5 Best Puzzles for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toddlers are full of energy, curiosity, and drive for adventures. Some days they roam outside, play on the playground with friends, and makeup stories and characters to simulate their desired experiences. And some days, you will have to create an environment for them to thrive.
If you're looking for a perfect activity to keep your toddlers or preschooler busy and entertained, puzzles are a great way to channel their energy and curiosity.
Classic puzzle games can be a great way to help children develop cognitive, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.
With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which puzzles are best suited for young children.
But we've got you!
We found 5 entertaining riddles - from classic wooden jigsaw to shape-sorting and alphabet puzzles.
5 Puzzles to keep your toddler entertained and help them develop
Studies have found that puzzles affect children's different developmental areas. They can increase your baby's physical skills, develop fine motor skills, and performance of small muscle groups.
Children who actively play with puzzles find it easier to draw, write and play musical instruments.
1) Floor Puzzles
You can start with a simple floor puzzle to entertain your child and let them explore the world.
These large jigsaw puzzles can help develop fine motor skills, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination. They can also be educational and engaging for young children to learn about the world around them.
As you research to buy one for your baby, you'll notice they come in all sizes and shapes. You can also choose the difficulty level according to age. Such a variation allows you to choose the puzzle that matches your baby's personality, interests, and abilities.
Floor puzzles have large pieces that children need to differ, move around and stack together. Such actions allow them to exercise small and large muscle groups, which helps them develop their fine motor skills.
Besides the evident benefits of floor puzzles, they can also teach children about shapes, animals, letters, numbers, and more.
The larger pieces make it easier for young children to handle. It's more comfortable for them to find the correct position and finish the puzzle. As they complete each puzzle, they get the satisfaction of knowing they accomplished something significant.
2) Shape Sorters
Shape Sorters are toys designed to help toddlers and preschoolers develop fundamental cognitive skills. Sorting and matching help children explore their environment, exercise problem-solving skills, and learn simple shapes.
You've probably seen shape-sorter toys in various ads and toy shops. The most common type of shape sorter involves a box with different-shaped holes and several matching objects which fit inside the gaps. Children must match the shapes to the appropriate holes to open the box.
Shape sorters can also help toddlers practice sorting objects by size, color, and other features. For example, some shape sorters come with two or three shapes of the same color but different sizes. Matching these pieces requires a child to understand the concept of size.
Like puzzles usually do, shape sorters can also help foster problem-solving and sequencing skills; As children learn to identify the shapes and then determine how they should fit together to unlock the box.
Additionally, you can encourage your toddlers' creativity and imagination through shape sorters. They can mix and match the pieces to make up stories, create designs, and pretend play.
3) Picture Puzzles
Another entertaining activity for your toddler is building picture puzzles. We've all built a picture puzzle at some point in our lives. They consist of an image printed on wood or cardboard with pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
The image typically consists of a familiar object, character, or scene, encouraging them to find the correct pieces and complete the puzzle.
Picture puzzles are designed to challenge children and help them improve their problem-solving abilities. To complete this puzzle, children must first identify the different pieces, then determine where each piece should go to create the complete image. Picture puzzles also help children develop visual perception skills, which allow them to recognize shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns.
As children assemble the puzzle, they learn logical thinking and develop spatial awareness. Additionally, picture puzzles can help children recognize shapes, colors, and patterns while improving fine motor skills. Picture puzzles are also a great way to introduce new concepts and vocabulary words related to the picture.
4) Maze Puzzles
Maze puzzles usually consist of a board with various paths and obstacles that children must maneuver to find the correct path from start to finish. Some sets even include side quests to complete, such as collecting objects or avoiding enemies.
Maze puzzles can be an effective way to help children understand and develop spatial awareness as they learn to recognize different routes and think ahead to solve the puzzle.
As they progress, you can introduce puzzles with higher difficulty levels. Increasing tiers like this can help promote your child's self-confidence as they slowly learn to trust their decision-making skills.
Maze puzzles offer endless possibilities for creative problem-solving for both adults and children alike.
5) Pattern Blocks
Pattern Blocks come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing children to create and explore their unique designs. They help to develop early math skills, visual-spatial awareness, problem-solving, and creative thinking.
Teachers often use pattern blocks to introduce preschoolers to simple math, shapes, colors, sizes, and more. It's a toy you'll often come around while reviewing preschool rooms and the environment. We also have a few of them in our office to research their benefits and functioning and simply have fun.
We found that pattern blocks allow children to experiment with different designs and concepts as they explore their creativity. They also help build their self-confidence, as building a pattern block can be a challenging activity even for adults.
We can talk for hours about puzzles, and give you recommendations and advice on how and when to use them. For now, you can experiment with one of these five types of puzzles and see where your toddler thrives.