Grandmothers back in the day used to use puzzle glue and make pictures out of puzzles they liked. You probably worked a few with her over a cup of hot chocolate. Puzzles are lots of fun for everyone and a classic activity in many households.
Wooden puzzles are a variation of the classic cardboard puzzles and they are perfect for toddlers. Wooden puzzles add a natural feel to the pieces and allows toddlers to more easily hold and maneuver the pieces.
Toddlers are just starting to figure out the world around them. Reasoning and solving problems is a great way to engage your toddlers’ attention and wooden puzzles do just that.
Puzzles made out of wood are a great way to keep your toddler occupied, happy, and learning at the same time.
Wooden toys have made a comeback in recent years because of the known benefits of natural materials and the Montessori method of teaching.
Here is why we love wooden puzzles.
Why Are Wooden Puzzles Beneficial for Your Child’s Development?
Wooden puzzles are a great way to spark a child’s imagination and creativity. They are considered a “Montessori toy” by some since they are made of wood but puzzles do not fall under the “open-ended” toy category.
Open-ended toys have no defined purpose or right way to be used so kids can be as creative as they would like with them. A puzzle has a specific purpose – assemble all the pieces in the right way. This makes puzzles close-ended toys. Both open and close ended toys have an important role in your child’s development.
Wooden puzzles are also great STEM toys, fostering growth in math, abstract thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and spatial reasoning. It lets young children learn hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and color and shape recognition.
Children can learn interactive, cooperative play. They will certainly learn pride and self-confidence when they hear your praise when you see their finished work.
What Are the Best Wooden Puzzles for Kids?
The Asher and Olivia Wooden Toddler Puzzles 6-Pack and Storage Rack and Learning Clock Bundle is a value pack with a storage rack and a teaching clock. This wooden peg puzzle set includes 6 separate puzzles and a puzzle shelf to keep them in. Your child can learn to understand minutes and hours with the clock that teaches time.
Made from quality wood, they are educational toys helping your toddler to learn about shapes, numbers, letters, animals, and more. Sharpen your toddler’s cognitive and motor skills with these fun puzzles.
They can also improve pattern recognition skills, hand-eye coordination, and visual perception. Help your child begin to learn reading.
This bundle includes an alphabet puzzle with items for each letter, a baby number puzzle with math signs, a peg shape puzzle with name tags, a zoo baby animal puzzle, a vehicle sound puzzle with name tags, a fruit puzzle, a puzzle organizer, and a learning clock.
- Product dimensions: 19.69 x 13.58 x 20.67 inches
- Item weight: 4.27 pounds
The Ayeboovi Wooden Toddler Jigsaw Puzzles use thicker wood and larger pieces. This allows your toddler to grip them more easily. The vibrant colors come from non-toxic water-based paint. These puzzles help with spatial skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, concentration, self-esteem, and more.
- Product dimensions: 6.85 x 6.77 x 3.15 inches
- Item weight: 1.86 pounds
The Melissa & Doug Wooden Farm Chunky Puzzle has 8 pieces that are durable. They show full-color pictures of animals on the farm underneath for easy matching. The pieces are chunky for easy grasping. It fosters hand-eye coordination, as well as imagination and creativity. Melissa & Doug offer a 100% Happiness Guarantee.
- Product dimensions: 11 x 8.2 x 0.9 inches
- Item weight: 1.58 pounds
The Chafin Wooden Peg Puzzles Set (Alphabet, Numbers, Farm Animals, and Insects) comes with 4 puzzles. They have sturdy peg puzzle pieces, so small hands can grip them easily. There are pictures underneath the puzzles that help toddlers know how to match the pieces.
The wooden puzzles are made from premium wood and non-toxic water-based paint. The puzzles aid with hand-eye coordination, general cognitive skills, fine motor skills, color recognition, animal recognition, and early math skills.
- Product dimensions: 11.81 x 8.66 x 0.2 inches
- Item weight: 1.62 pounds
The Smiles and Clouds Wooden Toddler Puzzle is made of only the best natural wood and painted in bright, vibrant colors. These adorable animal shapes are included: a frog, a rooster, a duck, a pig, a dog, and a cow.
This learning toy pack has 6 wooden jigsaw puzzles to aid your toddler in building his fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and igniting his imagination. Foster his recognition with the matching guide beneath the pieces to help your toddler with putting together the puzzle. Exercise his visual perception and teach him patterns, shapes, colors, depth perception, and more.
- Product dimensions: 6.3 x 6.2 x 3 inches
- Item weight: 1.35 pounds
The Melissa & Doug Wooden Peg Puzzle Bundle (Farm Animals, Pets, and Sea Creatures) comes with three wooden boards with charming scenes and pictures at the bottom showing how the puzzle should look. There are 6 wooden pieces in each puzzle. Your toddlers will be excited to learn all about animals.
He will hone fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, color recognition, counting skills, vocabulary skills, and more. Melissa & Doug are well-known as the “gold standard in early childhood play.” The American Academy of Pediatrics has partnered with Melissa & Doug to aid children in life skills and brain development through play.
- Product dimensions: 0.8 x 8.9 x 11.7 inches
- Item weight: 1.7 pounds
Are Puzzles Good for Toddlers?
Puzzles are not only great for toddlers, but also for older kids and adults. While you could make the argument that any toy can teach your child something, studies have shown that some types of toys help with kids development more than others.
Puzzles help develop fine motor skills, cognitive thinking, logic, patience and so many other important skills.
Wooden puzzles add another important element to this classic activity – the tactile component. Being able to more easily feel and grab the puzzle pieces makes the activity that much more fun for young toddlers that are still refining their fine motor skills.
What is the Ideal Age for a Kid to Start Building Puzzles?
Toddlers can begin playing with wooden puzzles from around the age of one year old. They may not sit and put it together as you did with your grandmother over a cup of hot chocolate, but most toddlers are ready to start experimenting with wooden puzzles at this age.
The age goes up from there…to infinity. “Kids” of all ages love puzzles. You just need to make sure you get puzzles that are age-appropriate and then, watch from behind the scenes.
How Do I Get My Child to Interact with Puzzle-Building?
To get your toddler to interact with puzzle-building, it is important firstly to buy a puzzle that is age-appropriate. So, if your toddler is one year old, buy him the simplest wooden puzzle there is. He will enjoy trying to fit the two or three large pieces into the easily-accessed slots.
It is also important to watch from a distance and let him interact with the puzzle on his own, and again, experiment. He may not use the pieces to put together the puzzle but for two cymbals, and that is fine for now. He will learn.
What Kind of Wooden Puzzle Is Right for My Toddler?
Since these puzzles are wooden, one-year-olds can put them in their mouths and not get scolded. Two and three-year-olds can pretend the large wooden pieces are plates of pizza or put the puzzles together.
That is the beauty of open-ended toys. Those puzzle pieces can be anything those kids want them to be, but eventually, they’ll get curious to see how the puzzle works and put it together.
This will exercise their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It will develop their cognitive skills. They will get excited about logical and spatial reasoning, abstract thinking, and problem-solving. Puzzles can also help toddlers with math skills, and that touches on STEM learning.
Wooden puzzles busy your child without the use of screens or devices. Children don’t need all of that all the time. Think back – you were probably happy with the big box that the new washer came in if you are like a greater percentage of Americans.
Kids can learn hundreds of things from puzzles: shapes, colors, numbers, letters, animals, foods, nature. They will begin to understand how to recognize objects and differentiate sizes.
Your children can even begin to learn about cooperative play. Also, they will learn self-confidence and pride when you show that you are proud of their work completing their puzzle.