Puzzles provide a range of development opportunities for children. In addition to requiring an age appropriate amount of discipline and focus, puzzles challenge a child's motor skills, cognitive problem solving, understanding of the environment, and emotional development.
The physical experience of assembling a puzzle enhances a child's eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. These skills are important for accomplishing a broad range of task. The effective control of small muscles will transfer into many child development activities: zipping jacket, cutting with scissors, writing, etc...
Puzzles are good for logic, problem solving, and pattern identification. Every puzzle provides some experience with geometric shapes, edges, and corners. These skills are important and transfer to a range of task. Evidence of cognitive development can be seen as a child attempts to build structures, trail/error learning, process of elimination reasoning.
Puzzle images communicate scenes, objects, characters and stories. As a child works on a puzzle they can remember how different things parts of the image related to one another and that insight transfers to things the experience and observe in the world. Evidence of this learning can be seen in the ability to identify objects that match a specific environment.
Children enjoy repetition, getting things right, and completion; which are all delivered with a jigsaw puzzle format. There is an emotional satisfaction associated with placing he last piece of puzzle. As children are developing through infancy, becoming a toddler, and later a child, a love for puzzles can grow with the children. .
Puzzles can be worked on as an individual activity, in small groups, or with an adult coaching a child. Coaching will assist a child working on puzzle slight above their capabilities. Adult can coach and have fun at the same time.