5 Ways Puzzles And Puzzle Games Assist Early Childhood Development

A jigsaw puzzle is a classic toy that has been around for many years. Despite the technological advancements in the available toys recently, puzzles remain popular in toy stores today. Do you still recall how satisfying it was to put in that last puzzle piece when you were a kid?

Aside from the good times and enjoyment they bring, puzzles are highly recommended toys in a young child’s early development. As kids stay busy and have fun while piecing out the puzzles together, they learn so many skills as well. This makes puzzles a win for parents.

The following ways will let you discover how beneficial puzzles are in assisting your kids’ early childhood development:

  1. They Develop Kids’ Physical Skills

It is important to develop physical skills early in life. This is a part of children’s growth and development that forms the foundation of more complicated skills as they grow older. When working on a puzzle, children pick up fine pieces with their small hands to fit the puzzle pieces perfectly.

These are three of the most important physical skills kids can develop through forming jigsaw puzzles:

  • Fine motor skills, as they do small and precise movements with their hands to get a puzzle piece in the right spot it belongs to. When your kids start writing, fine motor skills are important as it may lead to better typing and handwriting abilities.
  • Hand-eye coordination, as children develop a keen connection between what their eyes can see through the puzzle pattern and what their hands do to form the entire picture. This is important to kids who may develop a love for sports using balls, rackets, bows, or clubs in the future.
  • Gross motor skills, which are usually developed once kids work on larger puzzle pieces. These skills can help enhance your child’s large movements, so later on, these can lead to fine motor skills.

 

  1. They Enhance Kids’ Spatial Vocabulary

Spatial vocabulary refers to words used to refer to space, placements, and locations. These are enhanced when kids work on puzzles with their parents, caregivers, teachers, or older siblings.

With the aid of older individuals, kids are coached on where to place the puzzle pieces. This might seem like keeping your kids from learning how to form the puzzle by themselves. However, even with that assistance, kids still learn. The following words are used to describe placements, and these can be absorbed by kids to widen their vocabulary:

  • Turn
  • Beside
  • Flip
  • Above
  • Rotate
  • Below

 

  1. They Teach Kids To Focus

Many children have difficulty focusing for a long time. This is natural, given that kids are naturally inquisitive. They’re always on the lookout for new concepts to grasp and new things to learn in their surroundings.

Despite how normal this may be, children eventually have to learn how to focus as they grow up. That is why it’s important to train and encourage them early on, so their transition to their longer and more serious academic learning won’t be difficult.

Luckily for parents, there are toys that help them foster their children’s ability to concentrate, and these include puzzles. Kids learn how to concentrate when they try to finish puzzles without interruption.

Cute young girls playing puzzles at home. Children connecting jigsaw puzzle pieces in a living room table. Kids assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Fun family leisure. Stay at home activity for kids.
  1. They Boost Your Kid’s Cognitive Skills

Another group of skills kids develop while working on puzzles is what’s known as cognitive skills. These include:

    • Problem-solving abilities, which kids learn when they try to figure out whether or not a specific puzzle piece fits with another one
  • Shape recognition, as puzzles are also made of simple shapes like squares, circles, and triangles
  • Memory, as kids have to remember what those pieces that didn’t fit are, so they can fit them later in their proper location

 

  1. They Give Kids An Opener On Sequencing

Some puzzles have to be formed through sequencing. For instance, when following instructions on sequence puzzles, kids can hear and listen to relative positions in a sequence through ordinal numbers like first, second, third, and last. This gives your child an early lesson on sequencing and learning how to follow simple instructions.

 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the most important thing about puzzles is the fun they bring to children. It’s already an added bonus that kids learn so much more, too, while they’re immersed in the puzzle they’re trying to finish. Now that the holidays are almost here, puzzles should be on your must-buy list for your kids. With puzzles, you’re giving a gift that’s worth their time, and one that they can enjoy doing with family and friends.

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