Have you got at least one brain building toy in your kids xmas stockings this year?
Puzzles really are fantastic toys. They’ve fascinated kids from many cultures for generations and played a major role in starting kid’s mathematical learning voyage.
Why not give a Puzzle as a present this year…
Puzzles are an easy, fun and affordable way to keep kids occupied and learning at the same time. And the good quality ones like we have on our website last the distance of time.
They are a perfect toy to develop the all important NUMBER skills (Logical-Mathematical intelligence). To find out more about these skills and why they’re so important click here
Basically there are 3 main reasons why parents should encourage and help their children play and complete puzzles.
Benefits of Puzzles
Puzzles are great for developing kids hand eye coordination. Specifically it helps them develop their pincher grasp where they pick the pieces up between their thumb and forefinger (important for holding a pencil later on). To begin with babies and toddlers find it quite difficult to pick up a piece of a puzzle, turn it in the proper direction and place it where it belongs. The more they practice the more they learn to use their hand-eye co-ordination to complete the task.
Problem Solving Skills
Puzzles improve a child's problem solving and reasoning skills. It helps them to see whole-part relationships and increases their visual spatial awareness. Many children become frustrated when trying to complete puzzles but the more they do them, the less frustrated they become. They then begin to realize the importance of working through their challenges while learning how to cope with frustration. Perseverance is a valuable attribute to promote from a young age.
Puzzles are a proven method of stimulating a child’s memory. There are many types of puzzles designed specifically to help develop a child’s memory. The puzzles that children want to revisit and try again will jog their memory to carry on from what they learned last time. When doing more complicated puzzles kids will recall their memory of the completed picture to help them solve the puzzle.
Babies and young Toddlers
Let us help you choose a puzzle for your child that will help them take the necessary steps to be a successful mathematician and grow into a great problem solver.
Ideally start with large chunky puzzles with knobs and large pieces that can be more easily manipulated for your child. Introduce multi purpose puzzles that can be used as blocks for building e.g tray puzzle
and making up stories with the particular shapes e.g. the barnyard animals puzzle
, chunky insect
puzzle. Our puzzles are perfect for learning colours, shapes, animal names and associated sounds while perfecting hand eye coordination.
NB: The tray puzzle even comes with detailed instructions to help you get the most out of the puzzle.
- Large-piece puzzles
These puzzles work well for the toddler, providing practice with eye/hand coordination, fine motor skills, and beginning experiencing problem solving. Toddlers learn that if a piece doesn't fit one way, it may fit another and ultimately will fit somewhere if they keep trying.
Providing puzzles that tell a story will trigger the imagination, help to sequence a story, and supports the memory to complete the puzzle will all help in your child’s development.
Puzzles can be the trigger to learn new concepts such as numbers and their sequencing as well as reinforcing previously learned concepts e.g. shapes, colours, animals etc.
- Smaller-piece puzzles
These will help to continue developing previous concepts, but older pre-schoolers will sharpen their skills by learning to look for more details when exploring where the pieces go. Are there colours that go together? Does part of the puzzle picture appear on one piece and have its match on another? Can the edges of the puzzle help give it form? These are the beginnings of developing strategies for accomplishing a task, which is a crucial part of effective learning.
Provide a variety of puzzles that encourage language and imagination e.g pirate puzzle as well as those that help develop concepts from sequencing numbers and letters to sequencing events e.g 5 layer puzzles.
And when you get a puzzle, make sure you get a set of our Activity Cards
as well. They'll give you lots of fun games and activities to do with the kids that gives them the balance across all areas.