There are a wide variety of puzzles offered for children today. There are cardboard, plastic, rubber, and wooden puzzles - some with knobs and some without. New designs come in 3-D and with sliding doors. The most important objective is to provide puzzles that are age appropriate - too many pieces will only frustrate a young child. It's best to start with puzzles that have a frame and then work up to pieces that just interlock, like jigsaw puzzles.
Puzzles help to develop skills in problem solving, eye/hand coordination, and fine motor development. Young children need to practice the abilities to coordinate what the eyes see, and then the brain tells the hands what to do. Puzzles are a way to accomplish these skills in a fun and enjoyable way.
The use of puzzles can also develop fine motor skills with detailed movements of the hands through holding, grasping, and manipulating pieces and knobs. These skills acquired now will help a child with their hands later like in grasping a pencil. Puzzles also teach the mind to problem solve and think logically - if one piece doesn't fit here, maybe it will fit in another place.
With such an assortment of fun puzzles for preschool children in the marketplace, students will have a manipulative toy that will teach colors, shapes, alphabet letters, numbers, animals, and much more. Puzzles can be purchased at many toy and discount department stores locally and online through Fine Wooden Toys and Kids Jigsaw Puzzles.
An important method to organizing puzzles, as they do get dumped on the floor and the pieces get mixed up, is to mark each piece with a code. Every time you add a puzzle to your collection, select a letter or number for that specific puzzle and write it on the back of each piece with a permanent marker. It's an easy way to keep your classroom puzzles in the right frame or box.