build a sense of self esteem.
Types of Jigsaw Puzzles: Which Are Appropriate For Each Age?
There are a variety of jigsaw puzzles, and it’s best to choose those that are most suitable for your child’s age. There’s a jigsaw puzzle that fits for every age!
Age 1-2: Beginners
Wooden Puzzles are most suitable for children that are 1-2 years old or haven’t solved any jigsaw puzzles before. They are generally more durable than paper jigsaw puzzles, and have fewer pieces, making them easier to solve. Most wooden puzzles have pegs attached to the pieces, making them easier to manipulate, too. While these puzzles are basic, they’re designed to be a great starting point, helping your child build the skills to solve more difficult puzzles.
Age 2-3: Intermediate
Foam Puzzles are most appropriate for children that are 2 to 3 years old. Because they’re made of foam, they’re not suitable for younger children who tend to put things in their mouths. Choosing foam puzzles that have recognizable pictures, such as types of animals, can help with the puzzle solving as the child recognizes the proper shape of the picture.
Magnetic Puzzles are also fun and educational for children at this stage. Magnets themselves are a fun toy that helps build motor skills, and magnetic puzzles combine both jigsaw puzzles and magnets.
Age 3-5+: Advanced
Educational Puzzles are a great idea for children at this stage. They combine jigsaw puzzles that help teach other concepts; for example, some might list the letters of the alphabet or simple number concepts.
Online Jigsaw Puzzles can also be fun for children around this age. While they’re not quite as good as puzzles with physical pieces, they can be fun and teach similar problem-solving concepts, too.
Jigsaw puzzles are some of the best educational toys there are. They should be a part of any parent’s educational toy repertoire, because not only are they great for learning cognitive skills, but they’re generally very inexpensive, too. I hope that you’ll introduce your child to jigsaw puzzles; even if they’re slightly older, it’s never too late to do so!