For young children, puzzles are a classic toy. Puzzles for toddlers is available in a range of styles, materials, and skill levels. Even infants can play with simple puzzles that require them to put two pieces together. Children can choose from a variety of puzzles that increase in difficulty as they get older. Many of the things we perform on a daily basis are similar to puzzles. Fitting objects into a box or bag, for example, is akin to putting jigsaw pieces together in a puzzle form.
When caregivers use time with puzzles strategically, it may be an excellent time to enhance social, emotional, and language abilities as well as cognitive and fine motor skills. Here are five things kids learn through puzzles:
- Spatial Vocabulary: When teaching children how to put puzzle pieces together, use spatial vocabulary phrases like turn, flip, and rotate. When children explain the position of puzzle pieces in relation to one another, they acquire phrases like above, below, and beside.
- Sequencing: In some puzzles, the order in which the pieces are fitted together is crucial. Children hear and learn ordinal numerals and words, such as first, second, third, and last, which represent relative position in a series. To further strengthen their grasp of sequencing, children can be encouraged to narrate the sequence in which they put the pieces together.
- Issue-solving: As they put the pieces together, children learn to work through a problem and arrive at a solution. They may need to learn to put the piece they want to put in the puzzle aside while looking for one that will fit in the gap. As kids work on a puzzle over and over, they may discover that there are various ways to complete it. They discuss their strategies to one another and work through problems jointly when they work on puzzles with their peers.
- Task completion and persistence: When a problem is completed, the process of piecing it together comes to an end. When children are unable to solve a puzzle simply, they experience frustration; nevertheless, when they work through these feelings, they enjoy the accomplishment of the activity. Working through these emotions aids in the development of tenacity, or the ability to persevere in the face of adversity.
- Fine motor and hand-eye coordination: As children handle puzzle pieces to put the jigsaw together, they improve their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills. They strengthen the tiny muscles in their hands that allow children to precisely grab and move puzzle pieces.
Knobbed wooden puzzles for toddlers that are easy to grasp may appeal to older newborns and young toddlers. To begin, children may benefit from puzzles with one piece for each image. A puzzle of animals, for example, might comprise parts for a cat, a dog, and a bird, each of which fits in its own space. Then, as toddlers and preschoolers gain confidence, they can do “tray puzzles,” which consist of several pieces that fit together to form a single image. Jigsaw puzzles and increasingly sophisticated tray puzzles may appeal to toddlers and preschoolers as they get older. Stacking rings or a nesting cup, for example, are three-dimensional puzzles that test cognitive talents and reasoning.
To benefit from puzzle play, young children must have access to puzzles that are the appropriate level of difficulty for their current developmental stage. They should be able to access puzzles that they can complete on their own. Through regular practise, youngsters can strengthen their tiny muscles, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving methods. As kids put the puzzles together and take them apart, they love the satisfaction of completing a task on their own. It’s best to keep these puzzles in a location where kids can access them and clean them up on their own. It will be easier to keep their interest if the riddles are rotated.
Children should also have access to a variety of puzzles that are a little more difficult. Working on puzzles that are a bit bit difficult to complete on their own is a terrific opportunity for young children to collaborate with peers and caregivers to develop new puzzle-solving skills. Children and their caretakers may be frustrated by puzzle for toddlers that are far too tough. Because they have a hard time interacting with puzzles that are too tough, young children may dump the pieces and combine different puzzles together. Caregivers and teachers may want to keep the majority of these more difficult puzzles in a position where children can reach them with help and a smaller, rotating selection available so that children are motivated to increase their skills with help.