Educational Benefits of Puzzles - what are they?
As well as providing family fun, the educational benefits of puzzles are many. When children play with puzzles they-
- Develop vocabulary
- Increase small muscle development
- Develop eye hand coordination
- Improve memory skills
- Increase problem solving skills
- Build spatial perception
- Build literacy skills
To increase the student's vocabulary use words such as straight, curved, edge, inside, outside, above, below, beside when teaching basic puzzle skills.
Teaching puzzle skills to children
Teach children that lots of puzzles (not all) have a straight edge on the outside, to look for similar colors and shapes that relate to each other.
- Start with simple puzzles with few pieces.
- When the child is successful move on to a more difficult puzzle.
- Resist the temptation to point out which piece goes where, give the children plenty of time to figure it out by themselves.
- Assist only when asked.
Children like to repeat the same puzzle over and over again. Although developmental levels vary with kids, look for the following criteria when buying puzzles for beginners:
- large pieces
- sturdy pieces (kids force them to fit together)
- puzzles with one or two pieces (match chick with hen)
- pictures that are easy to recognize
- non-toxic paint and products, products that pass safety standards
Types of Puzzles
There are many educational learning materials on the market. Different types of puzzles are available to keep children interested at various ages. Galison Mudpuppy produces a number of different style puzzles for children that are non-toxic and meet safety tests.
Melissa and Doug puzzlesare another favorite, educational and well made.
A few types available are:
- two piece puzzles
- tray puzzles
- theme based puzzles
- 20 piece puzzles with familiar objects
- 6 sided block puzzles
- large floor puzzles
- 36 piece puzzles with smaller pieces