It has been long known that puzzles can provide a wealth of benefits for children in their early development. Puzzles range in style and difficulty depending on a child’s age, and even some of the most popular toys for infants happens to be a form of a puzzle – think of simple shape puzzles where children place the correct shape into their corresponding cutouts. As children get older, they are able to complete and understand more complex puzzles, and these objects are more than just fun, they can also be integral to helping develop several areas of a child’s intelligence and understanding.
There are three main skills that puzzles can help bolster in young children: physical skills, cognitive skills and emotional skills. These skills act as fundamental building blocks when it comes to a child’s development, and they can also help encourage social skills if children complete puzzles with parents or friends.
The physical aspect of puzzle solving involves picking up the pieces and moving them around in order to make sure that they fit. This helps develop special reasoning and understanding in children, and can even help with hand-eye coordination as well. Moving the pieces helps with fine motor skills as well as gross motor skills, though this typically depends on the type of puzzle and the level of difficulty, but both aspects are vital.
These skills are activated as your child uses logic and reasoning to figure out how a piece fits into the puzzle at large and which way each piece will need to be placed in order to fit with the other pieces. It helps kids understand the physical world around them, especially since they are actually manipulating pieces to fit in a certain way. Understanding what the end result of the puzzle is, in order to determine how each little fragment fits in, is essential to problem-solving as well. Shape recognition is a great skill as well, though it may be more emphasized in puzzles for younger children.
You may be wondering how a puzzle could possibly help to develop emotional skills, but the fact that puzzles are an activity with an end goal helps encourage patience and goal-setting in general. The main goal is to finish the puzzle, but the task of finding out how each piece fits together provides additional smaller goals as well, offering smaller bursts of satisfaction and achievement along the way. Knowing that each piece placed in the puzzle is a success, kids learn to understand the benefits of patience – even if the puzzle will take work to complete, they will feel a sense of satisfaction after taking the time to figure out the problem and complete the puzzle.
KD Novelties offers personalized puzzles that can help encourage children to engage their problem-solving skills. Personalized with their name, children will be interested in the end result. Solving the puzzle and spelling their name will provide hours of learning fun, boost confidence, and enhance letter recognition.
Like books, learning to love puzzles can help open children up to other beneficial problem-solving games. Puzzles come in many shapes and sizes whether it is a math problem, a Rubik’s Cube, an intricate Lego set, or even a riddle. Puzzles can be both physical and not, but there are plenty of developmental benefits to introducing kids to puzzles early on.