There are several reasons why kids are drawn to puzzles, here are some of the skills that are enhanced by playing with puzzles:
- Cognitive skills: Puzzles are great tools for improving a child’s memory. The more they play with puzzles, the better the memory improvement! The process of self-correction that occurs when a kid attempt to complete a puzzle also enhances their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Puzzles for kids improve a child’s problem solving and reasoning skills. It helps them to see whole-part relationships, increases their visual spacial awareness and depending on the subject matter can teach them a variety of topics like the alphabet, numbers, color recognition, shape recognition, categories like pets or transportation vehicles, and more.
- Fine motor skills: Puzzles develop motor skills, Toddler puzzles are a fun way to improve fine motor skills. From the time a baby can start eating solid food parents give their children cheerios to help a child with their pincher grasp. Puzzles are particularly good tools that children can use to develop fine motor skills. Holding small puzzle pieces, placing them in specific places on a wooden board, and fitting jigsaw puzzles together train the muscles in your toddler’s hands to coordinate for the purposes of making very specific movements.
- Hand-eye coordination: As a child places each piece in the puzzle they are manipulating it so see if it fits. Their hand-eye coordination is enhanced through this trial and error process.
- Social skills: Puzzles can be done alone but are also a great tool for fostering cooperative play. As kids ask for a piece to be passed to them or discuss where a piece should go they are sharing the task and learning to cooperate. It can also help a child learn how to handle frustration when a piece does not fit. When kids do successfully complete a puzzle, they experience the satisfaction of success, which over time builds confidence and self-esteem.