With temperatures slowly dropping and days becoming shorter, we head inside before it's dark. However, there is still plenty of time left in the day to have fun and help stimulate those little clever minds. Puzzles are a great activity to be involved with. I like to start the love of puzzles off with children when they are young, not only because they help develop children in many wonderful cognitive, physical and emotional ways but what I love most about puzzles is that they provide an opportunity to expand their span of concentration, which will benefit them in all other areas of their life.
I am going to share with you some puzzles which are not only fun, but on top of the puzzle skills, your child can also learn other useful information such as letters, shapes and numbers.
Here are my top puzzle choices:
ALL ABOARD! The Animal Alphabet Train! This is a super long puzzle where children get a chance to practice their ABC's and see which animal will be boarding the train next.
Working on numbers 1-20? I like this rather then just a simple number puzzle because it gives the child the opportunity to point to each puzzle piece and slowly count each item on it, then see how that correlates to the number. A very important math skill. These Clever Kids puzzle pieces are a great size for little hands and makes learning the numbers fun.
Whether your child is learning to spell or not, I love this puzzle as there are so many words the child can make from bus to shoe. Each puzzle forms a clear picture that is easily identified by the child. With each puzzle piece comes a letter helping the child associate the spelling of the object or character with the picture.
If your child is enjoying learning to read, they might enjoy this too:
I have added this one in, as it is a firm favorite of my charge. I like it too because it hosts a wide variety of animals from flamingos to koalas to polar bears.
For shapes I find this set a great value. Not only can they practice shapes and colors but you can take it to the next step and learn how certain shapes can work together to form other shapes, such as two semi-circles make a circle. It is of course a great introduction to fractions.
Discover all the forest creatures with this puzzle that offers 40 things to find. This will definitely keep your little ones busy.
If you have little ones and are looking to start the love of puzzles, then these wooden animals are a lovely place to start. Even though my charge has outgrown them, I have kept them in rotation since she still loves doing them so much.
This floor puzzle provides a lovely opportunity to share with your child all the wonderful cultures we have and see how they dress. It is an important lesson, that it doesn't matter where you are from, we can all be kind to one another.
On this note, this is another great cognitive developing game:
Of course being an American family, we have to have a state puzzle, but I like this combo with a continent map too.
Now train tracks don't really count as puzzles, or maybe they do? They certainly help develop the cognitive mind and fine motor skills. I adore Brio, and although not cheap, this will be enjoyed for so many years, it is a great investment.
What I love about Brio, is that over time, (so birthdays and Christmases for example), you can keep adding to your track to make it thrilling all over again and again.
Although this wooden town set isn't Brio, it's a lovely accompaniment.
Just don't forget those trains!
I hope our much loved indoor puzzles will brighten up your dark evenings like ours do.