Using Puzzles for Toddler Development

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I love puzzles.  Ever since I was a little girl, I loved working on puzzles from the simple wooden ones to the many piece puzzles.  I have not had a lot of time to devote to solving puzzles, but I love that I have a daughter, and I can help her learn by playing puzzles.

Puzzles help stir the mind in motion.  Around two years of age, toddlers will be able to complete basic puzzles. With assistance, toddlers can put puzzle pieces in the correct spot.

Here are a few ways puzzles help with early development:

1) Cognitive Development

This area includes organizing ideas, comprehension, using choice and evaluation skills.  Children’s puzzles help toddlers understand different themes, pictures, shapes, numbers, and alphabet letters and how they fit in the world around them.

2) Fine Motor Development

Toddlers use their hands to pick up the puzzle pieces and try to make them fit in the correct slot.

3) Hand-eye coordination

Toddlers have to learn to use their brain, hands, and eyes at the same time as they pick up the pieces and figure out where they go.

4) Memory

Solving and playing with puzzles help a toddler’s memory.  They have to recall/rely on memory as they learn the puzzle pieces and where they belong.

5) Emotional Skills

Toddlers learn patience while completing the puzzles and rewards when they finish the puzzles.

6) Social Skills

Social skills develop when working on a puzzle with family/friends.

Do you have favorite puzzles from childhood?

Sources:

How Puzzles Help Your Child’s Development

Putting it all Together: Learning with Puzzles

Why Puzzles are Good for Your Child’s Development

Melissa and Doug
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