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Tips for Choosing Puzzles for Your Kids

Family Puzzle Time

Puzzles are one of the best tools for helping your kids learn while having fun. Puzzles offer many benefits to children including improving their fine motor skills, helping them to understand patterns, increasing their memory and boosting their problem solving skills. These are all great reasons to have plenty of puzzles at your disposal for easy and fun entertainment.

Here are three tips on how to choose the best puzzles for your children.
  • Choose a puzzle with a subject that your child will enjoy. My daughter loves kittens and she never tires of seeing the same kitten assembled over and over again. If the puzzle depicts their favorite animal or cartoon character they will be much more likely to play with the puzzle and will also be rewarded when they successfully complete it.
  • Be sure the puzzle is the right difficulty level for your child. If the puzzle is too difficult, your child may become easily frustrated and discouraged or if it is too easy, the child will be bored. Check the age levels on the box, but don’t be afraid to go up or down in age level depending on whether your child is more or less advanced.
  • When choosing puzzles for young toddlers, make sure to choose pieces that are very large to eliminate any danger of choking on small pieces.
Remember, your child has an attention span just like you and I. If a puzzle is colorful and fun, they are more likely to give it more attention. My kids can sit and work on puzzles for hours at a time. If it is a puzzle that is too hard or easy, their attention span will be much shorter. This may lead to a possible tantrum with puzzle pieces all over the floor and then becomes an entirely different game for mom called “puzzle pick me up”.

If your child is young, start with a puzzle that has fewer, larger pieces in fun shapes and colors. Older kids enjoy the challenge of complex patterns and the more pieces - the longer they will be entertained.

Most importantly, remember that age does not matter to puzzles so do not be afraid to join in the fun with your kids. Puzzles are great for family time and a wonderful opportunity to get to know your kids a little better.