Puzzles are a classic toy for young children. They come in a variety of types, materials, and levels of difficulty. Even infants may explore simple puzzles that involve fitting two pieces together. Puzzles are available with increasing complexity to challenge children as they grow. There are many life tasks that we do daily that are similar to puzzles. For example, fitting items into a box or bag is similar to fitting puzzle pieces into a puzzle form.
Puzzle play is a great time to build cognitive and fine motor skills, but it can also be a time to build social, emotional, and language skills when caregivers use time with puzzles thoughtfully.
- Problem-solving: Children learn to work through a problem and reach a solution as they fit the pieces together. They may need to learn to set aside the piece they hope to put in the puzzle while searching for one that fits in the spot they need. They also may learn there are multiple paths to the puzzle’s completion as they do a puzzle over and over. When they work on puzzles with peers, they also describe their strategies to one another and work through difficulties collaboratively.
- Task completion and persistence: The process of putting together a puzzle has a finite end when the puzzle is solved. Children encounter frustration when they cannot easily solve a puzzle, and when they work through these emotions, they enjoy the success of task completion. Working through these feelings helps children develop persistence, or the ability to keep going in the face of difficulty.
- Fine motor and hand-eye coordination: Children refine their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills as they manipulate puzzle pieces to put the puzzle together. They develop the small muscles in their hand that allow them to grasp and move puzzle pieces with precision.
- Spatial vocabulary: Use words such as turn, flip, and rotate when you are coaching children to fit puzzle pieces together. Children also learn words such as above, below, and besides when they describe the position of puzzle pieces in relation to each other.
- Sequencing: There are some puzzles in which the sequence of the pieces are put together is important. Children hear and learn ordinal numbers and words that indicate the relative position in a sequence, such as first, second, third, and last. Children can also be encouraged to retell the sequence in which they put the pieces together to further develop their understanding of sequencing.
Size : 17 x 17 x 1 (in cms)