Puzzles are a great way to keep toddlers and young children entertained while serving as an educational tool. Puzzles allow us to challenge our thinking and exercise our minds. Here are some of the top benefits of puzzles to early childhood development.
According to Learning4Kids.net, puzzles help increase visual special awareness and develop a deeper understanding of themes and topics. These themes and topics include alphabet letters, shapes, numbers and colors. Puzzles can serve as a tool to help young children understand and memorize these concepts.
Fine Motor Movements
Fine motor skills are small movements that require using the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips and tongue, and puzzles help refine these skills. When playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces and move them around in order to sort, fit and solve the puzzle.
In order to complete a puzzle, children have to think and develop strategies to achieve a goal. This process is what helps young children develop logic, reasoning and problem solving skills that help them reach a solution, which are skills they carry into their adult lives.
According to the Child Development Institute, handling the different pieces of a puzzle help children understand the connection between their hands and their eyes. To complete a puzzle, children’s eyes and hands need to work together to recognize the object, envision how it will look and use their hands to make the piece fit.
Puzzles help develop positive self-esteem because children are setting small goals and achieving them once they complete the puzzle. Being able to overcome the challenges of completing a puzzle provides children with a boost to their self-confidence and prepares them to overcome other challenges in life.
One of the many benefits of puzzles is that they build social development skills. Puzzles provide a great opportunity for children to work together to accomplish a greater goal, which enhances and promotes cooperative play. Research also shows that a child’s brain development is influenced greatly when they act or manipulate the environment around them.