by Nato Craft March 31, 2021 5 min read

Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles are one of the favorite toys of educators as well as parents for your children. When kids play a puzzle for the first time, they just try to grasp at puzzle pieces, and force them together. At that point, you cringe when seeing your toddler’s chubby hand jams the pieces together. However, by practicing in just a few months, they will not only find this puzzle being a piece of cake but also solve other similar puzzles with ease. How could this happen?

The task children have to do is assembling all of pieces together to make a whole. Despite the fact that work is apparent simplicity, puzzles are a fantastic learning tool that can be used with children to enhance child development. The following are just a few of the many benefits that can be gained when using this incredibly well rounded learning tool, along with some practical tips.

 Table of contents

1. Concentration

2. Memory

3. Problem Solving Skills

4. Shape Recognition

5. Social Skills

1. Concentration

According to child development experts, a child's attention only lasts for a short period of time. The majority of toddlers commonly have a short attention span which is about a thirty second to a minute long. For children above this age, their attention is extended, but it can be only 2-5 minutes, multiplied by their age. For example, a 3-year-old child is able to focus on a task for 6 to 15 minutes at a time. Similarly, a child aged 5 has the capacity to concentrate for 10 to 25 minutes.

To complete a puzzle, kids are required to have an attention span during the long periods of time. It takes a lot of time for them to see how different pieces will fit. They probably repeat this a many times before they find exact places for all of the pieces. They themselves might be aware of completing a puzzle from the start to finish that is not always easy on the first attempt. The more they do such activity, the more the focus skill is practiced, and the longer they’ll sit down to an activity. As a result, the concentration skills and patience skills of your children will be developed, both of which are helpful for their life in the future. 

It’s inevitable that you have to assist your kids to be able to solve a puzzle for the first time. Here are some advice for you:
- You can join them to work on the puzzle or offer a few verbal guidance
- When your kid becomes familiar with doing the puzzle, try to gradually decrease your intervention
- Eventually, you should be able to sit nearby and just watch as they concentrate without your assistance.

2. Memory

Practicing in working on wooden jigsaw puzzles in the long term helps your children to enhance your memory, both short and long term memory. Finding out how to put the puzzle pieces together provides children with the chance to use and sharpen multi skills such as adaptable thinking, deduction and reasoning skills at once.

A child is building a puzzle, they might see a flash of a color and detail on a piece which reminds them of a color she saw before. Immediately, they will locate the other one and assemble the two together. If the action is repeated many times, it actually helps to boost the speed of connections in the brain, and helps your children to gain more efficient performance. 

Another way to improve their memories is assembling the same puzzle over and over again. At that point, your children are able to remember shapes, patterns and recall where the pieces are put together.

Here are some notices you might find it helpful when playing a puzzle with their kids:
- Let your children play the same puzzle several times, completing it, tearing down the puzzle and building the puzzles one more time. You should write down the time kids spend to finish the puzzle each time. After a while, you will recognise that the playing speed of kids is improving, and the completion time is increasingly shortened.
- After completing a wooden jigsaw puzzle, you can hold a small game. Its rule is letting look at the puzzle some minutes, then closing the eyes and replying to a few questions about the puzzle image. The game will help you to see how much specific details they remember. Take a little kitty puzzle as an example, you might ask about the cat's scarf: "Is the colour of the cat's scarf blue?".

3. Problem Solving Skills

The main purpose of puzzles is encouraging players to find different ways to solve problems. All of the puzzle pieces are mixed up, your children are required to think carefully to find the exact pieces and put them into the right places. In terms of playing jigsaw puzzles, there are not any shortcuts. If there is a piece which is not suitable to assemble, you cannot do any things to cheat. Kids will become aware of how to self correct. If the piece fails to put a certain place, players need stop and figure out where it goes correctly. This creates a chance to learn problem solving skills by performing acts of manipulating each piece, turning it and testing the fit. 

You can provide them with some strategies to make finishing a puzzle easier, here are activities you can implement:

- After taking all pieces of a puzzle out its box, you give advice about turning all of the pieces over so that they can observe all the piece sides which show details and colours of picture.

- Teach your little ones about the way to identify edge pieces, and then build puzzle borders first because the outline provides players with a defined space that they’ll work inside as you work on.

- Teach the way to classify the puzzle pieces into groups by colour, or object. For instance, if the scarf has red colour, and the cat's colour is white, look for red pieces, white pieces and sort them together in two piles separately.

The guide teaches kids to split a big problem up smaller ones. That’s a very important problem solving skill for school students.

4. Shape Recognition

It is essential that your kids distinguish between basic shapes before they start learning the alphabet and words. They might mistake rectangles and squares for one another. This is actually common in the majority of young children. Then, they will gradually be familiar with shapes like circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. 

Puzzles are in shapes of triangles, squares, and circles which is a great tool for teaching shape recognition. Jigsaw puzzles which are more complex also require them to be good at recognizing piece shapes when assembling the pieces together. 

You can develop this skill of children by letting them play puzzles that feature geometric forms. While you are guiding your little ones, you can also introduce the properties of each shape, and ask your child to repeat them.

5. Social Skills

Building wooden jigsaw puzzles is one of the most effective ways for your kids to improve their social skills and abilities, and to have a really fun time with their siblings or friends. Completing a jigsaw puzzle with someone else will help enhance mutual cooperation and communication among players.
When starting to work together, they have the chance to practice their social skills. They have to engage in conversation with others to gain unanimous agreement when disagreements happen and ask for help finding the right pieces. This can promote teamwork because they have to come up with strategies to solve the puzzle and take turns trying to find pieces that fit.
Together they overcome the frustration and congratulate their achievement. It is a great way to bond and build friendships as they take turns and help each other.



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