Puzzles are a great family activity or solo pastime. Whether your puzzle of choice is a 1,000-piece jigsaw, crossword puzzle in Sunday times, a wood brain teaser, or a 3D puzzle, doesn’t really matter because all puzzles share one key element, they power our brain and challenge our thinking.

The popularity of puzzles today in the digital age is part of a very long history. Puzzles have existed in various forms since the time of the ancient world. Riddles are mentioned in the Bible, puzzle jugs date to the 1700 BC in Cyprus, and magic squares were introduced in China around 700 BC.

In modern times, jigsaw puzzles were invented by John Spilsbury in 1767, crossword puzzles were first published in newspapers in 1913, and the Rubik’s Cube was created in 1974.

The types and varieties of puzzles are almost endless.

Puzzles are an important educational learning tool for toddlers and young children as they provide many skills and cognitive learning benefits and opportunities but did you know that adult brains can benefit from puzzles too?

When you are studying from a book, lots of people go straight to the end to look for the answers. But thats not my style. For me, the most enjoyable part is the puzzle, the process of solving, not the solution itself.

– Erno Rubik

Benefits of Puzzle-solving.

Below, discover few benefits of this educational toy for child development along with some practical tips.

Bi-lateral development of the brain

Puzzles help stimulate both the left and the right hemispheres of a child. At a young age, kids tend to use both their hands and as they grow up, one hand becomes dominant and other passive. The left hemisphere is responsible for right-hand control, analytical and sequential thinking. The right hemisphere is responsible for left-hand control, holistic and creative thinking. In Puzzles both the hands have to work in a symmetrical pattern and giving your brain a real mental workout to achieve intended results.

Improvise Memory

Working on puzzles reinforce the connections between our brain cells – and form new ones – so they are a great way to improve short-term memory. We use memory in the process of completing a jigsaw puzzle when we remember shapes, sizes, and pieces and visualize where they fit in. Puzzles can actually increase the speed of connections in the brain, making it more efficient. Because kids often assemble the same puzzle over and over again, they might also recall which pieces go together. This is another way they boost their memories.

Cognitive Skills

Toddlers need to learn to distinguish between shapes like circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares. At first, they may think that squares and rectangles are the same. Slowly, they learn to identify the properties that make shapes unique. It increases their visual spacial awareness and develops a deeper understanding of these themes and topics.  All children learn differently and puzzles may be their medium for grasping an understanding of certain themes such as alphabet letters.

Problem-solving Skills.

Putting a jigsaw puzzle together presents a basic problem. Organizing and assembling the mixed up pieces creates a chance to learn problem-solving skills. The ability to solve problems and think critically is useful in almost any life situation and puzzles help us develop these skills. Since puzzles require us to take different approaches to solve them, we learn how to work by trial and error, formulate and test theories, and how to change tracks if not successful.

Fine Motor development

Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine fine motor skills.  When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces (some with small knobs, pegs, or chunky pieces) and move them around, manipulating them into slots, sorting them and fitting them into the correct places.

Pegged puzzles in particular force toddlers to use the princer grip. This is a crucial skill that they’ll later utilize to hold a pencil (or a paintbrush) in preschool and kindergarten.

Jigsaw puzzles also require that young ones make very precise movements in order to get the pieces to fit together.

It can be tempting to step in and help your child with tasks that require fine motor abilities. But, it’s best to let them practice on their own unless they seek assistance.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Puzzles are particularly effective at helping young children with their hand-eye coordination.

Playing with puzzles requires a trial and error process which involves a lot of hands and eye manipulation. To solve a puzzle, youngsters must carefully move pieces into place. Before placing a piece, they see the spot where it will go with their eyes. Then, they must make their hands move the piece to that exact space. If the puzzle does not fit, they will try all over again where their actions involve doing what they actually see.

Little kids must develop this skill by giving their eyes and hands plenty of practice working together. It begins from the moment babies wave their hands above their heads and learn to put them into their mouths.

Instead of guiding your kid’s hand, offer some helpful instructions such as “Lift the piece a little.” Or “Wiggle the piece a bit until it fits.”

Bottom Line

From fine motor to problem-solving, to self-esteem, the advantages of puzzles for children’s development are numerous. This educational toy is obviously important for kids to learn cognitive, physical, and emotional skills, which will support them later on in life as they grow up.

It’s worth mentioning this fun toy presents a great opportunity for parents to interact in a positive way with their kids. With a jigsaw puzzle on the floor, you’ll smile, laugh, and relish completing a task together.

Pepplay has launched Europe’s bestselling brand “Jar Melo” that has the best quality puzzles and problem-solving activity kits.  Check out, I am sure you will this collection of dinosaur puzzles, fossil excavation kits, and the activities on Pepplay.

Interested? You can buy them all here:

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