There are numerous toys and other activities for toddlers and preschoolers that focus on the cognitive, spatial, and other forms of development for the child. It has been shown through various studies that children between the ages of 2 and 4 develop better spatial skills with regular practice of puzzle, whether mathematical or otherwise.
Solving puzzles regularly helps with critical thinking and problem-solving skills and teaches the child to perceive the hurdles, as challenges. Pattern recognition, fine/gross motor control, and enhanced memory are other typical advantages of regular puzzle-solving.
Types of puzzles
There are many other types of puzzles that are well-suited for a toddler. Building blocks, coloring puzzles, pattern puzzles, and other innovative puzzles keep the child entertained and active.
There are many categories of puzzles, and while all of them may not be appropriate across all age groups, different types of puzzles are created keeping in mind the various areas of development.
The main types of puzzles that can be categorized are:
- Logic puzzles
- Cryptic puzzles
For toddlers, easy word mechanical, pattern puzzles are great alongside riddles. Riddles are possibly a few of the most common types of puzzles that children encounter, many that have been popular throughout the centuries.
Most popular types of puzzles
Undoubtedly, jigsaw puzzles are the most popular and commonly used puzzles, across the globe. The difficulty can range from really simple, two-dimensional puzzles to complicated educational ones, depending on the interest. Besides that, there are mathematical ones, riddles which are perfect educational toys for 3-year-olds, and pattern recognition amongst many other types.
There are simply too many types of jigsaw puzzles for all age groups. Jigsaw puzzles are easy to follow and with technological advancements, now puzzles are made creatively with options like 3D puzzles, which are intriguing and fun to solve.
Mathematical puzzles are considered to be an integral part of recreational mathematics. Although toddlers are simply too young for mathematical puzzles, which are made for older children, there are still several simple age-appropriate puzzles that they can enjoy.
Many puzzles well-suited for children are Kenken and are ideal for children in the lower elementary school. Kakuro also happens to be another fun game, to practice and is considered to be the crossword puzzle of the mathematical kind.
It is possible to find age-appropriate riddles in most languages. These puzzles are a great way to incorporate intellectual humor and give the brain and good workout trying to find the solution. For young children, this can often lead to improved reading comprehension. While literacy levels can be high for aaa region, it does not necessarily translate into the comprehension of the matter, which is a problem that solving riddles from a young age can help with.
Puzzles can be interactive nowadays, which opens up the world of possibilities, not to mention the digitally available ones. It has been repeatedly shown that children that are exposed to puzzles between 26 to 46 months fared superbly at spatial skill assessments by 54 months of age.
Puzzles are one of the most important factors of STEM education for children and contribute heavily towards building the most significant connections required throughout life, at different stages. The common trend during studies suggests that higher-income group families are more likely to indulge in various types of puzzles as compared to the lower social-economic group families across the globe.
There are nowadays simply too many ways to ensure that children are getting the best they can in terms of education and knowledge; this is why starting young with a simple, fun DIY or educational activity box is crucial to enable the child and develop essential skills for enhanced performance, whether academically or professionally.