Completing a puzzle, even the most simplest of puzzles sets a single goal to achieve. Toddlers and children must think and develop strategies on how to approach in achieving this goal. This process involves problem solving, reasoning skills and developing solutions which they can later be transferred into their personal/adult life. It increases their visual spacial awareness and develops a deeper understanding of these skills.
Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills. When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces (some with small knobs, pegs or chunky pieces) and move them around, manipulating them into slots, sorting them and fitting them into the correct places.
Playing with puzzles requires a trial and error process which involves a lot of hand and eye manipulation. For example, as a toddler or child places a piece of the puzzle that does not fit, they will try all over again where their actions involve doing what they actually see.
Next time you make your child a sandwich, cut it into three odd shapes
Have your child put the 'puzzle' together before he eats the ‘pieces’
You can encourage your child to use the cutters to cut the sandwich himself and then put the various cut pieces back together!
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.