9 Ways Jigsaw Puzzles Help With Child Development
There are lots of fun activities a child can participate in apart from watching television all day long. While most television programs are educational, fun activities such as solving a jigsaw puzzle is more beneficial to a child’s development.
Jigsaw puzzles have been around for decades. Over the years, they have been found to have the following benefits on a child’s development.
- Gross Motor Skills
Some puzzles, such as large floor puzzles, help a child develop gross motor skills. Stretching the body from left to right and placing pieces in the correct position is excellent for babies to learn how to stretch their arms, sit upright, crawl, and walk.
- Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination refers to the ability of the hands and eyes to work together and complete a task successfully. Being able to use hands and eyes together is vital since most simple day-to-day activities require this coordination.
Fortunately, jigsaw puzzles for kids help children develop the use of their hands and eyes simultaneously. Puzzle games require one to look carefully at the missing pieces and use their hands to place the correct piece in its designated position. As a result, a child develops visual-motor integration, a vital skill handy when learning how to write.
- Problem Solving
Judgement, critical thinking, and memory are some of the skills required to successfully complete puzzle games. There’s no room for cheating when playing these games, and participants must solve the puzzle using the mentioned skills. After every puzzle completion, a child will develop personal strategies and tactics. As a result, they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills at an early age.
- Fine Motor Skills
The ability to put what the eye sees into action requires the wrist, hands, fingers, feet, and toes movements. While the skill sounds easy, it takes a while to develop. For a child to develop fine motor skills, they require lots of holding and moving small items and toys. Luckily, jigsaw puzzles help children to develop these skills with ease. As a result, children who participate in these games rarely experience challenges when they start drawing, writing, or learning to play a musical instrument.
As stated, developing fine motor skills is a challenging task. However, as a parent, you shouldn’t step in when your child experience challenges putting pieces together. You may guide them, but you also have to let them solve the puzzle by themselves.
- Spatial Awareness
Spatial awareness refers to understanding yourself in space and how objects relate to each other and you. It also refers to understanding how relationships between objects can change when moved to different positions.
When solving a puzzle, children develop spatial awareness in a way that many parents might never think of. Children learn to pinpoint a piece to fit a particular spot during the activity by studying the shape or color. They also try to fit different pieces in different positions until they discover the perfect match. With time, they learn to determine perfect pieces using their cognitive skill rather than trial and error.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle promotes a connection between brain cells while improving mental speed. These games keep a child’s mind active, helping them improve short-term memory. A glimpse of color can remind a child of already seen color. At the end of the day, a child experiences an increased speed of connections in their brain.
- Meditative Benefits
When solving a jigsaw puzzle, a child must concentrate. At this point, they must be completely focused on finding the right color, pieces, and shapes. This helps keep their mind away from distractions and focus on the task at hand.
When solving a jigsaw puzzle, the words below, above, across, right, and left are commonly used. The participants also discuss the image and anything in between. Generally, jigsaw puzzle games are excellent platforms where children can learn to connect pictures with words. As such, it’s a great way to expand their vocabulary and make them familiar with vowel sounds and language.
There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a jigsaw puzzle. Since there are jigsaw puzzles for all ages, a participant might not require a grown-up’s help to solve the puzzle. When a child completes the puzzle on their own, they experience a sense of self-worth and trust, resulting in improved self-esteem and confidence.
Jigsaw puzzles are ideal platforms for children to learn essential life skills. With the help of these games, a child can learn how to be independent and solve problems. They can also develop confidence that will help them overcome more complicated challenges in life.