Jigsaw Puzzles, educational and so much fun too!!
They have been around since the 18th Century, but jigsaw puzzles are still going strong today and there is good reason!
Jigsaw puzzles today come in a wide range of subjects, colours, pieces and appeal to everyone from 18months to 80 years old but there are particularly good benefits for young children.
In the first instance, handling the pieces assist with cognitive development as they work out how the puzzle comes together. At the same time, they are engaging both fine motor skills (handling smaller pieces or pegs) as well as gross motor skills (with floor puzzles, having to stretch out to reach and place pieces).
There is also an element of perseverance as they have to keep trying to fit the different shapes together which will lead to confidence building once they have mastered the puzzle and their sense of problem solving is rewarded by the finished puzzle – which more than likely they will want to do over and over again!
Of course, without even realising it, hand-eye coordination is practised as is their visual perception of how these seemingly random shapes can, and do come together to form a complete picture.
Puzzles are also excellent to promote independent play and extend a little ones attention span and the best thing is, Nanna and Grandad can always lend a helping hand!