Since we just stocked up on brand new puzzles here in the Children’s Department, I thought I would take a moment to talk about some of the benefits puzzle-play can bring your toddler. We all know kids love the challenge of fitting a shape into the correct spot, but what’s going on at a deeper developmental level?
Hand-Eye Coordination and Fine Motor Skills:
This may be an obvious one, but it’s importance can’t be overstated. Creating the connection between what the eyes see, how the brain processes it, and how the fingers and hands must move to manipulate objects develops the foundation for critical skills later on.
Trying to fit the intricacies of a puzzle together can provide a wealth of problem-solving opportunities for your toddler’s brain. Just watch your child next time as they try first one possibility, then another…that’s perseverance in action! Puzzles can also teach your child to set and achieve smaller goals in order to achieve a larger goal, such as finding and connecting all the edge pieces in order to provide the framework to complete the puzzle. Critical thinking comes into play as a child analyzes the negative space and chooses the piece that will fit. Abstract thinking develops when the child looks at the image as a whole and then tries to see what is needed to complete it.
Puzzles are more than a fun educational tool- they help your child develop foundational life skills that will serve them well as they grow. Stop by our puzzle section and see what’s new!
I used two sites as inspiration for this article: