11 Fun Brain Activities for Children

Puzzles and brainteasers are great for helping young brains develop and grow. They teach problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, sorting, pattern recognition and more! The best part? There are so many different types of puzzles and images on puzzles that they are certain to entertain as much as they educate. While puzzles will help develop reading, math and logic skills – they also provide a feeling of accomplishment and achievement when the puzzle is solved – which is why kid’s love to do them over and over – and might just give them a confidence boost too!

Putting together jigsaw puzzles and other types of puzzle brainteasers can also be a great family or group play activity, along with individual play. But how do you pick a good puzzle for your youngster? Here are few tips from an article in a Young Children periodical.

1. Small knobs for toddlers. Knobs or chunky puzzles help small fingers with coordination and strengthen the grips used for writing. These are the first puzzle children 2-3 year’s old will enjoy putting together over and over.

2. Children like puzzles of things they know, animals, shapes, story scenes and bright colors.

3. Well designed, sturdy pieces that will withstand some wear and tear are a must. Wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug, for example, make great starter puzzles for younger puzzlers.

4. When they get bored – it just means they need a step up in challenge – find a puzzle with more pieces, without frames, knobs or trays, or with new topics like letters, numbers or anatomy.

Here are 11 Great Kid’s Puzzles and Games for Brain Development

Five progressive puzzles from 2 to 5 pieces. The pieces are larger, thicker and easier to handle, stimulating attention, curiosity and imagination in children 12 months and older.

Getting dressed won't be such a puzzle once zipping, buckling, snapping, lacing and tying, and other dressing skills are mastered. Each skill is contained on a separate, wooden puzzle piece for easy practice. Develop fine motor and life skills with this great activity. For ages 3+.

Hear the sounds of six favorite vehicles when the two wooden cubes are properly placed in the wooden tray! Find the halves that match and hear six different, realistic sounds. Develops visual perception and fine motor skills. For ages 2+

Easy to grasp, thick chunky pieces fit perfectly into a background tray and help teach kids as young as two about life under the sea! For ages 2 and up.

From Acrobatic Alligator all the way to Zigzag Zebra, this colorful wooden alphabet puzzle has beautifully detailed pictures. When the piece is removed, a full color illustration with a matching image helps children find every letter its home. For ages 3 and up.

 

Ideal for travel, this wooden magnetic board includes three interchangeable animal habitat cards, farm, sea and savanna, and 26 magnetic, wooden play pieces for educational and creative play. For ages 3 and up.

Designed for hours of play and ideal for travel, this wooden magnetic board includes 120 colorful geometric magnets. Younger children (3+) will enjoy using the shapes to replicate the 12 geometric pictures included, while older children will enjoy creating mosaic patterns and pictures directly on the magnetic board.

Fun and fact filled card games for kids of all ages! Features great topics like Lost Civilizations, The Human Body, Earth Science, Sports and more! For ages 8 and up.

PlaySmart Digits in a Box Puzzle Game. First, spill the ten digits (0-9) from the box and give them a scramble. Then, place the pieces back in the box so that the lid closes flat. There are over 4000 possible solutions. For ages 6-8.

The incredible inner workings of the human body are beautifully portrayed in this double - sided educational floor puzzle. One side of this 100 - piece cardboard puzzle features the skeletal structure, and the other side shows internal organs and the circulatory system. For ages 8+.

The (new) Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Ever

Previously, the largest jigsaw puzzle in recorded history was made by Educa, called LIFE: The Greatest Puzzle with 24,000 pieces. The puzzle came in four packets, breaking the puzzle art up into four slightly easier to manage sections, which all connect together to create a giant puzzle that is 14 feet long and 5 feet tall. A TRUE puzzle challenge, and certainly not for the faint of heart.

But the folks at Ravensburger wanted to take things up a notch and create a puzzle even larger than LIFE! They have passed up Educa and made Double Retrospect, now the biggest puzzle ever, with 32,256 pieces. This mammoth of a jigsaw puzzle measures an incredible 17 feet x 6 feet!

The art for Ravensburger’s Double Retrospect was created by American Artist Keith Haring (1958-1990). Each of the 32 different images show one of Haring’s quirky illustrations, inspired by the cartooning skills he learned from his father, according to Ravensburger’s website. The puzzle is very colorful and vibrant and each scene will make you smile or chuckle. The limited color palate also makes the puzzle even more challenging because it will be harder to separate the pieces that go in one scene from another.

The puzzle pieces arrive in 8 separate bags inside of a box, and a trolley is also supplied so that you can transport the giant puzzle home. When you open the box, each bag will contain 4,032 pieces – each a sure-fire challenge on their own.

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While the USA celebrates its Independence this week, it’s also Canada Day on July 1

How are you celebrating Canada Day?

Over at the Canadian Heritage homepage, there is a post with lots of ideas on how to organize your Celebrate Canada activity. Celebrate Canada is an 11-day celebration which takes place from June 21 – July 1. Are you having a party, BBQ or event to celebrate the biggest national holiday for Canada?

A little history: Canada because a self-governing dominion of Great Britain on July 1, 1867, of four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. The anniversary was previously called Dominion Day until 1983, when July 1st officially became known as Canada Day.

Some interesting tidbits

1) The celebrations in Ottaway are particularly festive with Canada’s national colors splashed everywhere – face painting and red and white is seen around every corner.

2) In Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1st is also Memorial Day. In 1916 on this day, brave Newfoundlanders and Labradorians fought in the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel, France – a deadly and devastating part of the First World War. Here is 30 minute video special on the Canadian Memorial Day History.

3) July 1st is also traditionally Moving Day in Quebec- marking the start  and end of many annual leases on rental properties. You’ll often see people moving on this day – a headache for commercial moving companies I’m sure.

Jigsaw Puzzles: Canada

Here is a gallery of some of the puzzles we have featuring scenic images from Canada, Map puzzles for kids, and the Canadian Flag images.

Links to above puzzles to purchase or see more details:

1. Kid’s Map of Canada, 300 pieces by Cobble Hill 2. 4D Cityscape Toronto – 1000+ pieces 3. Canada Map Floor Puzzle by Melissa and Doug 4. Moraine Lake 1500 piece puzzle by Clementoni 5. Canadian Flag 1000 piece puzzle by Buffalo Games 6. Canadian Geese puzzle by Cobble Hill 7. USA and Canada Puzzle Pouch by GeoToys 8. Toronto Panoramic Puzzle 9. Dowdle Folk Art 500 pc Puzzle – Vancouver

Win this Disney shaped puzzle from MEGA

We will be giving away TWO of these 500 piece shaped puzzles in the next two weeks. To enter, post a comment in the reply box below about one of your favorite Disney characters – and tell us why!

Two winners will be picked in July. Make sure to use a valid email address – that is how we will contact you if you won! Posting a reply below does not sign you up for anything, it just registers you for this drawing.

What you’ll win? This Mickey Mouse shaped puzzle is recommended for ages 10 and up, with 500 unique shaped pieces that form a complete puzzle in the shape of Mickey Mouse himself! A great family activity and one that will be fun to do over and over. This puzzle is discontinued from MEGA, so these are the last two puzzles of its kind in stock here at Puzzle Warehouse.

While you’re reading – please check out the rest of our blog, featuring great articles related to the love of puzzles.

Update: Both winners have been selected for this giveaway – Congratulations to Shannon and Jodi! Keep your eye out for the next giveaway opportunity – coming soon!

New Black and White Photography Series

Thomas Barbey is a photography artist inspired by travel and everyday life, as well as the surrealism nature of artists such as M.C. Escher and Roger Dean. Barbey creates montages from concept to finish using negative, double exposure and retouching. His entire gallery of work can be seen on his website, Thomas Barbey Gallery.

We are introducing a new line for Puzzle Warehouse, the Barbey Black and White Photo Art Puzzle Series, with much excitement! These beautiful black and white works of art are sure to make an interesting and challenging puzzle experience. See the photos below, or take a look at all the new 1000 piece puzzles in our selection over at our website.

This collection, along with our other new puzzles by Lion Rampant Imports, are sure to be hit for the avid puzzlers.