How Puzzles Can Help Your Children Learn - Kumon

How Puzzles Can Help Your Children Learn

From jigsaw puzzles to crosswords and peg puzzles, doing puzzles has long been a favorite activity for children of all ages. But beyond entertainment, puzzles are also a vital part of your children’s educational and cognitive development. In honor of National Puzzle Day, we have compiled a list of the top five ways puzzles can help your children learn.

1.       Hand-Eye Coordination

The ability to coordinate what the eyes see, the mind wants to do, and what the hands can accomplish takes a lot of practice for young children. Puzzles let them practice in a way that is enjoyable and encourages independence.

2.       Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the detailed movements of the hands of grasping, holding and manipulating objects using concentration and coordination. Knobbed puzzles provide development of the hand muscles that are needed for later skills like pencil grip, while also providing a focus to increase attention span.

3.       Problem Solving

Puzzles are the ultimate self-checking activity. If one piece is not in the correct space, the other pieces will not fit properly. Flipping or rotating each piece in order to complete the puzzle helps develop children’s ability to problem-solve and think logically.

4.       Cognitive Skills

Puzzles help to improve children’s problem-solving and reasoning skills by developing their understanding of whole-part relationships, increasing their visual spatial awareness. In addition, puzzles can teach children a variety of topics like the alphabet, numbers, color recognition, shape recognition, categories like pets or transportation vehicles, and more.

5.       Social Skills

Puzzles can be done alone, but are also a great tool for fostering cooperative play. As children ask for a piece to be passed to them or discuss where a piece should go, they are sharing the task and learning to cooperate. Puzzles can also help them learn how to handle frustration when a piece does not fit.

Share some additional ways puzzle-play can help benefit your children, and tell us about you and your children’s favorite type of puzzle.