In a world of technological wonders, it's easy to forget the simpler childhood games and challenges of yesterday. Too often, children equate a challenge to mastering the next level of a video game. We've forgotten about those challenges that require no electricity. One of those fun games are kids jigsaw puzzles. Most of us can remember the sense of satisfaction and the pride felt from our own childhoods when that last piece of the puzzle was put into place. We felt as though we'd accomplished a major goal; and indeed, we had. Here are a few tips for those wishing to buy puzzles for the classroom or home.
Kids jigsaw puzzles offer many benefits of helping kids to grow and develop their skills and talents. Here are a few of the ways they help kids:
A great way to introduce teamwork and collaborative efforts as they work on the puzzles with other kids or family members
Builds critical thinking skills as they match the colors and analyze the shapes.
Manipulating the pieces helps to develop hand coordination, especially for younger kids
Helps develop patience, especially for younger kids under age 6
Strengthens relationships with others
Increased attention to detail, ability to focus and concentration skills
Develop social and communication skills
So with all of these great reasons to get a puzzle for your kids, the next question is how do you buy puzzles that will both entertain and challenge young minds? Here are some key things to consider when shopping for jigsaw puzzles.
The level of difficulty must be appropriate for the child's age. The younger the child the fewer the number of pieces in the puzzle. Anything too challenging will cause him to give up because of its difficulty and any puzzles you purchase that are too easy will cause him to quickly lose interest. For little ones under the age of 6, the bigger the jigsaw pieces, the easier it is for them to manipulate the pieces as they put them in place. After age six, kids have increased coordination skills and should be able to work with the smaller pieces that provide more of a challenge for both their dexterity and thinking skills.
The puzzle theme should be a good fit for your child. Find a topic that your child loves then get puzzles which use the same theme. Is your eight year old fascinated with horses? There are literally thousands of jigsaw puzzles with images of horses. There are lots of themes available so finding one that works for your child should not be too hard. Their interest in the favorite topic will rub off on the puzzle activity, making it something they enjoy doing and want to do again and again.
The puzzle material must be appropriate for the childs age. Wooden jigsaw puzzles are available for toddlers and young preschool kids who need something that can take a beating and keep on working.
You can also get creative with kids jigsaw puzzles, using them as an event for the whole family or make it into a fun contest just for the kids. Here is an idea to make it interesting. Remove the puzzle pieces from the box that reveals the finished puzzle. Tell your children the first one to guess what it is after they've begun putting it together wins a prize. It's a great incentive for them to work together as they eagerly anticipate the puzzle's final look. A small reward is always fun too. But even better than any reward is for Mom or Dad to sit down with them, spend some time and provide a bit of help as they move forward with completing their jigsaw puzzles.
The benefits of jigsaw puzzles will stay with your family for a lifetime and the tradition can be passed down.
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about kids jigsaw puzzles. Before you buy puzzles download our free guidebook filled with tips, ideas and information.
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