in The Momma Life

6 Benefits of Playing with Puzzles for Kids

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It was during my preschooler’s scheduled Individual Assessment last October that I considered buying puzzles for my girls. My two-year old is not fond of it (yet) although there are instances when she wants to try but my almost four-year old loved the puzzles. Since then, I include puzzle activity in our routine. 

Last year, my sister got this for my girls. Puzzles 1I looked at it as a tool to help my eldest read and spell simple words in preparation for school. However, I failed to realize that it could be a good puzzle activity. So it took me less than a year (and had to realize the benefits of puzzles during the assessment) before I bought puzzles. 

Then I started with two- to five-piece puzzles. My eldest daughter solved it easily and relied on the pictures (and her imagination?) to be able to form the pictures. image (33) I bought her another set of puzzles; but this time, six to nine puzzle pieces. She was a bit impatient because it was more challenging and took her time to finish one puzzle. With push, encouragement, and a little help, she was able to finish one picture. After that, solving the rest of the pictures is easy for her. image (34)One of the giveaways during her Pumpkin Patch Halloween Party was puzzles. I was surprised to see how she was able to finish solving the puzzle in a few minutes, which was a proud mommy moment. image (32)I decided to challenge her and bought this 48-piece Mickey Mouse puzzles. Ideally, the puzzles are recommended for seven year old kids. Because I want to test her and I miss doing puzzles too, solving the Mickey Mouse puzzles has become a bonding activity for us. She can’t do it on her own yet but I’m happy to see my daughter form pictures and look for pieces that go together. 

Many experts say that puzzles are good for a child’s mind and cognitive development. That’s true. After weeks of doing puzzles, I realized that puzzle activities come with the following benefits: Puzzles 2Puzzle Benefit No. 1: It enhances a child’s problem-solving skills.

The first time I gave my eldest daughter her puzzles, I told her to look at the picture she needs to form then look at the corresponding pieces. Naturally, she wouldn’t listen and do it her own way, which I just let her. It ,may be a trial-and-error but in the end, she was able to solve it. image (30)Playing with puzzles helps develop a child’s ability to solve problems. To be able to solve a puzzle, a child has to figure out techniques and look for puzzle pieces that fit together. S/he learns to develop solutions for a given problem or situation, which can be carried over as s/he grows up. 

Puzzle Benefit No. 2: It teaches a child how to be patient.

My eldest is “I want it, I get it – instantly” type of kid. When she started solving more complicated puzzles, she got impatient because she couldn’t get it the first time and even started throwing the puzzle pieces. Eventually, she managed her “temper” and just solved the puzzles without throwing any piece. I guess she realized that throwing them away won’t help her solve anything. 

Puzzle Benefit No. 3: It aids in developing fine motor skills. image (28)Fine motor skills refer to small movements of the hands, finger, and wrists such as picking up a small objects. Playing with puzzles enhances a child’s fine motor skills since it involves picking up and grasping pieces. When enhanced, these fine motor skills could pave way to activities such as writing. 

Yes, it also develops hand-eye coordination as well since kids flip, remove or turn pieces. 

Puzzle Benefit No. 4: It enhance a child’s memory.

 One of the benefits I noticed was memory recall. Once she finished a puzzle, she could recall which pieces go together. My daughter would even tell me that a certain piece should go “here” and “there.” This is because when a child plays with puzzles, s/he is able to activate the memory button to remember how the puzzle should look like. This is something beneficial, especially when the child is growing up.  

Puzzle Benefit No. 5: It gives a child a sense of fulfillment. 

I will never forget that face when my eldest completed her first set of two- to five-piece puzzles. There was joy and pride in her eyes, as if she found a cure for cancer. She was proud of her work and insisted that I take a picture of the puzzles she formed. 

Puzzle activities, especially after completing one, gives a child a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. This also gives a boost on a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.  image (31)Puzzle Benefit No. 6: It is a good bonding activity.

I do my best to minimize my kids’ TV and iPad time. As much as possible, I encourage them to play and move around rather than sit and watch.

Playing puzzles became a bonding activity for me and my girls, especially when doing the Mickey Mouse puzzles. At the same time, this activity teaches the kids the importance of “cooperative play” since they won’t be doing everything all by themselves, right?   

How about you mommas? Do you let your kids play with puzzles? What are your observations? 

Ayi

A former law student turned stay-at-home mom of two. Join me and read my adventures as I go through this crazy world called parenting and mommy-hood.

28 Comments

  1. Cheanne

    We’re into puzzles also! I actually wanted to let my son try it because I super love jigsaw puzzles. Luckily, he has taken a liking to it and loves the challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

    14 . Nov . 2015
    • Ayi

      How old is your son na? I was planning to delay the puzzle activity kasi there is a tendency that kids might lose some pieces. But my daughter insisted kasi she has that in school daw so sige nalang :))

      14 . Nov . 2015
      • Cheanne

        He’s 4. ๐Ÿ™‚ I started out with mga frame tray puzzles. I noticed that he likes yung mga superheroes na design. So I tend to get more of those to keep him interested. We’re ready to try a higher level than his current 46 but not yet the 100’s. Also, I like the floor puzzle types na big pieces. Bagay for them. ๐Ÿ™‚

        14 . Nov . 2015
        • Ayi

          Almost the same age pala sila ng daughter ko ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried the floor puzzles yet since my two-year old messes it up and naiinis ang ate niya :))

          14 . Nov . 2015
      • Cheanne

        My son is 4 ๐Ÿ™‚ Todo bantay nga ako sa pieces kasi baka may mawala hehe.

        17 . Nov . 2015
        • Ayi

          Me too! Binibilang ko pa talaga, though thankfully, my daughter is quite maingat sa puzzles ๐Ÿ™‚

          18 . Nov . 2015
  2. Cheanne

    I have a 2 year old also and ganun nga nangyayari hehe. Kahit yung mga hindi floor puzzles sa floor din namin ginagawa though haha.

    14 . Nov . 2015
  3. Meikah Ybaรฑez-Delid (@Meikah)

    I agree in all points! ๐Ÿ™‚ Feed her more puzzles, especially age-appropriate ones.

    16 . Nov . 2015
  4. Gerilen

    Im tempted to introduced this to him but im holding back, the pieces will definitely be gone. it will shower like snowflakes on a cold winter night or a drizzle of rain in the middle of summer tapos si mommy(ako) ang pupulot. but in time, for sure he will love this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    16 . Nov . 2015
  5. Mommy Charm (TisCharmedLife)

    My son’s already four years old and he has started to appreciate and enjoy puzzles too!

    16 . Nov . 2015
  6. Madz

    I think this is a great idea.Learning while playing is hitting two birds with one stone.

    17 . Nov . 2015
  7. Melisa Sanchez

    My husband loves puzzle, actually naalala ko nong pumunta kami ng divi para bumili ng give-aways for our wedding ang binili nya yong minions puzzle, hope my zd also will love this, di ko pa na try baka ngatngatin nya lang lahat at e shower-shower nako, itapon sa window.. hahaha! I think when he turns 2 is the right time for him.

    17 . Nov . 2015
  8. Mamanee San Luis

    I loved puzzles when I was younger. If I bought that into the house most of it would be on the floor hahahaha. Hintayin ko muna lumaki pa ng konti kids ko. ๐Ÿ™‚

    17 . Nov . 2015
  9. Maan Laxa

    We also love puzzles at home! Truth be told, my 3-year old didn’t quickly take interest (because they don’t look as exciting as wheels) but when he discovered how to play with them, he learned to love them!

    17 . Nov . 2015
  10. Mommy Levy

    I agree with all the benefits you have mentioned here. Dapat lang talaga hilig ng bata para hindi sya bored.

    17 . Nov . 2015
  11. Mommy Anna

    We tried puzzle before at first he loves it eventually ayaw na he wants to play sports na

    18 . Nov . 2015
    • Ayi

      Big boy narin kasi siya, diba mommy? ๐Ÿ™‚

      18 . Nov . 2015
  12. Mommy Rockin' In Style

    I love puzzles during my childhood years and I will definitely let my little man play puzzles too when he gets a little older na. I just now realized the benefits of playing puzzles when I read your blog heheh. Thanks for sharing!

    18 . Nov . 2015
  13. Louisa Mercado

    Puzzles are an excellent way to teach kids. t’s enjoyable at the same time.

    19 . Nov . 2015
  14. May De Jesus-Palacpac

    Puzzles are wonderful manipulatives, yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with all your points.

    20 . Nov . 2015
  15. lally

    I’d like to introduce puzzle to my 3 year old daughter. I think I need to look for mickey mouse, sofia the first, frozen puzzles so I can get her attention. hihi! Thanks for sharing this mommy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    20 . Nov . 2015
  16. Grace

    my kids also love to play puzzles. i’m seriously considering about buying the big puzzle with small pieces. maybe we can have it framed if we can finish it in time for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

    22 . Nov . 2015
    • Ayi

      I want that too ๐Ÿ™‚ But maybe when the kids are bigger na.

      23 . Nov . 2015
  17. Nicanics Lacanilao

    When I was a kid I love puzzles too and I want to teach my soon to be son how to play this too.

    23 . Nov . 2015
  18. ayvsivy

    My daughter loves puzzle also, I can relate with the throwing of the puzzle pieces when my daughter can’t seem to fathom where she’ll put each piece of puzzle.

    I agree with all of the benefits you’ve enumerated above.

    23 . Nov . 2015
  19. laineyloveslife

    I loved puzzles as a kid! I remember when I went to our school field trip for the first time. I bought puzzles from the money my mom gave as baon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good points! Kids who love puzzles handle problems patiently and smartly. It also helps them stay focused on their goals.

    23 . Nov . 2015
  20. Janice

    My son loves puzzles too. In fact, I think his first set was also the My First Fruits puzzles too. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s four now but he still loves putting puzzles together.

    25 . Nov . 2015
  21. Jennifer villanueva

    I got a couple of puzzles for my daughter too but I only let her play it for now with my supervision coz she eats the puzzle pieces eh. Hehe! ang kulit.

    16 . Dec . 2015

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