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The 100 – Guide to Puzzles | Choose the Right One for Your Child

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The 100 is a game that encourages players to solve puzzles, which are then used to unlock new content. It’s an interactive experience that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The puzzle developmental milestones is a guide that will help parents choose the right puzzle for their child.

What makes puzzles so unique? 

Why are they such a timeless classic, a prize-winning present that every kid adores?

They are the polar opposite of open-ended play, which we promote at 100 Toys. Despite this, they have a certain charm that holds children’s attention for extended periods of time. What’s the key of their success? 

Simply said, puzzles are beneficial to your health.

In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to select the finest puzzles for your kid and look at the key skills they develop.

A 100-piece puzzle

 

Contents of the book

Why are puzzles beneficial to children?

Puzzles help with a variety of abilities, including problem solving, fine motor development, and hand-eye coordination and attention. They also solve the issue of a bored kid yearning for a companion. Quiet, autonomous time spent solving an age-appropriate puzzle offers kids a feeling of accomplishment and helps them focus during long, restless afternoons.

Similarly, after a full day at childcare, when they (and you) need some reconnection time but aren’t in the mood to answer inquiries about what they’ve been up to, playing a puzzle with your little one may be a great transitional activity. When the ‘pressure’ to answer inquiries has subsided, you may also notice that discussions flow more easily.

Confidence in their skills and the knowledge that they can accomplish tasks effectively is essential because it provides them the confidence to attempt new activities that they would otherwise shun due to fear of failure. Puzzles containing pictures, characters, and phrases may assist develop knowledge about certain subjects on a secondary level. They’re a wonderful method to create natural conversations about anything from farmyards and French to colors, numbers, and shapes.

The most essential thing to consider when selecting a jigsaw or puzzle is that it should be age and (more significantly) ability suitable. If you give a kid a problem that is too simple, they will get bored and will not be stretched, while attempting to solve a piece that is too difficult for them will result in frustration and feelings of failure.

A child completing a puzzle

The advantages of doing jigsaw puzzles

Task accomplishment and perseverance

“However, my kid can’t focus for more than a minute!”

This is not the case. I’m sure they could spend hours in front of the television or on an app.

The issue isn’t one of concentration. You must begin with the kid. If you make the proper choices, the problem will be just perfect in terms of difficulty. This improves concentration in the same way that choosing something too easy or difficult does.

Learning to pay attention and seeing a task through to completion are both superpowers. You may quit playing open-ended games at any time and proclaim your invention ‘completed.’ With a puzzle, though, your success (or failure) is obvious.

Children (and adults!) may focus for varying lengths of time – this is perfectly natural! Keep in mind that a 3-year-old may only be able to focus for 5-15 minutes on a task, while a four-year-old may be able to focus for up to 20 minutes. Follow their lead; if they get agitated or disinterested, it’s time to move on. Or the selected problem is inappropriate for their age and ability level and fails to hold their interest.

Sorting and categorizing

Begin by locating all four corners and collecting all of the edge pieces. The remaining pieces should be sorted by color, with blue sky bits in one pile and green grass in another. Sorting is an important skill, and puzzle games are a wonderful method to practice it. This piece has a straight edge and is half green, part blue. Is it in the grass, the sky, or the edge pile? 

Shape sorters provide many of the same advantages to infants who are too young to complete a conventional jigsaw.

A shape puzzle for sorting and classifying

Development of fine motor skills

Fine motor control takes time for young children to acquire. Gross motor actions (running, swinging, tossing, dancing, etc.) are necessary for fine motor control to develop, and we must create an enabling environment, just as we do with gross motor. Opportunities to develop young hands’ muscles and joints, allowing them to operate successfully in nursery or school and efficiently handle a pencil and scissors. The finicky tasks that we, as caregivers, think our children can’t perform for themselves are often the most effective ways to improve their fine motor abilities. For example, allowing them to zip up their jackets or assist in the pouring of beverages from a jug. Puzzles shine here, attractive to the eye, tactile to grasp, and providing just the perfect amount of difficulty for tiny hands to pick up the pieces and move them about until they fit, with assistance and support available if and when needed. 

subject-matter expertise

Is your child fascinated by animals? Lovely possibilities to teach farm animal names via topic-related puzzles that are rich in vocabulary. Exposure to new words has a direct effect on the vocabulary kids develop later in life, so speak about what you observe while you work together on a problem. When the puzzle is finished, can they identify the animals, shapes, and colors? Instead of constantly asking, “How many trees are there?” (which is acceptable in moderation), try just remarking, “Oh, I see three trees there!”

Reasoning about space

There are numerous ways to develop spatial awareness. From avoiding their buddies while racing around a playground, to crawling through a lengthy tunnel without striking the walls, or trying to roll a ball through a tube that is too small through trial and error. Your kid is becoming more conscious of their location in space. They eventually learn to accomplish this in their heads as their spatial awareness improves, and they utilize their eyes to see which items and shapes can be adjusted to fit together. The spatial awareness of youngsters who spend time solving puzzles is much higher than that of those who do not. 

 

What is the best way to teach a kid how to solve puzzles?

Allowing children to explore and learn via trial and error is the greatest method. Simple verbal techniques such as “start with the corners and edges” and “organize all the pieces of the same color together” may help.

As kids explore form sorters and basic puzzles, your job is to scaffold and encourage their learning by being available and offering recommendations. Use words like “turn,” “next to,” and so on. 

If you find yourself attempting to ‘do it for them,’ consider sitting on your hands and exploring forms and spatial thinking. It is said that practice makes perfect.

Recommendations

Here are some puzzle ideas, organized by age group. The categories aren’t rigidly defined. A ten-month-old with plenty of puzzle-solving expertise and fine motor skills may be eager to take on a more difficult task.

Single-piece puzzle for babies

Puzzles for children

Is it true that infants can solve puzzles? Yes, however before attempting conventional puzzles, infants must be able to place one item inside another with gross and fine motor control. Posting anything to hand into the closest hole (unless it’s your vehicle keys!) is a fantastic starting step. They’ll also need spatial awareness to make sure the puzzle piece is aimed at the correct hole and facing the right direction.

Begin by solving a knobbed problem. Because they feature 360-degree rotational symmetry, simple circles are the simplest to work with. This implies that a circular puzzle piece will fit in any direction. Squares have four-way rotational symmetry, which means they may be oriented in four different ways. A triangle can only operate in three directions, making it much more challenging. 

Knobbed puzzles are the finest since they provide a grasp for your kid. For infants, puzzles without handles are acceptable, but they should not be their first encounter since they need a bit more fine motor skill. Before moving on to Formabasic, which includes triangles and squares, try Djeco’s Bigabasic, a circular knobbed puzzle.

The next problem is the Boitabasic form sorter, which is more challenging since your child must pick the right face to suit the gap. This one spans the gap between childhood and toddlerhood.

Grapat balls and bowls need particular attention. They function similarly to a circular puzzle, assisting with placement and positioning while also being extremely tactile. If your child is learning about item permanence, they will enjoy hiding and finding in the bowls. 

Simple puzzles without connectors are perfect for toddlers

In the case of toddlers

They’re ready to handle the pieces with greater control and properly orientate them now that they’ve acquired their pincer grasp. This is the age of the farmyard problem and the form.

Then there are two- and three-piece puzzles, such as putting together the front and rear of an animal. Gradually progressing to four-piece and beyond problems. Toddler puzzles typically feature straight or wavy lines and are easy to put together.

The Djeco Puzzle Coucou Cow is a charming traditional wooden tray puzzle that encourages linguistic development and physical dexterity.

Haba My First Puzzles is a collection of five distinct pet-themed 2-, 3-, and 4-piece puzzles. When your kid has mastered 2-piece puzzles and wants to move to joining additional parts, this is a great progression.

Moulin Roty animal puzzles box – ten vividly drawn puzzles for your older toddler to solve; the pictures serve as excellent conversation starters and help to develop observation abilities. Simple wavy lines make it easy for the parts to fit together.

Picture of preschooler completing a 100-piece puzzle

Preschoolers’ puzzles

Children this age often struggle with the idea of anything (theirself, them house, their own family) being part of a larger picture. A single puzzle piece may show how a tiny component can be combined with another to create a larger object. Once your kid has mastered the idea of ‘connection,’ they will likely seek out additional areas of play where they may practice connecting (and disconnecting) things like duplo and lego blocks. This is when their elder siblings may begin to whine about their towers being demolished! If your kid is demonstrating an interest in connecting-themed play, consider giving more chances to fulfill the linking schema. They may also like using tape, glue, and magnets to attach things together. Alternatively, you may stack two pieces end-to-end like wooden blocks. 

eeBoo Beautiful globe puzzle – your pre-schooler will require resolve to finish this wonderfully drawn puzzle. Show them that it’s better to start with the corners and work your way to the straight edges, and a four-year-old may surprise you by cheerfully completing a 100-piece puzzle on his or her own. If a sibling or friend wants to play with them, it’s a great chance to work as a team and build social skills. Relax and savor that coffee!

Square Grimms Puzzle

Don’t forget that jigsaw puzzles aren’t the only kind of puzzle. You may venture out and try three-dimensional puzzles like a Grimm’s rainbow or a puzzle square.

Storage ideas for puzzles that are easy to implement

How to store puzzles is a frequent source of difficulty. Although there are ready-made storage solutions available for purchase, there are many free or low-cost options for keeping them safe. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a missing piece right at the finish!

Clear zip lock plastic bags are a cheap and easy method to store the wooden base board and loose parts, and your kid can clearly tell which jigsaw it is without having to dump out all of the pieces first. Even so, it’s all part of the fun!

An old, lidded tub works well for storing stray puzzle parts, and it’s even better if you can snap a picture of the contents, print it off, and cover the tin with it.

Baskets – put the puzzle’s wooden base on a low shelf with the contents tipped into a basket, and strategically arrange the two components on display. The discovery of a ‘unfinished’ puzzle is frequently enticed to finish it!

Top tips

Have you misplaced a puzzle piece? Recreate one (or better yet, have your kid do it) using a piece of cardboard with the missing picture drawn on it.

SIT WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR! Give them time instead of rushing in and doing it for them.

If your child hasn’t played with an old favorite in a while, rekindle their interest by covering the parts in tinfoil for them to unravel – This is something that my daughter loves doing.

Last but not least

The properly chosen puzzle that meets the child’s needs is essential for building on and improving prior abilities. If the problem is too simple, the kid will not grow, and if the puzzle is too difficult, the child will get irritated and uninterested. Support your kid along the way, and rejoice when they are able to master it on their own.

“What a kid can accomplish today in collaboration, he can do tomorrow alone.”

The how many puzzle pieces for 5 year old is an app that will help you find the right puzzle. It has a variety of puzzles to choose from and it is a great way to get your child started on their first puzzles.

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