Puzzle or knockdown toy is an educational game that has existed since the 18th century.
Not without reason, this game still preferred by today’s generation. Various studies have shown that playing puzzle will stimulate both sides of the brain so that it can hone multiple brain functions.
In children, there are at least six benefits to be gained from playing puzzles.
- Train memory
Playing puzzles helps children understand and follow instructions step by step in achieving a goal. Puzzles also train memory when children try to recall pieces of images, patterns, or words that have been tried but do not match.
- Sharpen visuospatial skills
A study from the University of Chicago, United States, in 2011, found that toddlers who regularly play puzzles have better visuospatial skills, which are skills related to perception and spatial relationships. This is because of the ability to recognize and understand shapes, sizes, colors, and spaces sharpened through puzzles.
- Sharpen fine motor skills
When playing puzzles, children are asked to attach, move small or large pieces of pictures, circle letters or words, rotate knobs, or insert puzzle pieces into specific holes according to their shape. All of these activities will hone excellent motor skills, which are very necessary to do daily activities. Developing these skills early on will make it easier for children to learn to write, draw, and play musical instruments.
- Practicing eye and hand coordination
Both pictorial puzzles, crosswords, learning shapes that are suitable or not suitable, all require coordination between eyes and hands. Through puzzle games, the ability to connect what is seen by the eye and how the hands respond to it will be honed.
- Practicing social skills
There are many types of puzzles that require working together with others to solve the complexity of the puzzle being played. This will encourage children to work and play together, both with parents and peers. Playing puzzles in groups will help children to understand what patience and cooperation mean, and learn to know their turn.
- Sharpen the ability to solve problems
Each puzzle has a clear goal to achieve. The goal can be a complete picture, successfully matching all shapes, or completing a crossword puzzle. When the child starts to play the puzzle, he will see that there are steps that need to be taken to solve it. From here, children learn to be able to solve the problems they face with creative thinking patterns.
Puzzles suitable for children
So, what kind of puzzle game is suitable for children? Puzzles are all types of games that have two main characteristics: designed to entertain the players, and there is a clear solution. To get the answer, you need the ability to think and strategies to solve problems.
So far, maybe all you know is a jigsaw puzzle, which is a puzzle that consists of small pieces put together into a whole picture. However, puzzles have a lot of variations, for example, Rubik’s cube, scrabble (a game of words), Sudoku (logic puzzles with numbers), crosswords, mathematical puzzles, or patterned puzzles.
For toddlers, you can start with a two-dimensional puzzle with large pieces or a block puzzle. When the child has entered school age, you can introduce it to the type of three-dimensional puzzle or other puzzle variations, as mentioned earlier.
In addition to supporting children’s development, playing puzzle is one of the fun ways to fill your quality time with your child. It’s okay if this becomes one of the favorite activities in the family. Also, the puzzle is easy to carry so that you and your little one can play anywhere and anytime. Have a nice play!