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How to Choose a Puzzle at the Right Difficulty Level for Your Child

By John Ashleigh Subscribe to RSS | May 29th 2012 | Views:

Jigsaw puzzles and other childrens wooden toys can be excellent tools for developing their problem solving skills and improving their brain function. When young children and toddlers are playing with these childrens wooden toys they are having fun while at the same time they are exercising their cognitive thinking skills by figuring out how the pieces fit together.

However, when you are buying childrens wooden toys such as puzzles for your children, it is important to choose a puzzle which is at the right difficultly level. If the puzzle is too easy, your child will quickly become bored and will not be challenged to improve their skills. If the puzzle is too difficult, your child will become frustrated and will not have the satisfying feeling of accomplishing it.

Here are some hints for determining a puzzle’s difficulty level:

What is the Recommended Age Range on the Box?

Often when buying childrens wooden toys you will notice that there is a recommended age range on the box, such as “Ages 3-5” or “Ages 10 and Up”. This is a good guideline to get you started but it is important to remember that these are just average guidelines. Some children are more advanced than others and your 6 year old might be advanced enough to complete a puzzle designed for a 10 year old. You know your child best and so you will be able to tell if the age guidelines apply to them or not.

How Many Pieces Does it Have?

Take a look at how many pieces the jigsaw puzzle contains to get a general idea of the difficulty level. Generally, the more pieces the puzzle has the more challenging it will be. A puzzle with less than 10 large pieces will be very easy for a small toddler, whereas a jigsaw with 60 or 100 pieces will be more suitable to an older adolescent or teenager.

What is the Subject Matter?

When you are shopping for puzzles and other childrens wooden toys, another factor to consider is the subject matter. Puzzles are more difficult when they have an image which is very uniform throughout. For example, a puzzle with an image of ocean waves or leaves on a forest floor would be very difficult because the colour of the puzzle pieces does not give any hint as to where to place it. If you want a simpler puzzle, choose one with a recognizable image that has a lot of distinctly different areas within it.

These are just a few things to consider when determining whether or not a jigsaw puzzle is at the right difficulty level to offer your child an educationally stimulating challenge.

John Ashleigh - About Author:
Jigsaw puzzles are one of the most popular childrens wooden toys that parents buy for their children. Here are some tips for choosing a puzzle which will be challenging enough to be educational but not too challenging so that it is discouraging.

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