Adrian is obsessed with transportation, firetrucks 🚒 in particular, so this Fire Truck Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle (buy here) is a big hit! The puzzle features beautiful original artwork, extending four feet long once assembled. For Adrian (at 40 months) colorful 24 extra-thick cardboard pieces presented little challenge, and Adrian enjoyed assembling it over-and-over again. (If an activity is too hard, what child will be doing it over-and-over?)
The goal of a jigsaw puzzle is to fit pieces together to make a picture using anywhere from 4 to 1,000 pieces. Puzzles are good not only for your child’s mind and cognitive development, but also for mental development. Puzzles promote hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem solving and cognitive skills.
- Hand-Eye Coordination: when children flip, turn, or remove pieces of a puzzle, they are learning the connection between their hands and their eyes. The eyes see the puzzle, and the brain envisions how the puzzle needs to look or what piece needs to be found and placed correctly. Then the brain, eyes, and hands work together to find such piece, manipulate it accordingly, and fit it into the puzzle accurately.
- Fine Motor Skills require small, specialized movements that puzzles provide.
- Problem Solving is being developed as a child looks at various pieces and figures out where do they fit. Thus, a successful completion of a puzzle is a unique challenge that requires effective problem-solving skills. Puzzles teach children to use their own minds to figure out how to solve problems and how to think in a logical way since there is just no way to "cheat – pieces either fit together or they do not.
- Cognitive Skills are developed when following step-by-step directions accomplishes a certain goal. Additionally, when playing with puzzles, spatial, letter and color awareness skills develop.
Studies have found that when children work on jigsaw puzzles, they use both sides of their brain, and spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function and problem-solving skills. Puzzles stimulate the brain, promote hand-eye coordination, keeping the brain active and functional! Can we ask for more from a fun activity?
More on puzzles, read here National Puzzle Day – How we celebrated.