Puzzle games are not just fun but a great way of stimulating your brain. We as humans are curious beings and inherently inclined towards solving different kind of problems. Puzzle games give us the capability to do so while relieving boredom and allowing us to connect with friends and family.
Puzzles are a hit among kids because of the entertainment factor involved in solving them. Solving puzzles is like a workout for the brain. A child uses different aspects of his brain in unique ways. The more you play, the more you think. And the more you think the better thinker you become. An enhanced thinking ability is definitely a virtue. Solving puzzles requires a child to lead to a solution by reasoning and logic. It helps a child understand that he can reach his goals by following step by step directions. Andd so one can conclude that introducing puzzles to a child at an early age is great way of encouraging him to think.
With mobile phones, tablets and video games making it possible to download games and puzzles with a few clicks, I still think the real fun lies in playing puzzles independent of gadgets. My three year old and I have been exploring different kind of puzzles. Here are our favourites :
1) Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzle is a puzzle consisting of a picture printed on cardboard or wood and cut into various pieces of different shapes that have to be fitted together. These kind of puzzles have stood the test of time. My parents use to play them as kids, I loved solving them as a child and now my son enjoys them thoroughly. No matter how old you are you can find a jigsaw puzzle that you think is challenging enough. The wide four piece puzzle are great for preschoolers. As a child grows he can attempt puzzles with multiple pieces. Online shopping for these puzzles is a fun way of choosing what you like.
2) Insert puzzles
These are simple puzzles that a child as young as a toddler can play. In this puzzle different shapes are cut out as inserts on a wooden or plastic flat sheet. A child has to match the cut outs of shapes with the corresponding shape on the insert sheet. These puzzles are available online in shapes of geometric figures, animals, plants, flowers, body parts, vehicles etc we are also using these to learn numbers and letters
3) Sorting puzzles
We made this one at home, by cutting atleast fifty tiny squares out of a cardboard sheet. We then made a shape on each of the square randomly (choosing between square, circle, triangle, rectangle, and diamond) We love sorting these shapes into different bowls. Different variants of sorting puzzles can be bought from a local stores or online.
4) Connect the dots
My son loves to connect two and three random dots to make lines. kids can make complex images with these kind of puzzles
5) Find the hiding object
This was a game I played with my siblings as a young girl. We would open a page form a book and ask the other person to find an object. We did this with an Atlas as grown ups. My three year old loves finding objects in this picture books.
6) Spot the difference
I remember picking up a copy of Mumbai Mirror and heading straight to the second last page to solve this puzzle. In this game, two similar images are presented with slight differences and you have to spot those differences. For my preschooler I draw two images that are slightly different but the difference is such that he can easily spot like a difference in size or colour of the object.
7) Rubix Cube
I do not expect my preschooler to solve a rubix cube puzzle, but it has still been our favourite since my son was a year old. It’s a great tool for helping a young child develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration and recognise colours.