Nowadays, puzzles are commonly used in learning institutions, thanks to their numerous benefits. They are handy teaching tools for tutors, and choosing the best can be a challenge altogether. Nonetheless, there are various puzzle varieties, and there are multiple aspects to keep in mind when shopping.
Why use puzzles as learning aids?
Puzzles are useful as play toys, but they benefit kids in various ways. https://mastercubestore.com/ shares a lot of information on cube puzzles; some are simple while others are pretty complex. As your child tries to solve the mystery, they earn various skills which benefit them physically, mentally and emotionally. The common benefits include;
- Better information retention
- Patience, agility and accuracy
- Better reflexes
- Improved eye-hand coordination
- Enhanced creativity
What should I consider when buying puzzles for educational purposes?
- Type of puzzle
The type of puzzle chosen determines the kind of skills learned. The main categories are the jigsaw and insert. Inset puzzles are mainly made of wood or foam and feature bulky pieces that don’t interlock easily. Moreover, they come with a frame or tray where you fit the elements while playing.
The most popular form insert puzzles are the peg type and feature no knobs. They come in varying sizes and are ideal for beginner kids. On the other hand, jigsaw puzzles are good choices for children beyond toddler years.
- The pieces matter!
The age of the child determines the number of ices in the puzzle. For instance, a puzzle with many pieces won’t be ideal for a young kid and is beyond their abilities. Toddlers and young kids will do better with puzzles comprising of few parts. They are easy to assemble and fun to use. However, as the child grows, you can acquire more advanced puzzles with greater levels of complexity.
- Size & Shape of the pieces
You’ll get puzzles in varying piece sizes. For younger kids, go for larger pieces; they are easy to manipulate or assemble. Also, some come with age tags, making it easy to choose the most suitable parts. Besides, tiny pieces pose a choking risk for kids who love putting things in the mouth. Moreover, rectangular shapes are easy to predict compared to irregular shapes.
- Image type
The more the images and colors, the more appealing and complex the puzzle is. Puzzles with many pictures or colors like the Rubik’s cube 6×6 aren’t easy to solve. This is a V-cube featuring 96 centre pieces of similar color, but edge and corner pieces of different colors. The color contrast also matters. The more the contrast, the easier it is to solve the puzzle.
Most puzzles come in wooden, foam or cardboard materials. Cardboard tears easily and isn’t high quality. The pieces don’t stick together and aren’t ideal for toddlers. On the other hand, foam is easy to interlock but isn’t safe for kids. It poses a choking hazard due to the small parts. Wooden puzzles make great choices for young kids, but the edges should be adequately sanded before use.
Most learning institutions are now embracing puzzles to aid learners to gain various essential skills. If shopping for puzzles for educational purposes, consider the factors mentioned above and choose age-appropriate puzzles.