Best jigsaws for young children

What are the best jigsaws for young children?

Jigsaws are great! They are a great way to boost your child's brain activity, stimulate the development of neural pathways, and get them learning while having fun.

Playing with puzzles helps children improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, it helps them develop their logical thinking and problem-solving ability and it improves memory and recall skills. Plus completing a puzzle requires both sides of the brain to work together building vital pathways and connections between the left and right-hand sides of the brain.

Great first puzzles for toddlers

When choosing puzzles for young children you want to choose something that is challenging without being too difficult. A simple peg puzzle with animals or shapes is a great place to start.

Here are some of our favourite first puzzles for 12 months and up:

  • The Tidlo touch and feel animal puzzles are perfect for little hands and great for providing sensory stimulation. Little ones can also learn colours, and animal names and noises as they find the correct hole for each animal to go in.

  • A similar style puzzle is the Tender Leaf Toys touchy-feely animals which features a fox, frog, bird, bug and bunny rabbit that each have a different textured and coloured home on the baseboard.

  • The Tender Leaf Toys underwater shapes puzzle is beautifully illustrated and perfect for learning shapes. The easy pick-up pegs make it ideal for little hands and the colours on the baseboard help with matching.

  • The Goula four colours puzzle is great for teaching colours and counting. It’s a little more complex but perfect for progressing those hand-eye coordination skills and a good one for building patience and perseverance.

  • A puzzle and a game in one we love the Big Jigs Cog Puzzle. Fit the cogs together on the board and make them spin.

  • Simple two-piece jigsaw puzzles like the Big Jigs Dinosaur Puzzles are also a hit at this age. And there are lots of sets which have two-piece puzzles as well as more complicated three and four-piece puzzles so you can increase the difficulty level.

Stacking puzzles are also great for this age and as they get a bit older there are some amazing number and alphabet puzzles that make fantastic learning tools.

Jigsaw Puzzles for younger kids

The next step up from these simple puzzles are more traditional jigsaw puzzles. Start with simple puzzles with just a few pieces and work your way up. You might have to offer some help, to begin with, but even young children will quickly pick up the tricks and tips you teach them.

Djeco have a great range of board puzzles from 16 pieces upwards that are brightly coloured, beautifully illustrated and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Goula also has some fantastic puzzles for 2-year-olds. We particularly love their XXL jungle puzzle.

Ever wondered how the jigsaw came about and who invented jigsaw puzzles? We take a look at the history of this traditional toy

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