November 15, 2013
Puzzles are a great gift for the holidays. My dad would always give us puzzles for Christmas. He didn’t make it easy for us – he would give us the puzzle in a plastic bag and hide the box so we wouldn’t know what the puzzle image was. You wouldn’t do that to your child, would you?
You know all the developmental benefits of puzzle play – children develop shape and color recognition, develop fine motor skills and critical visual and spatial skills – so start children playing with puzzles when they are young!
It’s hard to choose a favorite puzzle out of so many great ones. See Turner Toys’ puzzles for toddlers and puzzles for older kids and adults to get an idea of how many great puzzles there are.
Puzzles for Kids from Toddlers to Teens
1. Block puzzles
Mudpuppy’s Forest Friends Block Puzzle features parent and baby animals. Puzzle images are owls, raccoons, deer, foxes, brown bears and squirrels. Each block puzzle includes 9 2″ cubes that form 6 different puzzle pictures or can be used as stacking blocks. They come in a sturdy box with a sliding drawer for storage!
Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 3 and up. $14.99 Winner iParenting Excellent Product Award and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.
2. Jumbo Puzzles
Your child’s first jigsaw puzzle!! Jumbo puzzles are floor puzzles with large pieces for little hands. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? The Dinosaur Jumbo Puzzle from Mudpuppy features a colorful prehistoric landscape populated by dinosaurs great and small. A great way to spend some together time with your child!
25 piece puzzle measures 22 inches square when completed. Puzzle greyboard contains 90% recycled paper. Printed with non toxic soy based inks. Packaged in sturdy reusable box with a rope handle. Ages 2 and up. $14.99
3. Board Puzzles
These puzzles are made of sturdy hardwood so they’ll stand up to years of play. I can’t decide which one is my favorite but since it’s the holiday season, here’s Maisy’s Presents. Maisy and her friend Tallulah spread holiday cheer delivering presents to their friends. Based on the picture book series created by British author & illustrator Lucy Cousins. 20-pc Wooden Puzzle. Made in USA. Ages 3 & up. $19.99
4. Shaped Wooden Puzzles
I‘ve included a separate entry for wooden puzzles like this Wooden Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle. This is one of a series of chunky wooden puzzles from BeginAgain that are beautiful to the touch and beautiful to look at – heirloom quality puzzles. This Butterfly puzzle teaches capital letters, colors, problem solving and improve your child’s fine motor skills. There are capital letters on one side and lower case letters on the other. The color stains are child safe and the puzzles are made from rubberwood, an environmentally friendly hardwood. Puzzle measures 18″ x 5″ x 1″. For ages 3 + $31.99
5. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are classic puzzles and there are great options for kids, tweens, teens & adults. Puzzles are a great way to create “together” time where kids and parents work on a project together.
The 42-piece Horses puzzle from Mudpuppy has been one of our most popular jigsaw puzzles. The puzzle forms a 16″ square when completed and comes in a sturdy 5″ cube box with a colorful rope handle. Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 3 and up. $11.99
I like the Around the World Puzzle because it’s a great way to talk about geography and different cultures. The 63 Piece Puzzle forms a 18″ x 14″ puzzle when completed and comes in a sturdy 6″ high x 5″ diameter canister with a colorful rope handle. Puzzle backing contains 90% recycled paper and packaging contains 70% recycled paper. Printed with non-toxic soy based inks. Ages 6 and up. Winner of iParenting Excellent Product Award. $14.99
I love the Friendly Frogs puzzle from Ravensburger because of its amazing graphics. I used to work at the Rainforest Alliance and frogs are a big part of the rainforest ecosystem. Completed puzzle measures 19.5″ x 14.25″. Ravensburger is the premier puzzlemaker and you can be assured of great quality. Ages 9+ $13.49
Tweens-Teens (and Adults!)
6. 3D Puzzles
Great for kids 8+! Adults, too! I spent 3 1/2 hours building Big Ben – and loved every moment. I’ve seen middle-school kids get together and spend 2 hours working together to build it. There’s a reason that the Ravensburger 3D landmark puzzles are popular.
My favorite is the Eiffel Tower 3D puzzle. It has 216 pieces and stands 17.3 inches when built. Hinged plastic pieces form the corners making the finished puzzle quite sturdy – no glue is required for assembly. Ages 8 and up. Winner of the National Parenting Publications Award (Gold) & Parents’ Choice Award. $26.99
Globe Puzzle Ball 270-piece
Another favorite for children 10-15 years: the Children’s Globe Puzzle Ball. It’s a great geography tool. This 270-piece comes with a stand and forms a smooth ball when completed. No glue needed. $25.99
7. Brainteaser Puzzles
This is a broad category that includes tangrams and 3-D brainteasers like the Eni Puzzle and Logiq Tower. The Mini Eni Puzzle is featured in the Schwarzenegger & Stallone movie, “Escape Plan” but you don’t have to be big and brawny to enjoy it!
The Mini Eni Puzzle offers endless solutions as each column has 8 pieces by 8 colors. This puzzle is a perfect travel companion as it requires no batteries, notepads, pens, pencils or electrical outlets. Great for developing hand to eye coordination, simple problem solving skills and spatial relationships. Ages 5 and up. $13.99
Hope this Holiday Guide to puzzles for kids has given you some ideas. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season!