Children benefit greatly through constructive play, as it challenges their ways of thinking; it also helps them strategize and promote critical thinking.
There are many factors that are addressed with jigsaw puzzle for children, as it trains the mind in different ways. By practising with a jigsaw puzzle, children learn basic skills and concepts, like how small factors make a big picture, which is really applicable in every area of their lives. It allows them to set goals and work towards the goal, slowly, teaching them patience and critical thinking. There are many other concepts that are targeted while playing with the jigsaw puzzles, and some of the main points are outlined here.
How do jigsaw puzzles help?
One of the main aspects of jigsaw puzzles is the hand to eye coordination, which is a basic cognitive function applicable in every area of our lives; it requires precise work of matching pieces to putting it to the right spot. It has also been noted that although further studies are required, children, who can complete jigsaw puzzles, generally have better handwriting than the rest of the class.
Puzzles are great educational gifts for kids, as they activate critical and tactical thinking, visual perception skills, problem-solving skills, judgments, and memory of a child, developing the right habits with the right stimulation. Also, large puzzles can be worked upon by a few children, tackling different sides of the puzzle. This also promotes teamwork, and coordination and communications skills for the child.
Age-appropriate jigsaw puzzles
While it is important that a child develops well, age-appropriate puzzles are required for them to be active and successful. Younger children develop many areas simultaneously, whereas with older children, who are still developing different skills, will need different types of puzzles from a five-year-old.
2 to 3-year-olds
Jumbo knob pieces are suitable for this age group, starting out with no more than two or three pieces that can be increased to up to 20 pieces for a three-year-old. Children in this age group will also benefit from playing with building blocks, which helps them develop their gross motor skills.
4 to 5-year-olds
Children in this age group should be playing with 50-piece jigsaw puzzles; constructive playing sets are also a great, provided they are not small enough to be swallowed by the child.
6 to 7-year-olds
Maxi blocks and 120-piece jigsaw puzzles are ideal for this age group, as by now they have basic motor skills, and the puzzles help them develop fine motor skills.
8 to 9-year-olds
By this age, children are quite well developed and should be able to tackle puzzles, ranging between 250 to 500 pieces, depending on the individual development. By the now the children should be honing their tactical, strategical and critical thinking patterns, and should be able to clearly distinguish between various differences sorted by colour, size, and shape.
By this age, children should be capable enough to solve large puzzles, no matter the size, with sample time, patience and guidance. These children should be able to solve puzzles of many varieties, colours, combinations and so on.
Abacus is fantastic for children above the age of 4 and should be introduced at an early age for them to grasp the concepts well. Abacus training is compulsory in many Asian countries; it is known to build a strong base in mathematical skills.
Age-appropriate puzzles are crucial to develop interest and enjoy the challenges that they need to overcome. Too difficult and the child can lose motivation, and too easy, there are not many challenges to keep the child occupied. Therefore, age-appropriate games are crucial to developing an interest in all types of puzzles.
Children imbibe knowledge easily and it is simple to instil good habits from a young age with practice and diligence while ensuring that they are still having fun and enjoying themselves. Puzzles are a great way to boost the mind and learning as it is a form of structured play; DIY projects for kids across all age groups is advisable so that they develop the right skills for a successful life from a young age. Children are fast learners and invariably parents will have to keep investing in more challenging puzzles to keep them busy and occupied.