Puzzles are an important learning tool that can be used to enhance a child’s development physically and mentally. Children are usually introduced to puzzles made of simple shapes and, as they advance, move on to more complex silhouettes that require more attention and critical thinking. Puzzles give young children an opportunity to focus on an activity that has an ending with a reward (the complete image). Doing puzzles with your child allows for the growth of social skills as they learn how to work with others and communicate about what fits where. While puzzles will harness your child’s social skills, they also build on three basic principles which are building blocks for a well-rounded individual:
Physical Skills: holding puzzle pieces and turning them to fit will enhance your child’s gross and fine motor skills.
Cognitive Skills: as your child solves the problems of a puzzle, they will develop critical thinking skills and improve their memory as they have to remember the shape of the pieces that don’t fit.
Emotional Skills: your child will learn patience as they work through the puzzle and they learn the process of setting goals and completing them.
At GBCA’s Head Start, students are introduced to puzzles in the classroom at an early age. The children are encouraged to engage with puzzles and other children as a way to promote social and mental interaction. To learn more about GBCA’s Head Start and the work we do with our students, visit our website at www.gbcaheadstart.org.