Puzzles for Kids

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Last time we discussed the benefits of puzzles for babies and toddlers.   Of course, puzzles continue being great educational toys all the way into adolescence.  Some people even claim that doing puzzles as an adult helps build brainpower, just like doing the daily crossword.

For preschoolers, the best puzzles are large jigsaw puzzles with thick pieces.   The completed picture should be something recognizable like a school house or a farm.  This is also a great age for kids to work together on a large puzzle.  Together, they can develop strategies to figure out specific patterns.

Puzzles really get interesting for older school children.  Here is the appropriate time for jigsaw puzzles with smaller pieces and more abstract designs.  Of course, your child might be ready for this when he or she is younger, so be watchful!

These sorts of puzzles really help develop focus and concentration, as well as working on a small task that helps complete a larger goal.  This kind of thinking is quite complex, involving not only visual-spatial developments but also memory and a new understanding of time.

photo credit : Lindsay Baronoskie | Dreamstime.com

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  1. A really unique 2-sided wooden puzzle called Inside Out is great for building spatial skills and pattern recognition. One side depicts the exterior of a house. Lift out the pieces and flip them over to find objects and people who reside in that house. The interior of the home is shown on the inside of the tray that the pieces fit into. The shapes are unconventional, no corners or straight edge pieces, so although there are merely 23 pieces, it’s more challenging than it appears.

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