Every child has a puzzle (or 30!). But what can you do to make sure your child is getting the most out of them?
1. Pick one that isn't too hard - yes, I know I preach about picking toys that are a little difficult for your child, but difficult isn't impossible. If you give a child a puzzle they simply don't have the capacity to complete you'll be inviting frustration, disappointment and possibly even a decrease in self esteem. Give them a puzzle that will CHALLENGE them but not be impossible.
2. Pick one you can use in multiple ways - chunky puzzles can be used for pretend and social play, alphabet puzzle pieces can be used to spell names or short words, number puzzles can be used to teach maths and shape puzzles are great for using as stamps! Think outside the box and your child will get more out of the puzzle.
3. Go for high quality - this means the cheap one from the $2 shop might not be the way to go. Find puzzles that will last being dropped, stepped on and even chewed on! Make sure they won't break (plastic pieces we're looking at you) and cause a choking hazard. You get what you pay for!
4. Pick a theme your child enjoys - don't bother with a vehicle puzzle if your child barely cares about the difference between a train and a plane. Yes, encourage a wide variety of interests, but if you want to maintain their attention and have them enjoy it, pick something they like!
5. Do it WITH THEM - yep, this one again. Your child will learn so much more when they spend quality time with you or another loved one.