Choosing a Jigsaw Puzzle for Your Child

I always feel that among zillions of electronic toys, the basic jigsaw puzzle is actually losing its importance. As self-sufficient parents, we always want to provide the best for our kids and end up choosing the most expensive toys in the toy shop while the simple ones are left behind. The lovely jigsaw puzzle actually falls into that category.

Jigsaw puzzles, are great for little kids to build hand-eye coordination, improve problem-solving abilities and also for improving the memory. Which is why its best to start kids off on jigsaws quite early on. There are various types of puzzles available these days to suit beginners as well as experienced puzzlers. I have listed a few types along with the age groups when they are useful.

Chunky puzzles with pegs
Usually, these are three piece or two piece puzzles and are great for babies and toddlers. They are usually made of wood with little pegs to hold. Babies actually can try to pick them out of the slots or try to push them back in with the help of the pegs. These are usually round edged and do not hurt the child. As they are wooden they are usually organic as well.
You can easily find them in most toy stores or book stores and are priced around 200 CZK.

Frame puzzles
These are great for pre-schoolers with around 12, 16 or 24 pieces. They are so much lighter and easy to carry around than chunky puzzles and are very colourful. These are easily available in the pictures of various characters as well. They may be made of wood or cardboard. And definitely the cardboard ones are much cheaper!
The cardboard ones cost around 150 CZK while wooden ones cost about 250 CZK.

Magnetic puzzles
Magnetic puzzles come with a magnetic board and many wooden magnet shapes that can be used to create various scenes. There are magnets on each piece and hence they stick together easily. They are expensive but are available for most age groups starting with toddlers and preschoolers.
These are available in toyshops and books shops. They help to develop the imagination of a child because there is no particular picture to copy from or look up. These are just shapes that can be assembled in many ways to create what the child likes!

Floor puzzles
Mostly pre-schoolers love them and they are available in about 25, 30 or 60 pieces. These puzzle pieces are usually large in size 2X2 inches and are easily spread out on the floor. These are used to teach children to create scenes: for instance can you find the piece of the pond? Can you find the roof of the house? Can you find the bird on the tree?
These puzzles are also available in popular characters and are loved by kids. They sometimes are a set of 2 or 3 puzzles to form a story. They are priced around 300 CZK.

Jigsaw puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are available for all ages starting from preschools. Usually, a jigsaw is made by interlocking the pieces together to create a picture. For pre-schoolers there is the 30 pieces jigsaw, for grade school children it ranges from 60 pieces and upwards to 500 or even 1000 pieces, depending upon the nature of the difficulty. Jigsaws are great to help children unwind after a long day in school. They help them to concentrate, focus and also apply their mind. When finished, the puzzle gives them a feeling of fulfilment or success!
These puzzles can be bought in most toy stores and books shops.

3D puzzles
These are the most popular among people who love to create puzzles as a hobby. Because, not only does it offer the challenge of creating it, but also the final product can be displayed by the creator! Most 3D puzzles are made of plastic pieces and the most popular ones are those of world-famous monuments like Eiffel Tower, London Bridge and more. These puzzles are made with a minimum of 200 pieces and go upwards to 1000 pieces or more. They are also more expensive and more attractive. These can be made by adults or older children (not toddlers). Check them out here.

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