Puzzles have always been a staple pastime in my home growing up. My grandparents introduced me to the joys of puzzles when I was a toddler and that developed into a lifelong hobby! Puzzles are more than just a fun hobby though. Research has shown that doing puzzles have tremendous benefits for people of all ages. Puzzles are a staple activity in my classroom as they are an enjoyable way to promote skill development in multiple areas.
Puzzles help children recognize shapes, patterns, and colors. As a child searches for the correct pieces, they must pay attention to matching colors and patterns and visualize how two shapes can come together. There is also research that suggests that completing puzzles can improve a child’s memory. Searching through multiple pieces requires children to recall previously viewed pieces to find a match.
Fine Motor Benefits
Manipulating puzzle pieces helps to develop children’s fine motor skills. Picking up, placing, and putting together pieces help children to strengthen and develop the small muscles in the hand and wrist necessary for writing and other skills such as successfully using scissors.
Puzzles can be quite challenging and take time to complete. Children develop patience when working on a puzzle. Children are also provided the opportunity to set achievable, measurable goals when working to complete a puzzle. Children can see their progress and what they have left to accomplish. Upon completion, children can experience the confidence boost that comes with accomplishing a challenging task!