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+.

New & Popular

We have added literally thousands of new items since January, with all of our favorite brands releasing new puzzles and games – so we thought we would collect all of our favorite new items, as well as the ones we have sold the most of since bring them in – so you know what jigsaws are currently hot on the radar!

1. A License to Life 
Ravensburger, 500 pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Busy Bee Quilting Club
SunsOut, 300 pieces. This one is not new, but it one of our highest sellers, and it has been discontinued by SunsOut – so we have ordered up extra – better grab it while you can!

Continue reading this post

Psychological and Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

While jigsaw puzzles are widely acknowledged for their entertaining purpose, there are numerous psychological and health benefits of jigsaw puzzles and assembling them that tend to be forgotten in today’s video era.

When we say health benefits, we have in mind some of the alternatives to jigsaw puzzle assembling, such as television, internet and video games. As opposed to those, jigsaw puzzles have the advantage of being easy on the eyes. There’s no backlight, no glare that slowly wears down your vision, and it occupies not only your body, but also your mind.

Jigsaw puzzles make you think. Unlike watching a movie, reading a book or being engaged in another form of passive activity, assembling a puzzle requires a lot of thinking, both logical and creative, thus making your whole brain work at once. It is a useful form of mental activity that has long term benefits.

Jigsaw puzzles also make you relax. After a stressful day, retiring in your room in front of your unfinished jigsaw puzzle helps you clear your mind and relax. While you’re working on it, the stress goes away and nothing else can affect you. Not to mention the happiness you feel when you see the image getting closer and closer to completion with every piece you skillfully arrange.

Jigsaw puzzles can also teach you a life lesson. There’s something in assembling a jigsaw puzzle that can help you in life. If you look at it like a metaphor, a jigsaw puzzle is just like your life. One big challenge that requires you to take small steps, one at the time. You have to do it all, but you can’t take any shortcuts. And there’s no need to get desperate over you. Approach your life like you approach a puzzle. Try to imagine the bigger picture first and then take it step by step. With patience and care, you will get everything done on time.

Add Fun to Your Event With a Jigsaw Puzzle Treasure Hunt

Have you ever participated in a treasure hunt? What a great way to entertain family and friends for any occasion…the elements of skill, mystery and surprise all rolled into one. Why not take your treasure hunt to the next level and add jigsaw puzzles to the mix?

For little ones, a jigsaw puzzle treasure hunt could serve as a theme for a birthday party. School-age kids would enjoy it as an alternative to video games when hanging out with their friends. Adults can use a treasure hunt as a way to build teamwork skills at work, or even just for fun.

A treasure hunt typically involves a map that leads you to the hidden treasure at the end. However, to make it more fun and a little more difficult, instead of just hiding the treasure and providing a map, you can break up the journey in several parts with each destination holding the clue to the location of the next. Write or draw your clue onto a puzzle, disassemble it and leave it for your participants to find and put together. Assembled, the puzzle reveals the clue to the next destination on the treasure hunt.

To create your puzzle clue, you can make your own puzzle by drawing or writing your clues onto a piece of cardboard before cutting it into pieces to be reassembled. You could also use a ready-made puzzle which depicts an image reflecting the clue. For example, a jigsaw puzzle which has an image of a shed would indicate that the next clue is located…you guessed it…at the shed.

For your next party or event, think about having a jigsaw puzzle treasure hunt…kids and adults alike will enjoy putting their puzzling skills to work on their search for the treasure!

Have A Low Tech Evening With Fun Jigsaw Puzzles

Fairy Princess Kiss, a cute and fun jigsaw puzzle

Fun jigsaw puzzles can make a difference in your life. Maybe it is time to put away all of the high tech toys. A low tech evening may allow much-needed communication with family members.

Today’s world moves at a very fast pace. You talk on cell phones. A great deal of communication is done with email. You are in your own little world on the way to work. You might work in a cubicle in a separate world. On the way home, it is the same thing. When you get home, you might watch television or spend time on the Internet.

After dinner, you may or may not see the rest of the family for more than a few minutes. This can happen many times. Before long, the years will pass by. You will not know where they went.

A low tech evening may help to slow the pace down and be good for everyone. Turn off the television, computers and cell phones. Schedule a low tech evening, once a month. Do something that does not require electronic assistance. Fun jigsaw puzzles are the perfect low tech entertainment. This will give you an opportunity to travel back in time to much simpler days.

Try to not have any music either. This way, you will feel yourself depending on others for entertainment. You may get to know your own family better. There is very little to lose from tying this. It is not expensive. In fact, you might save considerable money over a normal night out.

You can have snacks and soft drinks. Just try to keep everything low tech. It may be a challenge. However, you may find that it is an enjoyable experience.