This is a collaborative post with JS Puzzles.
Over the years, we have tried to have less plastic and impractical toys in our home.
Simplifying the kids' toy collection not only means less mess to clean up, but allows us to
keep toys around that have a purpose. Some of our favorites are things like blocks, cars/trains,
dolls, puzzles, and toys that encourage pretend play like a toy kitchen or dress up clothes.
We have an extensive puzzle collection in our home, especially for our toddlers. There are so many things they can learn as a result of playing with them. My youngest is nearly two and simple puzzles keep her attention for a long time.
Puzzles with knobs and chunky pieces help build fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Pieces have to be turned in order to fit and pieces have to be examined with the eye to see the different sides.
Playing with puzzles can help build self esteem. I have a child with sensory issues and fine motor delays. Completing a puzzle challenges him and really brings a smile to his face!
Some pieces need to be sorted and can help really little ones learn shapes this way. The sorting is also a good way to help teach categories and organization.
If a piece doesn't fit and it set aside, the puzzle child can build memory skills by remembering to use that puzzle later.
Puzzles can also help develop language skills and a broader vocabulary. Kids can describe the piece they are looking for and/or the scene in the puzzle like a blue sky or the kinds of animals.
You can also find great puzzles online for a little bit of variety in your collection. JSPuzzles has a great selection and a new puzzle is featured daily.