What skills do puzzles develop in children?

No matter how young your child is, there are jigsaw puzzles that are easy enough for them to solve. You can find wooden puzzles for children as young as one or two, and they increase in difficulty with the age classification. Benefits for kids who puzzle include:

Fine motor skills

When kids start doing puzzles, their motor skills begin to develop – and research suggests that kids who start puzzling early are better are spatial transformation tasks. Playing with puzzles can very young kids develop their gross motor skills, while smaller puzzle pieces can help older kids develop their fine motor skills. It’s even been suggested that kids who develop fine motor skills early on having an easier time learning to write and draw. 

Jigsaw puzzles can help kids and adults to develop new skills

 

Problem solving skills

Sitting down with a puzzle is a great way for children to develop problem-solving skills. Playing with puzzles encourages children to find the correct piece for each space and look for solutions to their problems, either by matching colours or patterns together. Then as they delve deeper into puzzling and start playing with more challenging jigsaws, kids build on previous experiences to get the image put together even more quickly.

 

Perseverance

Children can have trouble focusing on big tasks. Puzzles can help improve their concentration by providing a clear end-goal and giving them something to work towards. Completing the puzzles can also boost their satisfaction and self-esteem levels. If your child has siblings, doing a puzzle together can even encourage a sense of healthy competition.

New hobbies

Pick the right puzzle and you can introduce kids to a whole new hobby or passion. Puzzles can also help to make talking about school projects a bit more fun. If your child struggles with their geography, why not find a puzzle that features a map of the world? Or how about sneaking some maths into some puzzling sessions, by introducing ideas like Geometry and Symmetry? Older kids will love learning about the signs of the zodiac with this Celestial puzzle!

 

Language skills

If the children are really small, most parents help them with their puzzles. They provide assistance and instructions throughout the process by explaining the different parts of the puzzles. They may use terms or words that the children haven’t heard before, and this gives parents the opportunity to build their child’s language skills while broadening their vocabulary. 

 

Social skills

Developing good social skills at a young age can help children form meaningful relationships as adults (and research shows that loneliness and isolation are a major public health problem). Puzzles can be a good early way to help kids develop social skills, especially if they have to negotiate with other young puzzlers about where pieces go, and who’s going to get to place that all-important final piece!