Puzzles are a great way to create a fun learning opportunity for kids.
Simple jigsaw puzzles help children develop finger strength, perseverance and problem-solving skills.
Ask your child to turn, flip, slide and wriggle pieces into position. Picking up, moving and twisting the pieces of a puzzle helps children to develop finger strength and hand-eye coordination. As your child picks up and positions pieces, they also develop small-muscle control in their fingers.
Playing with these puzzles encourages children to look at pictures more carefully, going over them from top to bottom and from left to right. Through doing this, children may begin to notice visual similarities and differences.
Puzzles develop memory skills, as well as an ability to plan, test ideas and solve problems. While completing a puzzle, children need to remember shapes, colours, positions and strategies to complete them.
The experience of completing a puzzle can also help your child to learn to accept challenges, overcome problems and deal with frustrations.
Want to get puzzling?
- Start easy. Don’t head straight to the 5,000 piece landscape; pick something suitable to your child’s abilities.
- Talk with your child about the picture on the puzzle before taking the pieces out.
- Take out the puzzle pieces and place them ‘face up’.
- Find the corner and edge pieces first and put them in place.
- Look for pieces according to the shapes needed to fit a space.
- Flip and turn pieces, match colours, look for ‘parts’ of pictures or lines that might go together.