5 Benefits of Puzzles for Kids

Do you remember the last time you solved a puzzle? It probably wasn't too long ago, and it was probably a lot of fun. Puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active and engaged, and they can be a lot of fun too!

But did you know that puzzles can also be good for your child's development?

A study by the University of Chicago found that children who begin playing with puzzles between the ages of two and four years old developed better spatial skills than those who did not. And that's just one of the many benefits of puzzle play.

Keep reading to learn more about puzzles for kids!

Table of contents


A Little Puzzle History

Jigsaw puzzles are a classic pastime that both kids and adults enjoy. But where did they come from? How did they become such a popular activity? Let's take a look at the history of the jigsaw puzzle.

The First Jigsaw Puzzle

The first jigsaw puzzle was created in the 1760s by John Spilsbury, a London cartographer and engraver. Spilsbury mounted a map of the world onto a sheet of wood and then cut around the country boundaries with a saw, creating the first-ever jigsaw puzzle.

He designed his puzzle as an educational tool for children; each piece represented a different country, and as they put the puzzle together, they would learn about world geography. The popularity of Spilsbury's puzzle led to the creation of more puzzles with different themes, including animals, landscapes, and famous paintings.

From Handmade to Mass Production

Jigsaw puzzles became increasingly popular over the next few decades, and by 1820, there were several manufacturers producing puzzles. The pieces were usually cut by hand, which made them expensive; only wealthy people could afford to buy them.

By the early 1900s, jigsaw puzzles were being mass-produced, and they quickly became a popular pastime for people of all ages. Today, there are all sorts of different puzzles available, from simple designs for kids to complex 10,000-piece puzzles for adults.

Jigsaw puzzles have come a long way since their humble 18th-century beginnings. What started as a single man's vision for an educational tool has become one of the world's most beloved pastimes. The next time you sit down to do a jigsaw puzzle, remember the fascinating history behind it!

Benefits of Puzzles for Kids

Puzzles provide a fun and stimulating way to spend free time. Puzzles are also a social activity, as they can be enjoyed with friends or family.

But that's not all puzzles offer. Children who play with puzzles gain many important developmental skills. Let's explore five of them.

1. Problem-Solving Skills

Jigsaw puzzles can improve problem-solving skills. Puzzles require kids to think critically and creatively to solve them. This process helps children learn how to break down problems into smaller pieces and find solutions.

2. Spatial Reasoning Skills

Puzzles can also improve spatial reasoning skills. These skills are important for understanding relationships between objects in space. Puzzles help kids visualize how objects fit together in three-dimensional space.

3. Fine Motor Skills

Puzzles require the use of small muscles in the hands and fingers. This develops fine motor skills, which are important for writing, eating, and dressing.

4. Patience and Perserverance

Children develop patience and perseverance from engaging in puzzle play. Puzzles can be challenging, and it is important for kids to learn how to stick with something even when it is difficult. When children complete a puzzle, they feel a sense of accomplishment.

5. Learning and Exploration

Puzzles can foster a love of learning and exploration. Puzzles are often themed, which means they can introduce kids to new topics and ideas. For example, a puzzle with a transportation theme can teach kids about different types of vehicles.

Puzzles also encourage children to ask questions and find out more about the world around them. As a result, puzzles help them see the world in a different way.

How Puzzles Affect Early Childhood Development

It's no secret that the experiences children encounter in the first five years of life have a profound impact on their long-term development. But just how important are those early years?

Studies show that the experiences children have during their earliest years play a critical role in shaping their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development-and those effects can last a lifetime.

How Puzzles Help School-Age Kids

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to help elementary school-age children improve their problem-solving skills. Puzzles help children learn how to think ahead, plan, and organize their thoughts. This is important for school-age children, who are beginning to learn more complex academic concepts.

Puzzles can also help improve children's math skills. By counting the pieces, estimating the number of pieces, and solving the puzzle, children are practicing important math skills.

How Puzzles Benefit Teens

By now, you should know that puzzles are beneficial for kids of all ages. But did you know that puzzles can also be beneficial for teens?

Puzzles can help teenagers learn to think creatively, reason abstractly, and solve problems. These are important skills for teens as they prepare for adulthood. And they can help reduce stress and anxiety.

So, if you have a teen looking for a way to improve their skills and well-being, puzzles may be the right solution for them!

Can Puzzles Be STEM?

Puzzles have always been a popular pastime, but in recent years they have also become a valuable tool for teaching STEM concepts. Puzzles can help children learn about science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun and interactive way.


Science-based puzzles can introduce young children to the basics of science. They can learn about things like biology, chemistry, and physics by completing puzzles that feature scientific topics.


Puzzles can help children learn about the latest technology trends and how they work. They can also learn about computer programming and other aspects of technology.


Puzzles can teach children about the principles of engineering. They can learn how to design and build things using puzzles that feature engineering challenges.


Math puzzles can help children improve their math skills. Puzzles with mathematical themes can introduce kids to basic concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Not only can puzzles help improve problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning skills, and fine motor skills, but they are also a great way for kids to learn about STEM topics in a fun and interactive way.

Types of Puzzles for Kids

There are a lot of different puzzles for kids to play with. Here's a rundown of the different kinds of puzzles available:

Knob Puzzles

Knob puzzles are a type of puzzle that is designed specifically for younger children. They are made up of high-contrast, large, colorful pieces with knobs on them. Puzzle pieces don't usually connect, but instead fit into a shape cutout to fit the puzzle piece.

The knobs make the pieces easy to grab and move puzzle pieces around. This type of puzzle helps children develop their fine motor skills and problem-solving skills.

Chunky Puzzles

Chunky puzzles are large puzzle pieces that are colorful with fun images without the knob. And like knob puzzles, chunky puzzle pieces don't connect like a typical jigsaw puzzle but fit into cutouts created for each piece. Benefits of chunky puzzles for kids include:

  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Encouragement of eye-hand coordination
  • Promotes problem-solving and creative thinking

Chunky puzzles are great for little hands to grab, and the thick pieces help avoid frustrating breakage.

Peg Puzzles

Peg puzzles are a type of puzzle that use pegs instead of knobs. They are a good way to teach children about shapes, numbers, letters, and colors.

Frame Puzzles

Frame puzzles are a type of jigsaw puzzle where the picture is mostly contained within a border or frame. They are often used to teach children about shapes and colors and can help improve problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.

Frame puzzles also help develop spatial awareness. Children must correctly orient the pieces in order to see the full picture.

Floor Puzzles

Floor puzzles are a great option for kids who are just starting to solve puzzles. They typically have large pieces made of cardboard or foam. Benefits of floor puzzles for kids include:

  • Strengthening fine motor skills
  • Developing problem-solving skills
  • Encouraging spatial awareness
  • Enhancing memory and concentration

Floor puzzles are also a good choice for kids who have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time.

3D Puzzles

3D puzzles are a type of puzzle where you put together different shapes to create a three-dimensional object instead of flat, 2D images. This makes them more fun and interesting to put together.

Kids learn a lot from working on 3D puzzles. They learn about shapes, colors, and how to put things together in a way that makes sense. 3D puzzles help build spatial thinking skills.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a type of puzzle where a picture is cut into many small pieces that are then rearranged to form the complete picture. They are a popular type of puzzle, and there are many different varieties available. Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to help kids learn problem-solving skills and spatial awareness.

Most jigsaw puzzles come in different sizes, with the most common size being 500 pieces. Some puzzles are available in smaller or larger sizes, and there are also giant jigsaw puzzles that can be thousands of pieces.

Puzzles of different sizes present different challenges, so it's important to choose the right puzzle for your child. A smaller puzzle with larger pieces is a good choice for younger kids who are just starting out, while a puzzle with a large number of small pieces will be more challenging and suitable for older kids.

Selecting the Right Puzzle for Your Child

As you can see, there are a large number of different jigsaw puzzles that children find enjoyable. However, age should be considered when selecting a jigsaw puzzle for your child.

Ages 0-12 months

For children aged 0-12 months, there are a variety of puzzles that can be enjoyed. Puzzles with large, easy-to-handle pieces are perfect for this age group. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • Knob puzzles
  • Board books with built-in puzzles
  • Puzzles with texture
  • Shape puzzles
  • Picture puzzles

Puzzles with bright colors and simple designs are also ideal.

Ages 1-3 years

For children aged one to three years, there are a variety of puzzles that can be enjoyed. They enjoy puzzles with larger pieces that feature fun illustrations and characters. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • Knob puzzles
  • Peg puzzles
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Foam puzzles
  • Floor puzzles
  • Magnetic puzzles

Puzzles with bright colors, simple designs, and familiar scenes are also perfect for this age group. Start teaching numbers and letters with these types of puzzles.

Ages 4-6 years

For children aged four to six years, there are a variety of puzzles that can be enjoyed. Puzzles with smaller pieces are ideal for this age group. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • Simple jigsaw puzzles with medium to large-sized pieces (20-100 pieces)
  • Frame puzzles
  • Floor puzzles
  • Number puzzles
  • Letter puzzles
  • Logic puzzles

Puzzles with more complex designs and scenes are perfect for this age group.

Ages 7-10 years

For children aged seven to ten years, there are a variety of puzzles that can be enjoyed. Puzzles with smaller pieces and more complex designs are ideal for this age group. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • Frame puzzles
  • Floor puzzles
  • Jigsaw puzzles with medium to small pieces (150-250 pieces)
  • Simpler 3D puzzles
  • Puzzles they can color on

Puzzles with themes that interest your child are great ways to add puzzle play into their routine.

Ages 10-12

There are a number of different types of jigsaw puzzles that are perfect for children aged 10-12 years. Puzzles with more complex designs and scenes are ideal for this age group, as they provide a challenge that is appropriate for their skills. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • Floor puzzles
  • Jigsaw puzzles with small pieces (250-500 pieces)
  • 3D puzzles
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Pop-up puzzles
  • Glow-in-the-dark puzzles
  • Puzzles they can color on or add design elements to

Puzzles that are both challenging and fun are perfect for this age group.

Ages 12 and up

There are a number of different jigsaw puzzles that children in the age group of 12 and up can enjoy. Puzzles with more pieces are perfect for this age group. Some examples of puzzles for this age group include the following:

  • World map puzzles
  • Historical scene puzzles
  • Scenery puzzles
  • Architecture puzzles
  • Crossword puzzles

Selecting puzzles with themes that interest older children are ideal. These can be puzzles that feature pets, science, art, or video game scenes.

How to Make a Jigsaw Puzzle from Scratch

Jigsaw puzzles are a timeless activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They're also a great way to bond with your kids. But have you ever considered making a jigsaw puzzle by hand for the kiddos?

Making your own jigsaw puzzle is a fun project that you can do at home, and it's actually not as difficult as you might think. What's more, you can now make your own jigsaw puzzle from any image you like! All you need is a little time, some patience, and the following materials.

What you'll need:

  • A piece of cardboard
  • An image
  • A printer
  • Elmer's glue or Mod Podge
  • A foam brush
  • A sharp craft knife or scissors
  • A cutting mat (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Once you've gathered your materials, you're ready to get started!

1. Choose Your Image

The first step is to select the image you want to use for your puzzle. If you're using a digital image, make sure it's high quality so that the final puzzle looks sharp. If you're using a printed photo, scan it at a high resolution so that it can be enlarged without losing any detail.

2. Enlarge and Print the Image

Once you have your image ready, the next step is to enlarge it so that it will fit on your jigsaw puzzle template. If you're using Photoshop or another image editing program, simply increase the image size until it's big enough. If you don't have access to an image editor, you can use an online service like PicResize to do this for free.

Once your image is enlarged, print it out on heavy paper or cardstock. Make sure to use a high-quality printer setting so that the colors come out vibrant and true to life.

3. Glue Your Image to the Cardboard

Now it's time to glue your image to the piece of cardboard. Apply a thin layer of glue onto the cardboard first, and then place your printout on top. Use a foam brush to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.

4. Let the Glue Dry

Once you've glued your image to the cardboard, set it aside and let the glue dry completely. This will usually take a couple of hours.

5. Cut Out the Pieces

Now comes the fun part! Carefully cut out each puzzle piece using a sharp craft knife or scissors. If you want to be extra precise, you can use a ruler or straightedge to help guide your cuts. Just be careful not to cut yourself!

6. Assemble the Puzzle

Once all of the pieces are cut out, it's time to put them all together! See if you can put the puzzle together without looking at the reference image-it'll be more challenging that way! When you're finished, take a step back and admire your handiwork.

How to Make Crossword Puzzles for Kids

Crossword puzzles are a great way to help kids learn new vocabulary words and practice spelling. They're also a lot of fun! Here are some tips on how to create crossword puzzles your kids will enjoy.

1. Choose a Topic

The first step is to choose a topic for your puzzle. This can be anything from animals to countries of the world to parts of speech. Once you've chosen a topic, make a list of related vocabulary words.

For example, if you're doing a puzzle on animals, you might list words like "lion," "giraffe," "monkey," etc.

2. Create Clues

Next, you'll need to write clues for each of the words on your list. These can be definitions, synonyms, antonyms, or even simple fill-in-the-blank sentences. For example, for the word "lion," you might write "The king of the jungle."

3. Create the Puzzle

There are a number of online crossword puzzle generators that you can use. You can also create them in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. You can even create them for free using Canva.

If you're using a crossword puzzle generator, simply enter the words and clues that you created in steps 1 and 2. The generator will take care of creating the actual puzzle for you.

4. Print Out the Puzzle

After the puzzle has been generated, all that's left to do is print it out and enjoy! You can even laminate the puzzle so that it can be used over and over again.

Keeping Your Kids Safe While They Play with Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way for kids to learn new skills and have fun at the same time. But as any parent knows, puzzles can also be a safety hazard for young children. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help make sure your kids stay safe while they're playing with puzzles.

1. Choose the Right Puzzle

Puzzles come in a wide range of sizes, piece counts, and levels of difficulty. It's important to choose a puzzle that's appropriate for your child's age and skill level.

If the puzzle is too difficult, your child may get frustrated and try to force the pieces together, which could lead to injury. If the puzzle is too easy, your child may get bored and lose interest quickly.

2. Read the Instructions Carefully

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it's worth repeating! Make sure you understand how the puzzle works before you allow your child to start putting it together. This will help you avoid any potential confusion or frustration later on.

3. Let Them Relax

One of the best things about puzzles is that they can be enjoyed at your child's own pace. There's no need to rush!

If you can, try to put the puzzle together with your child. This way, you can offer help and encouragement along the way.

Encourage your child to take their time and enjoy the process of putting the puzzle together. If they start to feel frustrated, have them take a break and come back to it later.

4. Keep Small Puzzle Pieces Out of Reach of Small Children

Puzzles with small pieces can pose a choking hazard for young children. It's important to keep these puzzles out of reach of kids who are still putting everything in their mouths.

5. Inspect Puzzles Regularly

It's a good idea to inspect your child's puzzles regularly for any missing or damaged pieces. This will help you avoid any potential safety hazards and make sure your child can continue to enjoy their puzzle for years to come.

Taking Puzzle Play a Step Further

Jigsaw puzzles are great for kids, but they're not the only type of puzzle out there. In fact, there are many different types of puzzles that can help kids develop important skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and spatial awareness. If you're looking for some non-jigsaw puzzles for your kids, here are five great options.

1. Picture Puzzles

Picture puzzles are a great option for younger kids who are just starting to put together puzzles. These puzzles typically have large pieces and simple images that are easy for little ones to identify. As kids get older, you can challenge them with picture puzzles that have more pieces and more complex images.

2. Shape Puzzles

Shape puzzles are perfect for kids who are beginning to understand shapes and geometry. These puzzles typically have pieces that fit together to form a specific shape. As kids get older, you can challenge them with shape puzzles that have more pieces and more complex shapes.

3. Logic Puzzles

Logic puzzles are perfect for kids who love to solve problems. These puzzles typically require kids to use their reasoning skills to figure out the solution. As kids get older, you can challenge them with logic puzzles that have more pieces and more complex solutions.

4. Word Puzzles

Word puzzles are perfect for kids who love words and language. These puzzles typically require kids to unscramble words or solve word problems. As kids get older, you can challenge them with word puzzles that have more pieces and more complex solutions.

5. Memory Puzzles

Memory puzzles are perfect for kids who love to test their memory skills. These puzzles typically require kids to remember where certain pieces go or the order certain things go in. As kids get older, you can challenge them with memory puzzles that have more pieces and more complex solutions.

What About Online Puzzles?

Online puzzles are another great way to keep your child's mind active and engaged. Not only are they fun, but they also help with problem-solving skills, logic, and critical thinking. With so many different types of puzzles available online, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Babies and Toddlers

For babies and toddlers, simple jigsaw puzzles or shape puzzles are a great place to start. These types of puzzles will help your child with their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Elementary School Kids

As they get a little older, you can start introducing elementary school children to mazes, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku puzzles. These will help them with their problem-solving skills and logical thinking.

Older Children

For children ages twelve and older, you can find more challenging puzzles like escape rooms, word searches, crossword puzzles, and logic puzzles. These puzzles will really help to sharpen their critical thinking skills.

Online puzzles are a great way to keep your child's mind active and engaged. With so many different types of puzzles available online, there is sure to be something for everyone.

By starting with simple puzzles and gradually increasing the difficulty, you can help your child develop important skills that will benefit them in school and in life.

How to Store and Organize Puzzles

Keeping your child's favorite puzzle organized can be frustrating. But never fear! There are some great ways to store and organize kids' puzzles so that they're not only out of the way but easy to find when your little ones want to play with them.

Keeping Pieces Together

First, it's important to find a storage solution that keeps the pieces safely together while also allowing them to be easily accessed. A lidded plastic bin is a great option because it's durable and stackable. You can also use divided compartmentalized trays or clear plastic bags. Just be sure to label everything so you know where each puzzle belongs.

Keep Size in Mind

Another thing to consider is the size of your puzzles. If you have larger puzzles, it's best to keep them stored flat so they don't warp or bend over time. Smaller puzzles can be stored upright in bins or on shelves.

But no matter what size your puzzles are, it's important to keep them away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can damage the pieces.

Sort by Theme

When it comes to organizing your puzzles, there are a few different approaches you can take. One option is to sort them by theme or subject matter-animals, transportation, numbers, etc.

Sort by Difficulty Level

Another way is to sort them by difficulty level. This can be helpful if you have kids of different ages who like to play together.

Let the Kids Choose

Or you could simply put all the puzzle boxes into one big bin and let your kids choose whichever one they want to work on next. There's no right or wrong way to do it-whatever works best for you and your family is what's most important.

Puzzles are a great way for kids to learn and have fun, but they can also be a pain to keep organized. With a little bit of planning, though, it doesn't have to be such a chore.

By using durable storage solutions and being mindful of where you store your puzzles, you can ensure that they'll be in good condition for years to come-and that they'll be easy for your kids (and you!) to find when it's time to play.

Puzzles Are Great for Kids of All Ages

No matter what your child's age, puzzles can be a great way to encourage learning and have some quality family time. So break out those puzzles for kids and get started! Your kids (and you) will be glad you did.

Looking for more puzzle inspiration? Check out some of our other puzzle-inspired articles! Or, contact us today if you have any puzzle-related questions.

7 Things to Know About Vintage Jig Saw Puzzles

Seven things to know about vintage jigsaw puzzles. From the most popular themes to vintage jigsaw puzzle composition.


What Are 1 to 1, 2 to 2 ,And 3 to 3 Puzzles?

1 to 1, 2 to 2, and 3 to 3 puzzles are taxing, although, on the surface, they may appear simple. Connect six boxes without crossing the lines. Learn more here.


How to Value Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles

Vintage jigsaw puzzles are a great way to add a touch of art and nostalgia to your home. Here is a helpful guide on how to value them.


About Us

Puzzle Seek is about all things puzzles and games. So, if you seek a missing piece, a little history or a little fun we know you will find it here.


Puzzle Seek is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Puzzle Seek also participates in affiliate programs with Clickbank, ShareASale, Cj and other sites. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

About Puzzle SeekContact UsAll Blog PostsPrivacy PolicyTerms of Service

© 2022 Copyright Puzzle Seek