How to choose the right educational puzzles to motivate your child
Educational puzzles are a fun way for children to learn through play. There are many types of puzzles available: some are flat and others are 3 dimensional. Educational puzzles also come in various shapes and sizes. It is important for parents to choose the appropriate puzzle for their child. In this article, we will introduce a variety of puzzles and give some tips to parents on choosing a puzzle for their child.
What are the benefits of educational puzzles?
Many people think that children who are good at puzzles are smart. It is often true that children who played with puzzles from a young age demonstrate that talent when they are adults. So, what benefits do puzzles have on children?
・Better hand development and dexterity
・Better concentration skills and memory
・Better ability to distinguish colors
・Better spatial recognition ability
Puzzles require the use of your hands which supports hand and finger development. Use of one’s hands and fingers activate the frontal lobe of the brain and nurtures concentration, creativity and cognitive skills. In addition, doing puzzles also helps children gain a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Being able to stick to something until the end is a useful quality not only for children but for adults as well.
How to choose the appropriate puzzle for your child
It is important that your child enjoys doing the puzzle. If you choose a puzzle that is to difficult for them or is not appropriate for their age or ability, they may end up disliking puzzles.
It is a good idea to start your child on easy puzzles from when he/she is 1 year old. A puzzle with 10 pieces or less is good to start with. It is important that your child walks away feeling that puzzles are fun. This will encourage him/her to continue to play with puzzles in the future.
Which type of puzzle is the best?
For younger children, let’s choose puzzles with bigger pieces that are easy to carry and cannot be swallowed. Animal and transportation themed puzzles are popular with younger children. Puzzles with animation characters that your child likes are also good choices. Colorful puzzles with letters and numbers will help your child learn while they play.
When they get used to it…….
You can start choosing puzzles with more pieces and smaller pieces as soon as they are used to solving bigger puzzles. It is important that parents don’t force their child to do puzzles if he/she is not interested in them but instead wait for him/her to show interest first.
Here are some recommended puzzles for younger age groups. Please look when shopping either online or at physical stores.
・Ed. Inter [Animal Wood Puzzle] (From 1.5yrs – )
This puzzle has knobs for younger children to grab and includes 9 popular animals. It is a great first
puzzle for younger children and can also be used for pretend play.
・Bornelund [First Pick Up Puzzle Ladybugs] (From 2yrs – )
This puzzle has 5 different colored ladybugs for children to play with. In this puzzle, children match
the dots on the ladybug to the numbers written on the puzzle so they can learn about math while they
・Sendida「Montessori-type Number & Letter Puzzle」(From 3yrs -)
This puzzle is helpful when teaching about shapes, colors, numbers and counting. It is a very colorful
puzzle with a variety of shapes as well as the numbers 1-10. Children can add to and take away rings from the stick which helps them learn basic addition and subtraction.
There are many different puzzles available. Please choose the puzzle that your child shows the most interest in. Some puzzles are fun to play in groups and are best to be used at schools and early childhood centers.