How Games and Puzzles Support Early Development

We know that from the moment they’re born, babies and children are like little sponges, learning everything they can from the world around them. One of the best ways to help your child learn is through play; all forms of play are wonderful for early development, but puzzles and games can be especially useful.

Cognitive skills

Puzzles and games are excellent for developing key cognitive skills, including logic and reasoning, and visual and auditory processing. With themes like numbers, the alphabet or colours, puzzles and games are generally great learning tools. Recognising and remembering the shapes of puzzle pieces or the rules of games also develops memory and visual-spatial awareness.

Ability to focus

As toddlers centre their attention on putting together a puzzle or playing a game, they’re learning how to focus and are developing their concentration skills. Seeing a puzzle or game through to the end will also teach children to be patient and not to rush through activities; with puzzles, the reward of seeing the beautiful completed image, like of Leo and his boat in the Leo’s Boat puzzle set, will reinforce the idea that patience is indeed a virtue!

Problem-solving abilities

Puzzles in particular can help little ones learn to focus as they work to achieve the goal of completing the puzzle or game. This will help develop their problem-solving abilities as they think of different strategies to meet their goal.

Social skills

Using games like the Chicken Game for group play goes a long way towards developing social skills, while building a puzzle with siblings, parents or friends encourages cooperative play. Toddlers can learn to share, wait their turn, and support each other while playing.

Motor skill

Manipulating the pieces of a puzzle or game is important for developing fine motor skills, as children must pick up, grasp, and fit pieces of varying sizes; the trial-and-error process involved in completing the puzzle also enhances hand-eye coordination. Playing stacking games with larger pieces, like in the Wigglefants Stacking Game, promotes large motor skill development while little ones have loads of fun.

Self-esteem

The sense of achievement children get from completing a puzzle or game boosts their confidence and self-esteem. It also teaches them the value and satisfaction of overcoming obstacles with patience and by trying lots of different strategies.

Even the simplest of games and puzzles can bring so many benefits to your child, while offering hours of fun and laughter for you and your little one. To learn more on any of our eco-friendly products, from stacking games to magnetic mazes and colourful imaginative toys, contact us today.