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.
Another aspect of the puzzles is that puzzles engage the brain - psychological side
- Puzzles engage the brain by provoking thought and vocabulary, urging us to conceptualize language in ways we might not typically use in daily conversation.
- Regular use of puzzles has real psychological benefits, including:
Short-term memory is enhanced as clues are retained for solving puzzles. Imagination is also stimulated as the bigger picture is incorporated.
Every innovative and creative idea we have in solving puzzles adds to healthy brain functioning. This type of thinking often leads to innovative, precognitive, and efficient problem-solving skills overall.
Integrated brain utilization
Solving puzzles and problems require both logical skills and creativity, utilizing diverse brain functioning. This integrated approach results in both more effective and in more profound and sustainable understanding.
The neurotransmitter, dopamine, is produced when doing puzzles. Dopamine assists in our ability to concentrate, be optimistic, have confidence and increase memory.
Perhaps the busy hands, calm mind best explains the meditative impact puzzles have but research shows that puzzles do in fact simultaneously activate our brains while relaxing us psychologically. T
Puzzles are relaxing
- There’s no shortage of options with puzzles. You can choose between images of jigsaw puzzles of dream vacations, future goals, ultimate house depictions, etc. Time spent working on a jigsaw puzzle can be effectively visualizing a future goal, seeing the end result.
- People approach puzzles in different manners yet all appear to relax them. Whether they systematically organize the puzzle shapes before starting or dump the pieces in a pile and random chose until they find a fit — the result is a satisfying and relaxing sigh.