It’s hard to imagine childhood without puzzles. Not only do puzzles offer hours of fun, they also help kids develop problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. Wooden puzzles are available in a variety of themes, sizes and designs. Here are a few of the best wooden puzzles for helping children develop confidence in their problem-solving skills and coordination.
The Melissa & Doug Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle is made from thick wood that contributes to its durability and quality construction. The puzzle has a farm theme and includes a cow, pig, horse, farmer, duck, lamb, chicken and goat. Identical pictures underneath each piece make it easy to match the images. The colorful design makes it attractive and encourages interactive play while also developing children’s visual perception skills and hand-eye coordination. One of the most unique features is the jumbo knobs, which make each piece easy for little hands to grip. The puzzle pieces only fit in their designated hole to ensure there’s no confusion for a child learning shapes. It’s the ideal beginner puzzle, as it is easy to use and doesn’t include too many pieces.
Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles are constructed with wooden pegs for an easier grip. The set teaches children the basics of the alphabet, numbers and colors. These products are designed to promote hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. They also help develop problem-solving skills for 3- to 5-year-olds.
With the numbers and alphabet puzzles, each number or letter is a different color and is clearly labeled. The small peg on each piece is easy to grip, offering more precision and control when placing the piece. With the color puzzle, ten different fish are included in a spectrum of enticing colors. The fish are placed on a bright background that looks like the ocean. The bold colors hold up well and don’t fade or wear off easily.
The GYBBER&MUMU Wooden Preschool Colorful Shape Puzzle has a simple, minimal design. All of the edges on the puzzle are smooth to prevent scratches or injuries to a child’s skin. The puzzle helps strengthen fine motor skills, inspire creativity and encourage imaginative play. Each piece is a different shape, which helps children learn to recognize pentagons, stars, squares and more. The compact size of the puzzle makes it easy to transport while on the go. Children will enjoy playing while spending time at home or in the car. With only nine puzzle pieces included, it doesn’t create a mess. The large blocks are easy to grip for small hands.
With three puzzles included, the Melissa & Doug Mix ‘n Match Wooden Peg Puzzles set features multiple themes. Kids will enjoy learning about farm animals, cars and pets. The puzzles are unique because only a portion of each car or animal can be removed. Small colored pegs are easy for kids to recognize. They can easily use the pegs to pick up the pieces and put them back into their holes. Each puzzle includes a sturdy wooden tray that won’t bend or crack easily. Additional pictures underneath help guide young puzzlers, and the product is perfect for young toddlers who are curious about animals or cars. The graphics cater to the interests of small children and feature plenty of colors and details to help spark their imaginations. Each puzzle comes with at least eight pieces.
With four different puzzles included in the set, the CCLIFE Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles challenges children ages 3 to 6. Each puzzle includes 12 pieces and is constructed out of natural plywood. With a total of 48 pieces, these puzzles are more challenging compared to similar products and offer hours of fun. The shapes and pieces are irregular and are made with nontoxic materials. The graphics are impressive and feature a dinosaur, zebra, squirrel and elephant.
“Watching a young child explore a puzzle is simply rewarding. As your child engages in this developmental, multi-sensory activity, expect them to need a little help. Over time, your child will master the puzzle and be ready for more challenging puzzles. Try to purchase puzzles with handles or knobs for younger children and as they develop better fine motor skills, transition to handle-less puzzles.”
Our Expert Consultant
Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.