Puzzles are commonly forgotten about, but are an excellent way to develop the skills children need.
Starting off with simple shapes will help them understand the concept of puzzles and problem solving, and as they get older they will learn to build more intricate puzzles with smaller, more detailed pieces, which is when introducing jigsaw puzzles and board games are also a good idea. You can find our top educational board games here.
Below are five skills that children will learn by introducing puzzles from an early age.
Puzzles are a great way to encourage teamwork and promote cooperative play. There’s a real social aspect to children working together and discussing where the pieces should go and figuring out what fits and what doesn’t. Not only will they go through the frustration together but the joy at the end of completing the puzzle.
Hand - Eye Coordination
When children are holding the different pieces of the puzzle they quickly learn the connection between their hands and eyes. They can look at the pieces and connect this to how each piece feels. Using both the hands and eyes, they should slowly start to figure out where a piece goes depending on the shape and how it fits into the puzzle.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
As well as stimulating the brain, puzzles are also great for developing fine and gross motor skills. When they are engaged in playing, they learn to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces and move them around. This will build up muscle strength and will help early years with future tasks such as holding pencils for writing.
We understand that children learn in different ways and some may grasp things easier than others, which is why we have a wide range of themes and topics including alphabet letters, shapes, numbers, animals, fruits and many more.
The whole concept of a puzzle is to simply solve the problem by fitting the loose pieces into their designated slots. For early years, problem solving involves the process of trial and error and teaches them to persevere. These skills can be later transferred into their adult life so starting puzzles early will give them the head start they need.
For our full range of EYFS books and puzzles, click here.