Puzzles are an innovative way to teach the skills that are essential for toddlers before they enter school. The bright and attractive colors and the uniquely-shaped pieces appeal to them, and are therefore useful and effective in ways that both entertain and educate them. These games play the following role in toddlers' lives.
- They help develop motor skills such as coordination of the hand and the eye.
- They help develop patience while putting all the pieces together. This is a highly important quality that needs to be developed in every individual.
- They also incorporate problem-solving skills. The ability of toddlers to develop these skills will put them ahead in the development process.
- With problem-solving comes the focus that is required to solve the problem. Focus helps in attaining long-term goals.
- By solving puzzles, toddlers also learn how to think conceptually. It makes them think about the consequences of their actions by deciding whether putting a particular piece in a particular place will lead them towards completing it.
You may have unknowingly already performed this activity with your little one. If you haven't, you must do so, as it is the best and most cost-effective gift you can give your child.
How to Choose the Right Puzzles
Given here are some important considerations that you should keep in mind.
- It is important that the first puzzle that your child ever makes have minimal pieces, between 6 and 10. This will enable them to first develop a liking for such games. Gradually move on to those with more pieces. This will challenge the kids and keep their interest in it alive.
- The pieces of the puzzle should match easily. Because, choosing one with too many pieces will complicate the process of completing it and frustrate the kids, not teach them the art of patience.
- The pieces should be easy to hold, which is why they should be large. Also, small pieces can pose the danger of them being accidentally swallowed by your little one.
When we say puzzle, the first thing we think of is the good old jigsaw. However, it means anything that stimulates the mind. There are a variety of puzzles in the market for children belonging to different age groups. They are also available in different textures that enable kids to learn the difference between various materials. Here's a list of ideas.
Several wooden ones come with a peg so that they can be easily handled by the little ones. Also, the one piece varieties are a good way to introduce these games to kids.
In essence, every puzzle can be termed as educational for toddlers, as it serves to teach them something. Even so, it would be one that imparts some information like the map of a country, where each state or city is a piece on its own, or the anatomy of a particular animal, with its tail, its head, and other body parts as different pieces.
In any case, they are as useful as any other kind of puzzle. They can even be made at home, and by involving yourself with your toddler, you can create a wonderful, fun-time activity.