Puzzles are more than a toy, they are also a learning tool. As kids play with puzzles they are developing many skills, such as:
- problem-solving: Finding where each piece fits is a mini problem. What strategies does your child use to come up with a solution?
- noticing details: Kids learn to look at the color, size and shape of pieces.
- spatial skills: As little hands match the pieces to the spaces, brains are learning to do the same thing. (Some adult brains can tell if a sofa fits in a space just by looking.) The ability of children to manipulate shape and space mentally is an important predictor of later skill in this area and playing with puzzles can help build this.
- memory: Children will do a puzzle over and over and stretch their memories remembering which pieces fit where, what the finished picture looks like, and more.
- muscle development. The small muscles in the hand and arm are developing and need lots of experiences making small movements.
- hand-eye coordination: Getting fingers and hands to coordinate with brain instructions can be tricky.
- attention and concentration: A puzzle is very patient and will still be there as children get distracted but at the same time, eyes and hands remind kids to return to the puzzle.
- satisfaction and confidence: Kids feel pleased when they finish a puzzle and this boosts confidence in their abilities.
These are only some of the skills that kids practice when they play with puzzles. Are there some puzzles your child can play with today?