Educational toys and puzzles are a type of game, toy, or problem – the aim is ultimately to arrive at the correct solution of whatever the puzzle is, something which typically involves assembling its individual components in a logical way, in order to solve, piece or fit together, the puzzle. This long-standing activity is highly popular with both children and adults of all ages, the mental stimulation offered, which coupled with reward and satisfaction, makes this a universal favourite, something which is so popular we even design them for our pets!
Why Are Problem Solving Toys Good for Children?
All young children, including toddlers, can benefit considerably from the rewards of puzzle solving - there are numerous reasons why puzzles are good for children, perhaps one of the most obvious of which is the cognitive stimulation offered – solving any type of puzzle prompts one to engage their brain and think independently. There are also many other important benefits for children which include social, emotional and physical development.
Solving any sort of problem requires mental activity, the child is prompted to think about where individual pieces are supposed to be placed in order to reach the final solution. This promotes problem solving skills – it may be via a process of elimination, which piece fits where for example – however, these skills will over time improve, and the toddler will be become quicker at solving different problems independently. The use of educational and puzzle toys offer an interactive way to teach colours, letters, shapes, and numbers – such techniques can help to support and facilitate future learning.
Completing a puzzle involves sticking to a task until the desired result has been achieved. This helps to build their focus – a necessary skill for academic success during the years of formal education.
Depending on the type of puzzle toy, small precise movements may be required where the child may have to think about where individual pieces go and slot these into one another, this is often a fiddly activity which requires fine motor skills. This type of practice is beneficial towards a child’s handwriting as well as other activities such as drawing and painting. Gross motor skills can be engaged via puzzle toys which involve stacking or moving larger pieces around.
Once a puzzle has been solved, a young child will often repeat the action, this improves memory and builds other cognitive skills such as pattern recognition.
Completing a puzzle is emotionally rewarding, providing toddlers and young children with a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing at having successfully fulfilled a task – it is an exercise in perseverance which is rewarded at the final stage. It also helps toddlers and young children to self-regulate their own emotions; it can be frustrating when the game does not go quite to plan, having to rein in any emotional outbursts and remain calm in order to fulfil the objective of the toy or game, is a good exercise in managing emotions.
Education and puzzle toys are typically themed, this may be a nature theme (plants, animals etc.), home life, transport and so forth. Providing toddlers and young children with this type of toy helps to inspire further creative play.
Educational and puzzle toy allow children to harness their problem-solving skills in a fun and but also inspirational way. It provides them with an enjoyable activity which also serves to keep them busy and entertained.
Educational & Puzzle Toys for Toddlers
There are many different types of educational and puzzle toys available for the baby to toddler age range, designed to assist in the learning of a number of cognitive skills, build confidence, dexterity, language development as well as engaging creativity.
ABC Wooden Building Blocks have 6 different faces which include numbers, letters, illustrations and shapes which can be arranged in sequences. This type of puzzle activity can be used to support alphabet learning and numerical learning and involves actions which can be repeated numerous times; the repetition assists in shape and number recognition, counting practice, critical thinking, spatial awareness, improved dexterity, language development as well as hours of fun!
The Memory Game is designed to encourage cognitive development and improve memory and recognition as well as assisting in speech development and social skills. This toy provides hours of fun.
Noah’s Balancing Ark
Noah’s Balancing Ark is a beautifully detailed stacking toy which features a wooden rocking ark and 10 wooden animals. It requires shape sorting and balancing the animal figures. This helps to stimulate cognitive skills, develop hand to eye coordination, whilst inspiring imaginative play. Language development is also present as children learn to identify and name different animals, making this an excellent game to play with the children.
The Bunny Train
The Bunny Train offers 6 interchangeable pieces on a three carriage pull along, putting together the train is part of the challenge, which requires focus and mental stimulation. This game also assists in colour recognition and supports manual dexterity and hand eye coordination.
Shapes Activity Tile
The Shape Activity Tile requires young children to match the three inner shapes to the attached square, triangle, and circle on the activity tile, completing this puzzle helps to introduce and refine shape recognition. It benefits from stimulating a variety of senses as well as sparking curiosity and supporting language development.
The multi-award winning Wooden Sensory Shapes come with 9 pieces and is designed to stimulate a variety of senses where young children sort shapes into their matching trays. This type of puzzle stimulates young minds and helps to develop fine motor skills, shape recognition and manual dexterity.
Our range of educational toys support key developmental phases by offering hand painted wooden toys for a tactile, sensory experience for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. For more information on our products, view our full range online.