Child development experts believe that puzzles and board games are extremely good for your child’s brain development. But what is the right age to start buying puzzles for kids? While your kid might love playing with the puzzle pieces as early as 6 months, it is around the age of 2 that they can start solving simple puzzles.
So, if you have a little munchkin at home, instead of buying them yet another soft toy, buy them a jigsaw puzzle this time. They might struggle with it initially. But within a few months, you will see them having mastered the game.
Why Should you Buy Puzzles for Kids?
Puzzles are not just a fun and entertaining way to keep your child occupied. They also help in a child’s cognitive development. Letting your toddlers play with puzzles can have the following benefits:
Puzzles Teach your Kids Problem-Solving Skills
Playing with jigsaw puzzles or mechanical puzzles can teach your kids problem-solving from an early age. It requires the children to figure out which piece fits where through a trial-and-error method. Not just that, they learn to keep looking for a solution until all the pieces fit together perfectly. Learning perseverance at such a tender age would prove fruitful for them in their adulthood.
Enhanced Fine Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Co-ordination
When you buy puzzles for toddlers, you aren’t just helping enhance their cognitive development but physical development as well. Puzzles are proven to help kids develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
A child’s fine motor skills get strengthened when they flip, pick, pinch, rotate and move the puzzle pieces. The game also helps in strengthening their grip. Moving the pieces from one place to another in a bid to fit them in, helps your child develop a strong connection between their hands and eyes.
Puzzles for Kids Improve their Spatial Skills
Studies have shown that puzzles improve the spatial skills of children between the age of 2 and 4. These skills refer to a person’s ability to comprehend and remember spatial relations between objects.
When you teach your children to play with puzzles, they also learn a lot of structural vocabulary like turn, move, above, below, behind, etc. This leads to the improvement of their spatial awareness.
Better Cognitive Development
This is no secret that children have an extremely short attention span. Getting them to focus on anything for more than a few minutes is an uphill battle. And interesting puzzles can help you win that battle. Puzzles will teach your pre-schooler to focus on one task for a good amount of time.
Apart from that, your child learns to follow simple instructions. This skill will come in handy once they start attending school. While playing with different types of puzzles, children start identifying various shapes, pictures, alphabets and so on.
Puzzles Improve Memory of Kids
Along with concentration, puzzles also help in sharpening the memory of your kids. It keeps your child’s brain active. When a child plays with the same puzzle repeatedly, they start identifying and remembering the pattern, thus improving their short-term memory.
If you want to improve your child’s memory, encourage them to play with the same puzzles and time them. This will allow you to track their progress with time. And you will see how they take lesser time to complete the puzzle after a few tries.
Better Social Skills and Improved Self-esteem
Have a play date? Give the kids some easy puzzles to play with. It is a great way to teach children to interact with each other. It also builds team spirit. They learn to give and follow instructions. Completing the puzzle gives them a sense of purpose. They learn the importance of achieving goals. Besides, completing a puzzle improves your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
How to Choose Puzzles for Kids?
Not all puzzles are appropriate for all kids. Different age groups require different types of puzzles. Giving a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle to a 1-year-old might not be the greatest idea. However, the same puzzle can be a great gift for an older child.
Puzzles can be broadly classified as inset puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. Inset puzzles are usually made of wood and have large blocks like this wooden model mechanical puzzle. These puzzles are simpler as they don’t require any interlocking and are hence suitable for younger children.
On the other hand, jigsaw puzzles require the puzzle pieces to be interlocked with each other. They come in different levels of difficulty but are mostly more difficult than inset puzzles. So, they are more suitable for children above the age of 3.
It is also important to start simple. Don’t overwhelm your child with overly complicated puzzles. You want them to develop an interest in the game. So, start with simpler ones – the puzzles that come with a fewer number of pieces. And as they grow older, increase the complexity and the number of puzzle pieces.
As a parent, you are always worried about your child’s development and it is understandable. And when they are in preschool age, the anxiety increases. You want them to get into a good school and excel at everything. One way of improving their cognitive skills is by giving them puzzles for kids. With better cognition, puzzles also improve your child’s motor and social skills. Find some great puzzles and games for your child on Baby wishr today.