Pass the Puzzles Please!
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
For years, educators have heard that puzzles are an excellent resource for early childhood development and have encouraged play with puzzles individually and as social play. January 29th is National Puzzle Day, and MOJO is celebrating with a 15% discount on all floor puzzles purchased from our online store through March 7, 2022.
We at MOJO believe that puzzle play should start as young as toddlers. Their chubby little fingers begin to grasp pieces to complete the puzzle. It may seem daunting at first, but it becomes familiar to them after some time. Why? Because your child's brain is learning, and despite the simplicity of puzzles, they are a fantastic tool to enhance essential life skills. What skills are puzzles enhancing?
Here are 8 skills children learn from puzzles:
Fine Tuning Motor Skills
Puzzles allow children to develop fine motor skills like how hand-eye coordination is developed. Fine motor skills, distinct from gross motor skills like walking, necessitate little, precise motions, which puzzles supply. Handwriting and other vital accomplishments require fine motor skills.
Improved Gross Motor Skills
Stacking blocks and other large, readily controlled puzzles can help newborns and young children develop their gross motor abilities.
Children learn the link between their hands and eyes by rotating, flipping, adding, and removing pieces from puzzles. The eyes see the puzzle, and the brain imagines how it should be put together or which component should be discovered and placed. The brain, eyes, and hands work together to find the piece, manipulate it appropriately, and properly fit it into the puzzle.
Problem Solving Skills
The ability to solve problems effectively is a valuable and essential skill. This crucial ability is developed as a child examines numerous components and determines where they fit or do not fit. Either it works and is appropriate, or it does not. As a result, puzzles teach children to use their minds to solve problems and think logically.
Accomplishing Small Objectives
It is common for a child to establish a method for solving a puzzle as they work on it. They may start with the border and work their way in, or they could divide everything into sections based on colors. This teaches a child to set tiny but attainable goals on the way to achieving larger, more complex accomplishments.
Learning to recognize and sort shapes is an integral part of the development of young children –even babies. Little ones can benefit from puzzles because the pieces must be identified and sorted before being put together.
Simple jigsaw puzzles and other puzzles can help a child's memory. As the child works their way through the puzzle, they will need to remember the size, color, and shape of various pieces. If a piece doesn't fit, the child puts it aside; however, the child will need to remember it when it is needed.
Learning About The World
Psychologists have shown that how a child interacts with or manipulates the world around him or her has a substantial impact on his or her brain development. Puzzles provide that crucial opportunity. When children work with puzzles, they learn to work directly with their environment and change its structure and look.
Now that you have learned about the skills children learn from puzzling, how do you choose the proper puzzle for your child?
Here are a few suggestions for introducing your child to puzzling:
● Select puzzles based on your child's age, interest, and ability. Start easy.
● Take your child with you to select a puzzle. Explain that you have to begin with a small number of pieces and progress to higher pieces because you want them to succeed.
● Ask why they selected the puzzles; this supports the visual imagery building for the child before taking pieces out.
● Depending on the child's age, limit the number of puzzle pieces together and place them 'face up.' Remember to use age as a measure for the type of puzzle.
● While observing puzzle pieces, display the puzzle box in view of the area so they can see the edge pieces first.
● Look for pieces according to the shapes and colors.
● Reward your child each time they put puzzles pieces in place and when the puzzle is complete.
Happy Puzzling! Not sure where to start? Here are some of our puzzles especially made for challenging young minds!