Puzzles are a classic toy. Think back to your childhood – do you remember playing with puzzles? The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you popped that last puzzle piece in? We remember it, and although that feeling is great, the true power of puzzles is something that we still reap the rewards from every single day. The number of benefits you gain from doing puzzles is great – and there is a reason that every child should be playing with puzzles as early learners.
Sometimes, puzzles might look too simple for your child. But they aren’t! They allow your child to stretch their problem solving capacities while achieving a set, and measurable goal. Young children must use their imagination and problem solving skills to work out which piece goes where, then they exercise their finger muscles, their arms (and if they are on the floor, even their core muscles as they lean over) in order to put it in the right spot.
Step by step, piece by piece. This is how a puzzle is completed, and it helps children learn how to follow directions, persist and have patience as it comes together. Working out the colours that go together, or that some pieces have flat sides making those pieces the border takes a high level of comprehension. Further to this, the subject of the puzzle can be used to develop cognitive skills too – alphabet sequence, number sequence, shapes and colours are all popular puzzle themes and will help your child gain an understanding of these concepts in a fun and interactive way.
This is a big one and something you use every day, even as adults, and it was something that you were learning and mastering even before you could read! Making the connection between the eye and the hand is one of the main goals of completing a puzzle – this piece goes here, and making your body perform the task. It is something we take for granted as we reach for something at the shops, or for picking up a pen on your desk, but as a child, repeating these movements over and over again until they see what fits is a huge benefit of playing with puzzles.
Fine motor development
Much like hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills are very important in the every day life of every person. Not only learning these skills, but mastering them at an early stage will assist children in a huge range of activities from drawing to handwriting, playing musical instruments or even working on a tablet. Based on the kind of puzzles, children are asked to move large and small pieces, twist knobs, circle words or make pieces fit into spaces – all of which will help build and grow their finger muscles!
How good does it feel to accomplish something you set as a goal? Believe it or not, kids have that feeling too! So, allowing them to set small, fun goals by providing puzzles for them to complete will help build their confidence. Something that looks hard and challenging at first becomes an achievement once all the pieces are put in the correct spots! This builds confidence, self esteem and helps them gain a can-do attitude.
Puzzles are also great to do as a team. Allow children to work together, or with an adult to promote a sense of community. As children work together to complete puzzles can collaborate on where a piece will go and why, they can take turns, and help each other work through challenges together. Finally, they share the joy of completing the puzzle once it’s all done! When completing a puzzle with an adult they can discuss the shapes, the animals or whatever the theme is of the puzzle.
Phew! Who would have though that puzzles could provide so many very important in assisting children develop a range of skills such as emotional skills, cognitive skills, and physical skills. These are just some of the benefits of puzzles in early childhood development – so why not help your child learn today with our great range of wooden puzzles!