Benefits of playing puzzles
Cognitive Skills: Puzzles come in a whole range of themes and topics such as alphabet letters, shapes, vegetables, numbers, pets, transport and colours. It increases their visual spacial awareness and develops a deeper understanding of these themes and topics. All children learn differently and puzzles may be their medium for grasping an understanding of certain themes such as alphabet letters.
Problem Solving: Completing a puzzle, even the most simplest of puzzles sets a single goal to achieve. Toddlers and children must think and develop strategies on how to approach in achieving this goal. This process involves problem solving, reasoning skills and developing solutions which they can later be transferred into their personal/adult life.
Fine Motor Development: Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills. When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces (some with small knobs, pegs or chunky pieces) and move them around, manipulating them into slots, sorting them and fitting them into the correct places.
Self Esteem: The accomplishment of achieving a goal brings so much satisfaction to a child. Overcoming the challenges involved in solving a puzzle really gives them a sense of achievement and pride within themselves. It provides a boost to their self-confidence and self-esteem as this prepares them for other challenges in life.
Hand and Eye Coordination: Playing with puzzles requires a trial and error process which involves a lot of hand and eye manipulation. For example, as a toddler or child places a piece of the puzzle that does not fit, they will try all over again where their actions involve doing what they actually see.
Social: Puzzles are a great educational tool to enhance and promote cooperative play. As kids work together to complete a puzzle, they will discuss where a piece should go and why, take turns and share and support each other when handling frustration, then sharing the joy of finishing the puzzle.From early childhood right through to adulthood we love to play with puzzles. We like the way they challenge our thinking and exercise our minds.
Puzzles are also an important educational learning tool for toddlers and young children as they provide many skills and mental learning benefits and opportunities.