Your toddler might display a frighteningly advanced knowledge of how to use your touchscreen devices, but we all know it’s smart to limit their screen time. So, what do you do when they’re screaming for your smartphone (or just screaming) and you don’t know how to distract them? Toddler puzzles are the answer for Indianapolis, IN parents.
Why puzzles are so good for babies and toddlers alike
Your child’s brain undergoes an astronomical amount of development from birth to age three. Science has shown that these years are critical in developing a lot of skills, from intellectual to emotional—but don’t think that means you have to enroll them in infant science camp to set them up for success. The same simple shape puzzles we played with as toddlers are still just as great today.
Puzzles are great for babies and toddlers because they not only foster your child’s sense of curiosity, but they also give them the opportunity to start solving problems at a young age. Yes, that means you should remain mostly hands-off—there’s no need to treat their Fisher-Price toys like an SAT entrance exam. Babies will learn color, shape and basic motor skills, while toddlers will graduate to more complex puzzles like brain teasers and memory games.
Ultimately, your role as a parent should be to provide encouragement and interaction. If they’re getting really frustrated, you can show them how it’s done—but then let them take over so they can do it themselves. As they get older, let them come to you. By the time they’re ready to tackle 500-piece gradient jigsaw puzzles, then it can be a real family affair.
Best puzzles for toddlers
There are plenty of toddler puzzles out there in Indianapolis, IN that will serve your child well, so a lot of it depends on personal preference, budget and what they like. The younger your child, the simpler the puzzle should be. For example, these Fisher-Price stacking rings are a classic for a reason: they allow babies to develop their motor skills by taking the rings off and putting them back on the dowel, but they’re also bright, colorful and safe for teething. As your baby gets older, they’ll understand the rings should go in a certain order. These come in a number of different varieties now, so pick the ones you love the most.
For toddlers, you can go a little more advanced—including actual puzzles. This weather dress-up puzzle is a bit more complex, and allows your child to learn about weather-appropriate clothing as well as mechanics. Or, teach them about animals with this fun wooden puzzle!
As your child gets older, there are hundreds more puzzle options available. They range from two-dimensional jigsaws to kiddie Rubik’s Cubes and other three-dimensional versions. Let your child’s personality guide you toward the best choices.
My Second Home Early Learning Center is a childcare provider and learning center in Indianapolis, IN, and we’re big fans of all kinds of puzzles for toddlers. Call us today to learn about enrollment.