Jigsaw Puzzles is one of the best activity your child can do and that will benefit them in so many terrific ways. Especially in this era of screens and video games, where we would love our kids to spend some time offline, jigsaw puzzles are the best thing you can get your child.
Some parents argue that a child needs to play with simple toys and stuff, why complicate the childhood? But that actually is not the case. Jigsaw puzzles will enhance your child’s development in so many positive ways that you would be surprised to see the change.
- What is a Jigsaw Puzzle?
- Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
- 1. Helps in developing fine motor skills
- 2. Helps in developing hand eye co-ordination
- 3. Helps in increasing the concentration span
- 4. Helps in increasing the patience level
- 5. Helps in improving the memory
- 6. Encourages team work
- 7. Develops reasoning
- 8. Helps in better decision making
- 9. Increases confidence
- 10. Increases problem solving ability
- 11. Increases IQ
- 12. Helps in developing language (vocabulary)
- 13. Helps in cognitive development
- 14. It is fun
What is a Jigsaw Puzzle?
Jigsaw puzzles are the picture puzzles that have been cut into various shapes and sizes, and you need to join the pieces to complete the picture. From as less as 2 pieces to as many as 1000’s of pieces, you can get jigsaw puzzles according to your choice. Any kind of picture you search for, you will get in jigsaw puzzles, starting from nature, animals, personalities, country or world maps, etc.
Jigsaw puzzles benefit both kids as well as adults, and should be an integral part of the child’s development.
Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
1. Helps in developing fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are the movement of the small muscles of the hands and the wrist. While doing the puzzles the child will be using the hands to pick up the pieces, turn them and fix them. This will help in development and strengthening of the muscles of the fingers.
Make sure to buy bigger size pieces when you are starting jigsaw puzzles for your toddler so that he or she can hold it properly and fix it in place. As the child grows you can get puzzles with smaller size pieces.
2. Helps in developing hand eye co-ordination
The ability of the hands and eyes to co-ordinate and do something is called the hand eye co-ordination. The child while doing the puzzle will pick up a piece, look at it, co-ordinate with the other pieces and place it at the right place. So, it helps in building hand eye co-ordination. It is a very important thing the child needs to learn as it helps in writing. The earlier the child develops hand eye co-ordination the earlier the child can start writing.
Another method to help the child develop hand eye co-ordination is coloring with crayons.
3. Helps in increasing the concentration span
Jigsaw puzzles are fun. And the best part is when the puzzle is done and you place the last piece of the puzzle there is no other feeling like that. So, the child will be engrossed in the puzzle so much that he or she will be sitting there concentrating and taking all measures to finish it.
So, slowly the child’s attention span will increase, as the child moves from the small puzzle to bigger puzzles, as that might take more time to complete. This helps the child in concentrating more in class, and be better at academics as well.
4. Helps in increasing the patience level
Jigsaw puzzle needs time and patience. The child might take time in the beginning to do as small as a 2 piece jigsaw puzzle. Patience is the key to understand how it is done. When doing it for the first time, the child might lose his or her patience, but slowly they start understanding it. The patience level increase eventually.
The parents need to be with the child to help him or her understand how it is done. Here the parents patience is also very important. It might take time for you to explain it to the child how it is done. But you too will develop good patience with time.
5. Helps in improving the memory
Doing a jigsaw puzzle we need to remember the pieces we just saw, or we just joined. So, co-relating it helps in improving the memory of the child. Slowly the child will know what piece will come next, and again you will be surprised to see your child solving the puzzle himself or herself.
Also, looking at the reference image your child will memorize slowly what he or she saw in the image and what he or she can relate to in the puzzle pieces. This will again help in memorizing.
6. Encourages team work
Team work is a must for everything in life. And learning team work takes time and a lot of patience. A child can not do the jigsaw puzzle on his or her own at least in the beginning. They would require an adult or an elder sibling. This will help in understanding what team work is and how to work in groups. Also it will increase the bonding with the family. The child will understand the importance of communication and will also ask for help, which is very important in daily life.
7. Develops reasoning
While doing the jigsaw puzzle the child will start reasoning why and which piece of the puzzle will go where. This will help in the developing and improving reasoning, again an essential development tool. Reasoning helps in problem solving and also in understanding various concepts. Reasoning helps the child in asking questions, and understanding things even more better. The child will cram less and understand more.
8. Helps in better decision making
You decide which piece will be placed where. So, doing jigsaw puzzles will help in enhancing the decision making ability. This will again further help the child in school, as they will slowly be learning the difference between right and wrong.
9. Increases confidence
Completing the puzzle is a great confidence booster for the child. If the child has started doing it all by himself or herself and completes it perfectly, there is nothing like it. It gives a sense of accomplishment, and success. But it is very important that you get the child only age appropriate puzzles to complete. If the puzzles are more complex, and the child is not able to complete it, gets irritated or annoyed while doing it, it will be a failure as a parent. The child will not be interested from the next time. Start with small and easy puzzles and gradually increase the difficulty level.
Related: 10 Tips to Appreciate Your Child
10. Increases problem solving ability
Pieces of a picture lying haphazardly here and there is a problem. And joining those pieces and making it into a single image is the way to solve the problem. So, while doing jigsaw puzzles the child is using his or her brain to analyze how the pieces would fit. This would further help the child in developing problem solving ability, which is very important as the child will grow and face different problems in life.
11. Increases IQ
Puzzles enhances your confidence, cognitive skills, vocabulary, memory, helps you use both sides of your brain, and so much more. So, they are suppose to increase your IQ as well. Puzzles are an amazing way to help your child be more smarter, productive and brilliant at problem solving. Not just children, it helps the adults too. A study done by University of Michigan showed that if you do jigsaw puzzle for 25 minutes a day your IQ increases by 4 points.
Related: Brain boosting Toys for Your Toddler
12. Helps in developing language (vocabulary)
While teaching how to do the jigsaw puzzles, you would be using so many different words, like above, below, rotate, corners, sides, and so many things that would be in the picture. This will help the child understand the spatial arrangement as well as help in understanding new objects and living things.
So, using different words and explaining the meaning is very important when you teach your child the jigsaw puzzle.
13. Helps in cognitive development
Cognitive means connecting with the process of understanding. Cognitive development is another important part of the child’s development. Jigsaw puzzles helps in this development a lot. The child will slowly start understanding how to fix the pieces. The beginning will be hit and trial method, but slowly the child will start understanding how the pieces will fit.
They might slowly start completing one part of the puzzle before moving to the next or making the borders first. There will be change you will be seeing in your child slowly when they start doing puzzles regularly.
14. It is fun
Yes, doing jigsaw puzzles is fun. May be in the beginning you might feel a little stuck, but as you proceed it would be fun. When you start doing them routinely you start enjoying it even more. Starting from toddlers there is a puzzle for every age and interest. So why not start today?
So, overall jigsaw puzzles have only benefits. Kids as young as 2 years should be introduced jigsaw puzzles. Start with 2 piece jigsaw puzzle and increase the number of pieces slowly.