Puzzles, Puzzles Everywhere….
With the holidays around the corner, I’ve started to wrap the grandkid gifts . As I unearth them from secret hiding spots around the house, I see that I have bought a large selection of puzzles. As a yearlong Christmas shopper, I have discovered that my quest to find the “the perfect gift for a certain grandkid” has left me with a hodgepodge of gifts with too many for one child and nothing for another! Staring at the collection of gifts I wonder ” which grandchild did I buy this perfect present for”? Good thing puzzles are interchangeable “perfect” gifts!
Truth is, I’m a puzzle lover. Sudoku, Wheel of Fortune or jigsaw, love them all. As a result, I have discovered that I am also a serious puzzle buyer! Looking at my grandkids kids gift collection I have all sizes and topics ranging in size from 2 to 1000 pieces. Yes, only 2 pieces in my homemade environmental puzzle for the 2 year old. Puzzles challenge my thinking and exercise my mind.
When assessing students in school, we focused on their social, emotional and academic growth. Now, when choosing toys for my grandkids I try to think of these same areas. Ok, I admit it, sometimes it’s a real stretch to justify a Pokemon Mega Powers Collection Card Game. But that’s what GG’s are for! However, there’s no stretching with puzzles. They’re an idea toy that benefits kids and can be lots of fun.
Let’s see the top 6 benefits for kids playing with puzzles.
- Problem solving– Children must think and develop strategies on how to solve a puzzle. This This process involves problem solving, reasoning skills and developing solutions. Whether they choose to fill in a puzzle around the frame or from picture clues, it helps children think in a logical way.
- Attention Span and Patience -Most puzzles are not done quickly. An interesting puzzle can hold a child’s attention and keep them engaged for hours. Therefore, the challenge of solving or completing a puzzle will help develop patience.
- Social– My granddaughters love doing puzzles with us. Working on a puzzle as a team gives many opportunities for talking. Sharing ideas and joint problem solving will help a child work as a team. Working on a team effectively is one of the qualities that today’s employers look for. Never too young to build your resume skillset.
- Self-esteem– Who doesn’t love the feeling of satisfaction when you finish a puzzle? That feeling helps build a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Two very important life skills to develop.
- Fine Motor Skills Development– Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills. When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces turning them around until they fit into the puzzle. Fine motor skills are necessary for handwriting and other important achievements. This trial and error of matching pieces also involves a lot of hand and eye coordination.
- Shape Recognition and Geometry– In order to complete puzzles, kids need to recognize and sort pieces. For this reason, many first puzzles are shape recognition puzzles.
A Worthwhile Gift
Let’s be honest, grandkid visits change the dynamics of retirement. My house becomes noisy, a little messier and a lot more fun. Puzzles have become my” go to” as a grandkid gift for many reasons. They are fun educational toys that are reasonably priced and challenge my grandkids minds. They are also easy to store, can be done without adult help, and somewhat quiet!
Other posts related to this topic
Fine Motor Activities for Kids: Less than $10.00 – November 6, 2018
Math Problem Solving and Young Children – November 1, 2018