Jigsaw puzzles can have a significant impact on your children’s cognitive, emotional, and physical skills. While they are having fun, kids are unconsciously developing multiple abilities.
From the most simple to complex sets, jigsaw puzzles will challenge your children’s minds and help them relax. The benefits of puzzles have been known for many generations. We don’t expect that their popularity will wane any time soon.
By solving jigsaw puzzles, kids develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking, two powerful skills that allow them to master other abilities as they grow. Additionally, children can learn pattern recognition, memory, and gross and fine motor skills with this fun game. Solving puzzles will also teach your child how to work through challenges without giving up.
It is fun to do puzzles with family and friends, and it brings everyone together. It is amazing how children learn so many skills effortlessly through jigsaw puzzles. These activities are fun and engaging, so parents should take advantage of this wonderful tool.
Here are 16 ways jigsaw puzzles develop children’s skills:
1. They develop fine motor skills.
Babies and toddlers are still building their fine motor skills, so it’s a good idea to introduce jigsaw puzzles as early as possible. As the fingers move to put the puzzle pieces in the right spot, your child is practicing and building small and precise movements.
In addition, children develop strong finger muscles to grasp things and hold onto them. Those abilities can help them improve handwriting since they will use the same skills to hold a pencil.
2. Jigsaw puzzles improve your child’s concentration span.
Specialists in child’s development found an interesting fact about their ability to focus on one task. They say that kids can only concentrate for two to five minutes times their age. That means that if your child is two years old, they can only focus on one thing for four to 10 minutes. You must be relieved to know that it is completely normal if your child has a short attention span.
Jigsaw puzzles can help kids achieve better concentration because they will be engaged in one task until they complete it.
3. Encourages kids to find different solutions to challenges.
When children see those jigsaw puzzle pieces scattered around, they will feel the need to do something about it. Jigsaw puzzle rules are pretty straightforward and encourage players to solve the problem: putting the pieces together to reveal the image split into pieces.
In addition, jigsaw puzzles will push your child to think critically and self-correct when they see a piece that doesn’t fit.
4. Jigsaw puzzles can make your kids more patient.
Children will realize that they can’t rush on solving the puzzle because the dynamic of this game doesn’t work that way. They will also face frustration along the way when they don’t find the right pieces and realize that it’s taking longer than they expected to complete the puzzle.
With jigsaw puzzles, your child learns that there are some things that you need to slowly work your way up until you reach the end.
5. Improves their memory.
Show your children that they can look back at the completed image on the puzzle box — if available — or a reference image. By looking back and forth at the picture and trying to find the pieces that match, your child’s brain will be working hard to remember what it’s supposed to form. They will also be working out their memory by sorting out the pieces that don’t fit now but will need to match later.
6. It is affordable and reusable.
Jigsaw puzzles are usually inexpensive, and kids can play with them over and over again. However, there are ways a parent can make the same set appeal to children differently. For example, try setting up a timer and check their ability to assemble a certain number of pieces within a given amount of time.
7. Teaches them about shapes.
Children need to recognize shapes during their development. Puzzles are a fun way to teach young kids about different shapes. In addition to stimulating imagination and creativity, puzzles stimulate brain cells while allowing for endless design possibilities.
8. Builds your child’s vocabulary.
Children learn new words through conversation. For example, doing a jigsaw puzzle with family or friends encourages kids to be more talkative. The puzzle may intrigue them due to its difficulty level or the picture’s subject, and children will start asking questions and engaging in conversations.
Likewise, parents can help them build a better vocabulary by asking them to talk about the color of objects, the number of features and describe what they are doing.
9. Improves their hand-eye coordination.
Kids must carefully place pieces into place to solve a puzzle. Then, they use their eyes to find where the right spots are and use their hands to move and put the pieces correctly. It’s good to give your children plenty of independence in this process by offering instructions but letting them figure things out by themselves.
10. Topic-specific jigsaw puzzles encourage learning new things.
Your child can learn about the world through puzzles, which often cover a variety of different topics. This educational toy helps kids understand geography, body parts, animal life, and more. Did you know that some schools use puzzles to teach about complex subjects such as botany and zoology? You can do the same at home with simple jigsaw puzzles.
11. Kids become aware of their space.
By analyzing shapes and colors, children learn which pieces fit together. Then, they have to flip the pieces around to find the proper fit. In time, they learn to do this automatically rather than through trial and error.
According to academic researchers at the University of Chicago, puzzle play can increase spatial awareness. They found that children between ages 2 and 4 who played with puzzles enhanced their spatial perception much more than those who didn’t.
12. Encourages teamwork.
Working together to put together a jigsaw puzzle requires teamwork and communication. Working together teaches your little ones important lessons, such as resolving a disagreement and asking for help. You can model social skills when you do a puzzle with your child. Use polite words to ask for an item or suggest a plan. You’ll soon see your child using these skills when interacting with others.
13. Kids feel more confident with small achievements.
Puzzles allow children to do something on their own. They usually don’t need a lot of help or adult supervision to do an age-appropriate jigsaw puzzle. When children are independent, they discover their value and become more confident. Parents should always use positive reinforcement to help their kids build confidence and help them see how their hard work pays off.
14. Develops reasoning and decision-making skills.
There are several benefits to children playing with jigsaw puzzles, including developing reasoning and decision-making skills. By working out which piece to put where and what to do next, children exercise their reasoning skills and get closer to completing their puzzles.
15. They will learn to come up with goals.
It may take your child a couple of tries to figure out how to solve a puzzle. In order to finish the puzzle, children learn to categorize and arrange puzzle pieces into different colors and shapes. Being organized and following that plan will help them achieve their final objective.
16. Kids start understanding their surrounding world.
With a jigsaw puzzle set, your child will be manipulating the world around them, thus gaining an understanding of their surroundings. Psychologists say that this exercise will help them improve the development of their brains.
Now you know why this educational toy is vital for your kids to learn and improve essential life skills. In addition, it provides a fantastic opportunity for parents and children to connect. We guarantee you will have a fun time together. As your children grow, you can increase the difficulty level of the puzzles to continue to advance their abilities.