Recent Comments

Home LEARNING Play & Toys Best Puzzles For Toddlers

You probably had heard of that researchers found puzzle play particularly in children between ages 2 to 4 tends to enhance learning of spatial skills. Be it a validated fact or an on-going experiment, I personally find puzzles very interesting at the same very intimidating. Recalling my days as a child, whenever I received a puzzle, I had to finish it by hook or by crook. If it took 3 days, then it meant that for the next 3 days I spent my time focusing on how to complete the puzzle. I wanted to see how it turned out and I must get it done no matter what.

Puzzles For Toddlers

Prompted from my past experience, I bought the first puzzle for Austin when he was still in my belly!! From Melissa & Doug, the box describes Beginning Skills, some kind like an alphabet puzzles for toddlers because it says age 3 and up. Inexperienced, I bought it based on my gut feeling. Actually, it contains 4 set of 12-piece floor puzzles. A good introductory to shapes, colors, numbers in addition to alphabet, I grabbed it from the shelf at Ross, perhaps around US$10 or below.

Before Austin turned a year old, we introduced him a peg puzzle or some people may call it jumbo knob puzzle. Displaying friends from zoo, this wooden puzzle did introduce some animal besides train his pincher grasp. Taking out a piece of puzzle may seem easy for a baby but placing it back can be quite challenging. He wasn't that keen in playing puzzle. Instead, Austin would toss or turn over the puzzle to check out if there is anything else behind :).

At age one, Austin received another set of magnetic fishing wood peg puzzle from Auntie Angel for first birthday. Though the words are in Japanese, but the game is played by the same rule. Learn to fish out the puzzle pieces with a magnetic rod, this is a unique experience for him.

Rewinding to the present, Austin is the master of Melissa & Doug's floor puzzles. He can put each up in merely minutes although at the beginning he asked for help. Honestly, I didn't know Melissa & Doug offers a huge selection of puzzles, be it a chunky puzzle, foam puzzle, shapes sorting puzzle, heavy duty cardboard floor puzzle, sound puzzle, layer puzzle to the most classical jigsaw puzzle.

To make you feel good to introduce learning puzzles for toddlers and preschoolers, these are some benefits of playing puzzles.
Hand-eye coordination.
With trial and error process, a child learns to manipulate the pieces so that they fit into places.
Pincher grasp development.
A crucial fine motor skill, playing with peg puzzles or chunk puzzles kind helps to improve the pincher grasp. How to get the little fingers to work the way they want it to be, like how to do self feeding or writing at which starts with the skills of holding a crayon or a pencil.

Cognitive skills.
With relationship, problem solving, grouping and reasoning come into picture, a child tends to improve his spatial and visual awareness as well as the subjects displayed on the final output of the puzzle.

Interaction & cooperation.
Despite puzzles are sometimes played alone, it also can be done with parents or a group of peers. It can be fun to discuss how to begin, where the pieces should go as well as learning to rotate, translate shapes and handle frustration when a piece doesn't fit.

Puzzles for preschoolers

To pick the best puzzles for kids, always consider their passion and their age. For Austin, we found out that he is into inanimate stuff i.e. shapes, numbers and colors that you'd notice if you do follow him on monthly milestones. Hence, it is a bonus that we'd the Melissa & Doug's floor puzzles ready for him! Composed of 12 large pieces of puzzle, they are easy to handle and to fit together. Also think of the material if you wish to introduce different texture such as wooden puzzles, cardboard puzzles or foam puzzles. And the bottom line, it must be FUN for you and your kids!!


Add comment