What puzzle should I get my child?
Puzzles games are a great learning tool for toddlers and young children as they foster many skills and mental learning advantages and opportunities. For example, cognitive skills; problem solving; fine motor development; hand to eye coordination; social and self-esteem are just a few critical learning skills your child is encouraged to develop at some point in his/her early life.
Jigsaws are a great starting point, but the number of jigsaw puzzles available for kids is seemingly endless and we understand it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one will benefit your child the most.
With this in mind, we have put together a list of puzzle games for kids according to their age, that will not only simplify your life but ensure your child is being challenged appropriately.
Puzzles for 0-2 years olds:
For children 2 years and younger, we recommend 3-10 jumbo knob pieces. It’s important not to overwhelm the child with more pieces than they can handle. Puzzles for 2-year-olds should start with 3 big pieces and gradually increase as the child develops.
Young children are fumbling with their newly found skills. Picking up a puzzle piece can prove to be a challenge on its own. The jumbo knobs allow your child the ability to grasp the puzzle pieces easier. This in turn refines their motor skills and steers them in the right direction. You’ll see a sense of accomplishment in the child right away as they eagerly squeeze the puzzle piece correctly in its place.
In addition, the jigsaw puzzle should accommodate matching pictures underneath each piece to support eye, hand, and visual perception skills. Puzzles with numbers, letters, farm animals and pets are great starter picks.
Puzzles for 2–3-year-olds:
At this age, children like to see well-known objects and characters. Their favorite cartoon, musical instruments, and transportation illustrations are great options. Tailoring puzzles to their personalities may positively increase the amount of ‘playtime’ a puzzle receives.
Children in this age group should be working with 8-20 pieces. Puzzles for 3-year-olds should encompass smaller puzzle pieces as well. Smaller puzzle pieces are a good learning tool. We want to continue challenging them, but careful not to overwhelm. Countered pieces are encouraged, due to its easy fit advantage, it makes it easier to identify the content of the illustration. As a result, your child is prone to complete a puzzle project, instilling self-esteem in the process of early learning critical skills.
Puzzles for 3–5-year-olds:
As your child grows so does their experience. By now they are dealing freely with rotation and joining pieces. However, they still often use trial and error. Fitting the pieces incorrectly and purposely is a sign you can move on to greater number of pieces and more complex design.
For 4-year-olds, toddlers should be working with 20-40 pieces. We suggest looking into a series collection, which offers levels that coordinate with situations. Whole figures are framed by the outline with different complexities and puzzle pieces differ in size. Both of which make-up and decide the level of difficulty. It is important to introducing the levels of difficulty in puzzles for 4-year-olds so that it keeps the activity appealing and satisfying. Puzzles for 5-year-olds and older should include up to 60 pieces.
Puzzles for 6-8-year-olds:
At this point, 6 years olds, have accrued sufficient skills on jigsaw puzzles. The potential that they have managed to achieve is marked by their ability to define puzzle pieces in relation to its place in the puzzle.
Sorting the puzzle pieces is common in this age group. Each child develops their own unique strategy to problem-solving. They’ll do this in accordance to shape, color, and/or object. Always looking for the next challenge, children in this age group can work with puzzles with up to 260 pieces, depending on their experience, this number can increase up to 500 pieces.
The source of satisfaction lies in choosing the correct puzzle. Bear in mind that the elaborateness of the puzzle is dependent and varies on the individual child’s abilities. Assessing the level of difficulty is important in figuring out the appropriate puzzle game for children of all ages.
The number of pieces, piece size, the degree of detail of each puzzle, and even the child’s experience are all factors that contribute to finding a suitable puzzle to fit the interests of any young child or toddler. Seek information and advice from your pediatrician for any concerns you may have on your child's developmental progress. They understand your child's health and wellness is a priority and are just as happy to help. And as always, don’t forget to show tons of support for your child by participating and staying involved as you see fit.