Jigsaw puzzles are some of the best activities for children. They’re fun, engaging, challenging, and you can also use them as learning tools to enhance your child’s development.
Even simple puzzles require a level of skill and determination to put together. Once completed the results are gratifying for any age, but particularly for children.
From coordination to cognition and concentration, read on to discover just how jigsaw puzzles can benefit your child’s development.
Enhance Your Child’s Development with Puzzles
Puzzles are available for different ages, and the trick is to pick your child age-appropriate ones to help them avoid them getting frustrated trying to put together a puzzle that is too difficult for their ability. Start with some easy-to-solve puzzles and advance to more complex ones as they grow.
Here are some of the ways jigsaw puzzles help in your child’s development:
Body parts need to coordinate to handle daily tasks effectively. Jigsaw puzzles help your child from the early stages to develop their hand-eye coordination.
The ability for a child to coordinate what the eyes see, the action the mind needs to take, and the hand movement your child needs to achieve it requires practice.
Puzzles help your child create and develop a relationship between the eyes, brain, and hands. Your child also visualises how the result of the puzzle will be, so these body parts work together to achieve the goal of completing the puzzle.
Improved Concentration and Patience
It takes a lot of focus for your child to figure out how to coordinate the eyes, brain, and hands. It also takes a lot of concentration, time, and patience to read puzzle pieces and see how they fit with each other.
These tasks help develop your child’s ability to exercise patience and concentration skills, both of which are useful life skills.
However, you need to encourage and remind them that completing the puzzle may not be easy, but practice will help them succeed. Make it more interesting by designing custom puzzles or buying ones with themes that interest your child.
Memory and Cognitive Skills
Jigsaw puzzles encourage your child to use reasoning, deduction and adaptive thinking as they try to understand how to complete the puzzle. Your child needs to remember what the complete picture looks like to put it back together. Since your child needs to remember the patterns and shapes and where they need to go, it’ll help develop their memory skills.
You can help your child improve their cognitive ability and develop abstract thinking by encouraging them to complete the jigsaw puzzle. That’s what makes them see an empty space and develop the need to find a puzzle shape and size that fits in it. For a child with special needs, puzzles are a great way to encourage cognitive and speech development.
Fine Motor Skills
Doing puzzles, your child will develop strength in finger and hand muscles, which helps them grasp things and hold on to them.
Later, these fine motor skills will be helpful when it’s time to hold and use crayons and pencils. This makes doing a jigsaw puzzle a way to practice fine motor and gross skills in a fun way while encouraging independence.
Recognising shapes is a crucial part of a child’s development process. Jigsaw puzzles help your child identify and differentiate shapes. The different shapes help stimulate your child’s brain cells and encourage them to stay interested in fitting the shapes into the puzzle’s design.
Solving problems needs patience and creativity. Jigsaw puzzles are all about organising pieces to solve a problem. They push your child to become a critical thinker and find the right piece each time that will help them solve the puzzle.
There’s no other way about it – they have to orient their minds to problem-solving mode. If a piece fails to fit, there’s no cheating. When your child realises this, self-corrects, and finds a better solution (the correct jigsaw piece) to the problem. Since your child will need to manipulate a piece of the puzzle – try it, turn it, and test it – their problem-solving skills will naturally develop.
Puzzles are an excellent activity for group work and a good way for children to connect and help each other. When working together to complete the puzzle, it’ll promote your child’s ability to work as part of a team.
As each child comes up with independent ways to complete the puzzle, they learn how to listen, understand each other, and develop teamwork capabilities.
As children help each other, they work together through failure and frustrations. They also engage each other in conversation. This is a great way to help your child bond, be helpful, and build relationships with others.
Helping your child develop self-esteem at an early age motivates them to step up for bigger challenges and feel good when they accomplish them. If they’re unsuccessful the first time, they’re not afraid to try again until they complete it.
Completing a puzzle will help your child become more confident, and is a great foundation to show them that they can accomplish something when they put effort into it.
Jigsaw puzzles aren’t only fun, but offer a fun educational challenge you can use to help your child develop numerous life skills.