Why buy a puzzle for your children?
Puzzle games are an ideal tool for learning and education for children, even the youngest: in fact the puzzles favor the development of cognitive and manual abilities of the child, visual perception, social and individual self-esteem as well as a critical approach to troubleshooting.
Puzzles can be a stand-alone activity, but also a great pastime for a group of friends or family.
The process of reattachment and interlocking of two pieces of a puzzle, in fact, involves the development of a strategy and an organization that teach patience and perseverance: the reward is the completion of the image that involves satisfaction and fun in the child who achieves this goal.
Did you know that in South Africa a child must be able to complete a 24-piece puzzle to enter primary school.
How to assess the difficulty of a puzzle?
Conversely, a wrong choice of the puzzle to be composed for your child can cause boredom or even frustration in the child. But how to assess the difficulty adequate to the age and abilities of the child?
- the number of pieces;
- the size of the single piece;
- the variety and difficulty of the shape of the pieces;
- the complexity and detail of the image;
- the variation of colors;
- the experience already gained by the child in composing a puzzle;
- the quality of the support;
- the presence or absence of aids to the organization of the game as the contours of the puzzle.
So when do you start playing with puzzles?
Children can start at the earliest age to deal with puzzle games and as they acquire skills and experiences they can move on to a game made up of more and more complex pieces.
Below we offer a list of puzzle games for children based on their age, which will not only simplify your choice of parents but will ensure your children appropriate entertainment commensurate with their abilities.
Puzzles for children from 0 to 2 years.
For children between the ages of 0 and 2, even collecting a piece and handling it can be a challenge.
Therefore helping him by proposing a game made up of a few large pieces and simple and soft shapes can be an excellent solution that will guarantee, with great probability, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment while the child refines his skills.
For children of this age group we must always take into great consideration the fact of not overpowering them with more pieces than they can handle.
The ideal is to start smaller children with puzzles consisting of 3 large pieces and grow progressively as the child develops their skills.
The puzzles that you can find in the educational games section of early childhood puzzles offer numerous solutions with a limited number of pieces.
Recommend a number between 3 and 12 pieces, and with the presence of matched images that can help the child during the process of recognition and joint.
Puzzles with numbers, letters, farm animals and domestic animals are highly recommended.
A valid alternative to early childhood games seen previously may be the purchase of a magnetic board for children.
It is a wooden puzzle composed of a limited number of magnetized pieces and a magnetic support on which to fit the dowels.
Puzzle for 3 year olds
At the age of 3 it may be the right time to start having fun with cardboard puzzles, where the complexity is slightly higher than the blocks and puzzles for early childhood seen previously.
At this age, the child usually stops exploring the world using his mouth and starts improving manual dexterity and visually recognizing parts of various images.
We suggest that the younger ones start their puzzle experience with large pieces that can be easily grabbed and rotated.
At this age, children like to recognize familiar objects and characters. Your favorite cartoon, musical instruments, transport vehicle illustrations, fairy tales and bedtime stories are great options.
Choosing the puzzle based on the child’s interests can increase the amount of “play time” a puzzle receives.
In this age group the puzzles with images taken from the most popular cartoons such as Frozen, Masha and Orso, Minions, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Disney, etc. are very popular.
The puzzles for 3-year-olds should have a number of pieces between 8 and 20 and normally a good start is provided by the products of the 4xPuzzle range. These puzzles contain a set of 4 images divided into 4, 5, 6 and 7 elements each.
These are shaped images, which make it very easy to identify the content of the illustration and with graded difficulty levels.
In fact we start with the image with the least number of elements and after completion we work on the next one, which is only slightly more difficult.
Puzzle for 4 year olds
With the increased experience in composing puzzles, your child begins to have more confidence with the rotation and the joining of pieces.
Although the approach is still based on attempt and error, children at this age begin to develop the first systematic method to solve the game.
This is a sign that you can switch to puzzles with more pieces or more complex illustrations.
For four-year-olds, we suggest puzzles of around 20 pieces with large pieces and the figure framed by the outline.
Progressively you can switch to puzzles consisting of 30 pieces and 40 pieces, in which the illustration has a format similar to the puzzles described above, but with slightly smaller pieces.
Puzzle for 5 year olds
Puzzles for children over the age of 5 can also be made up of 60 pieces.
For small builders, more experienced puzzles could also be an option to try out a spherical 3D puzzle.
These puzzles, perhaps built with the help of parents, can be turned into a night lamp for your bedroom.
Puzzles for children from 6 to 8 years old
Six-year-olds have developed sufficient experience to be able to define the pieces in relation to their place in the puzzle.
Ordering the pieces is common at this age while each child develops his own unique strategy for solving problems based on shape, color and subject.
Children between the ages of 6 and 8 can confront puzzles up to 200 pieces. Later, depending on their experience, this number can also increase up to 500 pieces.
Remember that your baby is unique
The choice of the correct puzzle varies according to the skills and experience of the individual child and only their parent knows these aspects in depth.
Carefully assessing the difficulty level is important to understand the puzzle appropriate for your child based on his age.
In this way, you will guarantee a satisfying, entertaining and at the same time formative gaming experience.
Finally, never forget that spending time with your children, perhaps building a puzzle, is a great way to “waste time” together and create that bond of love and understanding that will last forever.