Puzzles play a key role in developing mathematical problem-solving skills in children. In this post, we have discussed the different benefits of engaging with puzzles, especially in early child development. Here, have a look.
Basic skills that are taught by puzzles
When your kid is playing with a puzzle, you can expect 3 basic skills to be built in him/her at the very least:
- Cognitive skills: Or problem-solving skills; a skill that can go a long way in shaping a kid’s career for the good or for the bad (if it’s not developed well enough).
- Physical skills: Physical skills develop in a child from even the simplest puzzles tasks of all which may be inclusive of things like holding a piece of puzzle and turning them over and over again until there’s an appropriate fit.
- Emotional skills: A simple game of puzzle teaches a whole lot of patience to a kid. Now, this is a benefit that can seldom be matched by anything else, in particular.
The three life skills depicted above are the building blocks of a well-rounded person. Hence, these should never be ignored in any way whatsoever.
Additionally, it’s also worth the mention that along with the three life skills mentioned above, puzzles also teach social skills to a child (especially when the child engages himself/herself in these activities with a friend or a family).
Social skills are almost as important as the ones highlighted above because it teaches the child to mingle with the society in a healthy and constructive manner. Therefore, it almost goes without saying that the development of this life skill (along with the three highlighted above) in children should also never be ignored in any whatsoever.
Exploring the specific skill sets behind the three basics
So we have already discussed the basic skills taught by puzzles in early child development. Now it’s time we break them further to find out the more specific set of skills behind each. Have a look.
- Gross motor skills: Large puzzles and stacking games can help to enhance the large movements of your child to a point where they can work easily and exclusively on the finer motor skills.
- Fine motor skills: Puzzles help in teaching fine motor skills to kids through small and precise movement of the fingers to get a piece of the puzzle to the right spot. Small things like these can help a lot in improving typing and handwriting skills for good.
- Hand-eye coordination: Puzzles can help your child develop a fine relationship between the things s/he sees, the things s/he does, and the things his/her brain registers. Such hand-eye coordination skills can go a long way indeed.
- Patience: Puzzles aren’t exactly similar to that of sports. You can’t just throw the kitchen sink every time and hope to get the right solution in a jiffy. You need a whole lot of patience to find out the right solution to a problem. So you see puzzles, in a sense, do teach you to keep your cool and come to a solution especially when the situation calls for the most.
- Goal set-up: The first objective of the player should be to come to a logical solution. The second should be to find the quickest and the best solution of the lot. So you see puzzles do help in teaching the different ways of setting up realistic targets that can be fulfilled within a reasonable amount of time. Small things like that can go a long way indeed.
- Improve shape recognition ability: The first puzzles that we normally use are built on simple shapes such as rectangles, triangles, circles, etc. From there on, we move on to more complex shapes. So shape recognition is definitely a part and parcel of puzzle benefits.
- Improved memory: Puzzles help to improve a kid’s memory on the whole. Your child has to remember the pieces that didn’t fit initially so that s/he can get back to them later for a final fit.
- Improved critical thinking skills: A complex problem may not be solved in a single step. It might have to be broken up into smaller doable chunks for the final solution. Puzzles help to teach exactly the same thing in a whole new manner of their own.
There’s no mistaking the fact that puzzles do help a lot in early child development. So stop procrastinating further. Get your child into it now for his/her own good.