are an excellent source of educational value for children of all ages. This is
because to complete a jigsaw involves the child using several different aspects
of the thinking process. This article will explain how you can use puzzles with
very young children to accelerate their learning development.
An infant initially learns to recognize objects by their
shape and not necessarily what position the object is in. A chair is a chair
whether it is upside down, upright or lying on it’s side it doesn’t matter. The
simple puzzles produced for young children help to develop more refined
recognition and definition skills.
There are valuable
learning experiences that can be gained from puzzle activities. Firstly
hand-eye co-ordination is necessary to manipulate the piece into the correct
position. To fit the piece exactly involves observing the shape of the hole as
well as the shape of the puzzle piece. At first a young child deals with the
problem by trial and error and sometimes force. The guidance and example of a
parent begins to solidify the process. The youngster starts to develop spatial
awareness and mental manipulation as well as increasing physical dexterity.
Skill and ability develops as the child learns to place the piece in correctly
and internalization of the process occurs. Such skills are foundational for
When trying to do a jigsaw puzzle children soon discover
is that it does matter which way up the puzzle piece is. It does not fit in the
space unless it is in a certain position. A typical early childhood puzzle is
wooden with a picture and has spaces where the pieces fit to complete the
picture. With a street scene, for example, there might be a separate car shape,
bus shape, and a truck shape that complete a puzzle.
Early learning puzzles are typically
robust as the first response of an infant is to try to force the piece into
place taking no notice of its shape. With adult guidance the young child learns
to manipulate the piece until it does fit exactly.
The role of the parent is very important. Talking about
the picture and demonstrating the correct method to complete it, will facilitate
the child’s learning process. This creates a great opportunity to increase your
little one’s vocabulary, as well as increase the recognition of objects and
situations outside the child’s immediate world.
Early childhood puzzles can be purchased in varying
degrees of difficulty as your youngster’s spatial and reasoning skills become
more developed. Children learn to recognize color and shape by playing. Adult
conversation increases the potential of the young learner’s understanding and