Every parent wants to buy fun toys that promote the development of their child. When it comes to simple and affordable educational toys, few are better than jigsaw puzzles. The great thing about the image that is used for the jigsaw is that it can be of just about anything. So, whatever your child happens to be into – from ponies, to superheroes to space exploration – you will be able to find a puzzle that depicts it. Once the child is engaged with the idea, because of their liking for the image used, so they will become engaged with the puzzle itself.
Many psychologists agree that young children’s brain development is influenced when they begin to interact with and manipulate the world around them. Jigsaw puzzles provide the means to do so. Not only can the image be created, but it can also be reshaped and molded, sometimes in ‘right’ ways and sometimes in ‘wrong’ ways. For very young children, picking up the pieces of a jigsaw and turning them around to the correct orientation can be enough to promote the mental development that is desired. For toddlers and older kids, they will learn to work more directly with the jigsaw, applying the logic that they have learned from the experience of earlier puzzles.
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, jigsaw puzzles are so beneficial to the brain that they can even prevent dementia in later life. It is known that fine motor skills in children are developed by playing with the said toys, but nowadays it is better understood how such games and puzzles help to develop memory function and shape recognition. It is perhaps in this area that other sorts of toys simply don’t provide the same sorts of benefits to a developing child.
Goal setting is another important concept for children to learn and it is particularly useful for kids of a pre-school age who don’t have much experience yet in this area. Jigsaws can be started and returned to later. This helps children to understand that there can be a longer term goal, sometimes split over several distinct play sessions. By organizing the jigsaw into sections, perhaps by the shapes of the pieces or by their color, it is possible to solve the puzzle with a variety of methods. This can help children to get hold of the concept that the larger goal may be made up of a number of smaller ones that lead in the same direction.