Puzzle games are preferred both by the children for the pleasant moments they offer, as well as by parents and educators for the educational experience they provide.
Each time a child plays with a puzzle, skills are important for their development, including:
Cognitive skills: Puzzle games are an excellent tool for developing children's ability to solve problems and follow certain judgments.
It has been observed that puzzle games are especially preferred by children with a tendency towards logical-mathematical intelligence, but their benefits can be observed in the case of any child, regardless of the degree of development of each one. multiple intelligences (Learn more about Multiple Intelligence Theory, Howard Gardner, 1983).
Puzzle games help children understand the part-whole relationship, improves their visual-spatial perception and, depending on the theme of the game, helps them assimilate various information through the game: alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, different categories as animals domestic, wild animals, means of transport, maps and much more.
Fine motor skills: Solving puzzle games is one of the most fun activities for developing dexterity of small muscles in hands and fingers. Fine motor skills are the basis of any person's ability to write, and his or her exercise starts as early as the first year of life, when the child begins to grasp and manipulate various objects around him.
Beginning at the age of 1 year, children can use hand-held puzzle games, as well as chunky puzzle games (with thick, protruding pieces so they can be easily manipulated by children in the second year of life).
Hand-eye coordination: This ability develops through repeated attempts to match the puzzle pieces in their place.
Social skills: Puzzle games can be solved individually or through cooperation, interaction with other people. Whether they ask for a song or they think where one song or another would fit, the children learn to cooperate. Also, children learn how to deal with frustration when they realize that a piece doesn't fit the first or second attempt.
When choosing a puzzle game for your child, you should consider the following:
1. Child's age: Make sure you offer age-appropriate puzzle games. For example, a jigsaw puzzle or a jigsaw puzzle are suitable for children aged 1 to 3 years, while a traditional jigsaw puzzle game, with cuts, would become frustrating considering age-specific skills.
Puzzle games for this age category have a small number of pieces, large sizes, and the level of detail is low. For preschoolers, standard puzzle games with cuts become more and more attractive, and the number of pieces varies from 50 to 200, depending on the abilities of each child. For older children, the number of pieces can be increasing and the level of detail increases the complexity.
2. The material from which they are made: You can choose between puzzle games made of wood, cardboard, foam. Puzzle games with various textures can also contribute to sensory-perceptual development, in addition to developing cognitive skills.
3. Type of puzzle game: puzzle with handles; embossed puzzle; hard, rugged cardboard puzzle; foam carpet puzzle; textured puzzle; puzzle for sorting shapes; puzzle with sounds; multi-layered puzzle; traditional puzzle, with cuts etc ...
Also, puzzle games can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, in standard shapes (rectangle, square) or in unique shapes (world-renowned constructions; earth globe etc.), with or without magnets.
4. Thematic: It is very important to choose puzzle games with the right theme for your child - either in terms of age or in terms of his / her preferences. Thus, for a child between the age of 1 year and 3 years, you can choose the themed puzzle alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, different categories as domestic animals, wild animals, means of transport. For preschoolers, you can add to the list the puzzle games with thematic favorite stories of the child; and for older children, puzzle-themed maps, world-famous buildings, famous paintings, etc. become interesting.