#Blogmas Day 20 – Why Puzzles Are Important For Toddlers
From early childhood right through to adulthood we love to play with puzzles. We like the way they challenge our thinking and exercise our minds. Puzzles are also an important educational learning tool for toddlers and young children as they provide many skills and mental learning benefits and opportunities.
There are 5 most important reasons why every toddler should play with puzzles:
Self-Correcting Learning Tool – When Children attempt to place a puzzle piece in it’s place it will only fit if it is placed properly in the right space. The act of manipulating each piece, turning it and testing the fit, is the way children learn to problem solve and develop critical thinking.
Language -Puzzles offer children an opportunity to develop many language skills. When a child asks for a certain piece they will often describe what they are looking for. For example, the round piece, the blue bumpy piece, etc. Puzzles are often used when working with Autistic children who have delayed speech ability as a playful tool to encourage speech.
Math – While working with a puzzle children learn to categorise and organize pieces.
Social Skills – When children work cooperatively to complete a puzzle they engage in conversation. They develop a plan to solve the puzzle, they take turns and help each other solve problems as they arise.
Developing Persistence – When a child works on a puzzle until completion the child is developing persistence. Once the puzzle is solved the child can feel a sense of accomplishment which boosts his independence and self esteem.
Overall, games and puzzles allow you to channel a child’s natural curiosity into an excellent learning opportunity, without them even realising!