A correctly chosen puzzle can be a source of satisfaction and development while having fun. However, giving a child a task that is too difficult can cause boredom and even frustration. It's good to remember this when choosing a puzzle. We will therefore see what criteria to take into account depending on the age of your child.
From a unique puzzle (1 piece) to a complex puzzle (more than 2000 pieces), including a multitude of puzzle types, choosing the right puzzle for our child can quickly become a real one. Cornelian choice! What puzzle? Which solution seems most suitable?
Don't worry, below you will find some tips on how to best adapt the puzzle to the child's skills and development.
The difficulty level is mainly influenced by factors such as:
- The number of pieces and their size
- The degree of image detail and color variation
- The child's experience of puzzles
- The quality and material of the puzzle
(@ Canva / What type of puzzles)
To make things even clearer we have proceeded by age group but BE CAREFUL these recommendations are there in order to help and guide you but in no case a mandatory rule to follow. Especially since each child has different personal and intellectual development at the same age. Consult here which solution for which age group of your child!
- For children under 2 years old
- For children aged 2-3 years
- For children aged 4-5 years
- For children aged 6-8 years
- For ages 9 and up
(@Canva / Puzzle and age)
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ADVANTAGES OF THE PUZZLE
1/ Puzzles are educational games allowing you to practice:
✅ manual skills
✅ visual perception
✅ the cognitive skills responsible for organizing and strategizing the assembly process.
2/ Puzzles teach:
✅ patience, focus and perseverance where the reward is satisfaction with the full picture.
✅ to play and occupy independently
✅ to spend time with friends or family.
(@Canva / Mother and daughter with cardboard puzzle)
AN AGE TO START?
Some puzzles are designed for the baby of a few months, as soon as the child is able to grasp things! It's a good time to start discovering wooden or silicone puzzles. There is therefore no age to discover, however the child begins to understand and become more interested around the age of 2 and a half - 3 years.
FOR UNDER 2 YEARS
For our dear little ones, puzzles as we know them will be of no use and sometimes even dangerous. Baby is just starting to grasp things, perceive and understand different shapes and colors.
There are toys that are very similar to puzzles, such asfitting toys. For babies under 2 years old the main and most effective activity will be to assemble, recognize shapes and colors as well as associate them if possible.
👶🏻 Recommended material: wood (well cut and quality) or silicone.Your baby will probably put the pieces in his mouth more than on their holder, so be sure to choose large pieces and especially not cardboard.
👶🏻 The difficulty: single piece set then 2 and 3 pieces maximum representing a unique and specific color; a unique and specific shape for example.
👶🏻 Recommended size: the bigger the pieces, the better for baby (safety is the priority) with a minimum size of 8 cm X 7 cm.
Here are some examples of assembly and fitting set perfect in their beginning:
(@ L'Enfant Malin / Assembly and puzzle game for babies)
⚠ Babies must of course always be accompanied by adults to prevent certain items or parts from being swallowed.
FOR 2-3 YEARS OLD
At this age, the child generally stops exploring the world with their mouth and begins to improve their manual dexterity and visually recognize parts of matching images. His observation therefore improves quickly. Baby grows up so his puzzle to assemble too!
⭐ The level of difficulty: the complexity will be slightly higher than that of blocks and shape toys. Start with images divided into 4 then depending on the child's ease integrate images made into 7 or 8 pieces.
⭐ Recommended size: their fine motor skills are not yet the best, opt for piece sizes of 5 cm x 6 cm for optimal safety.
It should be emphasized here that these are outline images, which makes it very easy to identify the content of the illustration. Additionally, the images feature graduated levels of difficulty. You start with the image with the smallest number of elements and, after you succeed, you move on to the next one, which is only slightly more difficult. Around 3 years old the difficulty can go up to 16 different pieces and the fun grows too!
(@L’Enfant Malin / Children’s Puzzle Collection)
At this age, your child likes to see known objects and characters with whom he has already been in contact. We offer the most popular fairy tales and stories, read all over the world. If there are animals, vehicles and situational scenes, you probably have the right model. wooden puzzles to make durable toys are recommended.
If the child has never had contact with puzzles, the help of a parent will certainly be useful. We remind you that children must always be accompanied by an adult to ensure their safety.
(@Canva / Large piece space theme puzzle)
⚠ Uan adult must always be present and be sure that the edges of the cut pieces are not rough or sharp.
FOR 4-5 YEARS OLD
With increasing experience with the first puzzles, your child begins to freely engage in rotating and assembling the pieces. Although he still often resorted to trial and error, he began to develop his first systematic method for testing the correspondence. His concentration, his observation and his memory also increase. This is a sign that you can move on to puzzles with a larger number of pieces or more complex illustrations. They then become real games in their own right for your children.
⭐ What level of difficulty? a minimum of 16 pieces is recommended (4 years) and can go up to 60 pieces around 5 years.
⭐ Recommended size: their fine motor skills are increasingly developing, opt for smaller piece sizes 4 cm x 5 cm see 3 cm X 4 cm (guaranteeing optimal security).
The attraction and proximity of the model for the child still remains important and must be framed by a contour (edge). The models and themes chosen by parents still play a crucial role in the child's enjoyment! Even if animals remain very popular, it's time to test other models in other themes. Cardboard pieces can be offered.
⚠ The child is able to play independently with these toys, however he must always be under the supervision of an adult.
FOR 6-8 YEARS OLD
Six-year-old children have developed enough synthetic abilities to be able to define the pieces according to their place in the puzzle. They can also sort them. They can develop their own methods (strategies) for doing the puzzle - depending on the shape, color or object in the picture. Children in this age range are looking for more stimulating toys and activities in a variety of themes.
⭐ What level of difficulty? In order to "challenge" them a minimum of 120 pieces is recommended for children aged 6. Then, depending on their previous experience, eight-year-old children can get by with puzzles of 260 and even 500 pieces.
⭐ Recommended size: not yet the smallest sizes. We recommend a size of 1.7cm / 2cm X 3cm.
(@ L’Enfant Malin / Wooden animal puzzle)
Due to the level of difficulty, adults can begin to really enjoy completing the puzzle with their children.
✍🏻 The number of pieces we suggest and the degree of complexity may vary depending on the child's abilities. Keep this in mind.
To find out more about the world of Puzzles and in particular "The different types of puzzles" we have written a detailed article on the subject.
FOR AGES 9 AND UP
If your child still enjoys doing puzzles as much as , this is the perfect age to get him to do adult puzzles. He will be proud and involved if you give him a "big" puzzle to complete. He will put all his energy into it but don't hesitate to give him a little help all the same. His sense of observation and his memory will develop more and more as the weeks go by.
⭐ What level of difficulty? the puzzle of 500 pieces is then the minimum required so that the child does not get bored. No more edges for the frames, the dimensions of the parts are small and the representations more and more complex.
⭐ Recommended size: We recommend small dimensions, namely 1.4 cm / 1.7 cm x 1.9cm.
At this age their capacity for puzzles and the patience they can have is sometimes surprising. If your child is passionate, the wooden Puzzle boxes prove to be a perfect and durable gift for your little ones. He will then be able to compose a real work of art.
(@The Smart Child / puzzle for adults and children)
This range of wooden boxes, from L'Enfant Malin, is made up of detailed and colorful models. You will find different themes with a surprising feature: each piece itself represents something! In terms of games for the whole family, this is an ideal and sustainable solution.
Yes, choosing the right puzzle for the right age is not that easy. With this item, you will be able to make the most suitable gift possible for the child's age for hours of fun in perspective. The puzzle is one of the only gifts that always pleases and has great benefits, so get started!
Our objective was to advise you as best as possible on the world of puzzle games according to ages. We hope this was successful and that you are now able to make the best choice for your children.
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