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Explore the Benefits of Puzzles for Childhood Development

Puzzles are enjoyable learning activities for children. Puzzles can be worked individually or played in a group. They present a great learning opportunity for children engaging them in a mind challenging activity that fosters creativity. Puzzles help children develop important skills that will be used both in school, at home and in future life experiences. So why are puzzles considered to be an important part of childhood development? Here we are reviewing seven of the most important benefits of puzzles for children to help you answer this question.

Benefits of Puzzles for Childhood Development

Seven Benefits of Puzzles You Should Not Ignore:

Hand-Eye Coordination

Solving puzzles requires kids to use their hands and vision consistently to locate, group, handle and put together the interconnecting pieces of shapes. Once the eyes see a shape, the brain makes a decision and relays that information to the hands to take a certain action. Hands then receive the information and translate that information into a physical response to move or place something. These series of repetitive actions help kids to develop a fine relationship between eyes, brain and hand movements.

Fine Motor Skills

Puzzles help children to develop fine motor skills, a term used for referring to small and precise movements of hands and fingers to grasp objects and place them accurately in the right location. Fine motor skills can improve children’s handwritings and drawing abilities. They can also help develop better dexterity in children for doing school and general life activities like playing, eating, dressing and grooming.

Problem Solving Skills

One of the most important benefits of puzzles is to help children develop problem solving skills. There is only one solution to a puzzle game and there is only one way to arrange the puzzle pieces to form the correct shape or picture. As children play, they will exercise their critical thinking abilities to find a solution to a systematic problem. Children will be able to apply logical thinking as they discover whether a piece will fit or will not fit.

Intellectual Development

Solving puzzles enhances the memory and intellectual development in children. Solving puzzles involves training the mind to remember shapes, colors and patterns and manipulating the pieces to obtain the one desired configuration that fits all the pieces together. During the play process, children think, analyze, count, make decisions, and see and evaluate results. They practice important real life skills that prepare them for the life to come.

Social Skills

Learning to successfully interact with others is a key component of child development accomplished through group play. Puzzles can be used in cooperative play where children work as a team or they can be used in competitive play where teams compete against each other. In both cases children are able to collaborate and communicate with each other to develop a plan and guide each other every step of the way towards finding the one solution.

Goal Setting

Children working to solve a puzzle work also towards achieving a defined goal with a reward of increased self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Children have to plan and develop certain strategies that result in a successful completion of the puzzle. Goal setting is a skill that will be used over and over during the play process preparing children for the future adulthood life.

Color and Shape Recognition

One of the other important benefits of puzzles is that children learn about colors, shapes and patterns. Each puzzle represents a piece of visual information that is relayed to the eyes of the child playing with it. This is even more noticeable with toddlers as they are eager to learn about and explore the new world around them.