“How does it work?” Where is it?” “Why? Kids puzzle over those unstoppable questions trying to figure out the puzzles of life. Jigsaw puzzles are probably the handiest, easiest, and most enjoyable tools or games to teach kids how to go about figuring things out. In fact, kids puzzles do teach just about all the basics of pre school, kindergarten and even school age learning tools. Hard to believe that a mere game, a kids puzzle is not just a game to keep them occupied and quiet, but in fact has major teaching opportunities and sharing opportunities for the kids.
The Brain Learns through the Hands
Today there’s a lot of talk and news about the success of Montessori teaching methods, and one of their major components uses manipulatives, and especially puzzles. The brain learns
through the hands of little ones. Doing a jigsaw puzzle is about solving a problem, building a shape, matching, sequence, and more. Research shows that when children learn by manipulating objects and are actively involved, especially using kids puzzles, they learn more and hang onto that learning longer.
Beauty, simplicity, appeal is what makes kids want to explore and learn. And kids puzzles have it all–with both hands. How do kids pick out a puzzle? The beautiful picture on the box cover, of course. And even if they only love Caillou, or Toopy and Binoo, or Hello Kitty, or SpongeBob, there are available online several different pictures of each of those characters to choose from, and continue choosing.
A Pick of Disney Puzzles
Want your child to concentrate better? Build up those concentration powers with hands on Disney jigsaw puzzles. Disney knows who the kids want to see and touch, and Disney puzzles cover all their favorites. Right where the kids sit on the floor, they love their own floor puzzles. Of course, all the favorite Disney puzzles are available online from Cars, to Mickey, to Tangled. Even Spiderman will go to Disney come the fall with the new Ultimate Spiderman. Spidey puzzles are perfect with their bold lines, colors and body parts forming that ultimate action scene.
And the Disney jigsaw puzzles don’t end with floor puzzles. There are truly, for real, puzzles that move–the 3-D Lenticular puzzles all available online like the Cars, Dora, Princesses, Toy Story, Mickey. They give kids a show that keeps moving them on to finish.
Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces and Pegs
As kids get better and faster with figuring out their processes, move up to more puzzle pieces in the kit. For example, Thomas comes in 15 or 24 piece kits.
Nothing is more perfect for toddlers than wood puzzles–indestructible, and they feel good in the hands. Wood peg puzzles give them something to hold onto as they are figuring things out. Look through the great array of wood puzzles including Land Before Time, Caillou, Curious George. For the picture perfect loving little princess, there is a wood picture frame puzzle featuring the Princesses, as well as Mickey of Toy Story favorites in a frame.
For the toddlers, using the fingers to make a jigsaw puzzle develops those important pincers, making them ready for crayons and pencils. Setting him or her on the floor with a puzzle to do beings the respect for his or her own work space.
You can also work with these early learners to teach basic skills by putting the puzzle pieces on the left and having the child pick them up and then put them down on the right. Trace the shapes of the pieces with 2 fingers of the right hand and the corresponding homes to develop fine motor control, attention to those details. It’s the power of observation that is learned. Little tikes will usually first try to force their pieces into the holes, so you guide them in how to rotate the pieces to fit. As you are talking to your child, your bonding, teaching vocabulary and recognition of objects and places.
Kids Puzzles in Shapes, Sizes, and Challenges
Kids puzzles just cannot get boring. There are always new places to make the puzzle. Enter the neat Dora Magnet Puzzle, or the Spider Man Magnet puzzle–they love to climb the fridge!
Some kids love circles and curves, and for those no straight liners, there are round puzzles with Spiderman, or Dora on a curvy shaped winged white horse. Square Sponge Bob can even live perfectly fine in a weird shaped curvy jigsaw puzzle.
Whether they are younger or older, kids learn about different roads to problem solving. How do you do a puzzle? There’s trial and error. There’s picking out and matching colors. There’s working as a team to accomplish the end goal and results. There’s starting with the corners. More fun, is dividing up the body parts, who gets to find and put in the eyes, or the body, or you’ll hear “hey, look, this hand goes right onto the bicycle handlebars”.
Cranium’s Seek and Find puzzles not only have the puzzle challenge for kids but they have search and find games after you make the puzzle. Whether the scene is the carnival, the city, the sea or the country, kids just love the thrill of finding these teeny tiny things, and it’s rewarding and builds pride and self confidence because they can do it.
For kids who think big, there are huge poster puzzles made for them. Of course there is available the current sensation, Justin Bieber, or the never going out of style forever true Princesses, and the always ready for a spin Cars and the toy lovers Toy Story poster puzzles-all easily available online. And for those bigger kids, whose idea of bigger is how many pieces they can do successfully, there are the boxes of 300 hundred puzzle pieces in your singing favorites Glee, Bieber, and more.
Going to spend some time visiting and want to give the kids something fun and quiet to do? Take along a handy puzzle in a tin, of course available in all their favorite characters and scenes.