Did you know January 29th is National Puzzle Day? A puzzle is a game or toy that tests a person’s knowledge, you are required to put pieces together in a logical way in order to arrive at the correct solution.
Puzzles are great for your child’s mind and cognitive development. So here is why puzzles are considered helpful to a child’s development:
- Hand-Eye Coordination. When children flip, turn, or remove pieces of the puzzle, they are learning the connection between their hands and their eyes. The eyes see the puzzle, and the brain then envisions how the puzzle needs to look or what piece needs to be found and placed. Then the brain, eyes, and hands work together to find the piece, manipulate it accordingly, and fit it into the puzzle accurately.
- Fine Motor Skills. Moving and placing puzzle pieces provides the opportunity to work on small, specialized movements that help develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are necessary for handwriting and other important achievements.
- Gross Motor Skills. Gross motor skills are larger movements that your baby makes with their arms, legs, feet or their entire body. For babies and young children, gross motor skills can be enhanced with stacking blocks, LEGO and other large, easily manipulated puzzles.
- Problem Solving. The skill of effective problem solving is a valuable and important one. As a child looks at various pieces and figures out where they fit or don’t fit, they are developing this vital skill. A puzzle either fits or it doesn’t fit, there is no cheating. So puzzles teach children to use their own minds to figure out how to solve problems and think logically.
- Shape Recognition. For young children – even babies – learning to recognize and sort shapes is an important part of their development. Puzzles can help little ones with this, since the pieces need to be recognized and sorted before they can be assembled.
- Simple jigsaws and other types of puzzles may help enhance a child’s memory. For example, a child will need to recall the size, colour and shape of various pieces as he or she works through the puzzle. If a piece doesn’t fit, the child sets it aside; but he or she will need to remember that piece when it is needed.
With the increase of digital entertainment, the common puzzle may be falling by the wayside. So unplug, get back to basics and complete a jigsaw puzzle as a family.