It has long been known that putting together puzzles is a great form of entertainment for everyone, regardless of age. It is also a perfect way to spend time together with family or friends.
Psychologists recommend teaching a child to solve puzzles from an early age. It is a sensational gymnastics for the child’s brain, which helps to avoid dyslexia in the future.
By solving puzzles a child learns:
The effect of putting together puzzles on developing spatial imagination in children was confirmed several years ago by a scientific study conducted at an American university.
Fifty-three children participated in the study. At the time it began, the children were two years old. For the next two years, at an interval of 4 months, the investigators came to observe the children in their homes. The observation of a study child lasted only 90 minutes. The parents of the study children were expected to spend time with them in a natural, ordinary way.
The researchers from the American institute were looking for the answer to the question, “Do children put puzzles together, and if so, how do they do it?” The study concluded with tests, the result of which may surprise you.
The material from the study was quite extensive, as it included notes from the assistants and a recording of each of the six 90-minute visits. Based on the material, it appeared that:
During the children’s observation session, the children’s jigsaw puzzle completion was examined. The criteria for this study were as follows:
Of great importance to the outcome of the study were:
Each of the children in this study was tested on a spatial imagination test. The children who put the puzzles together had an average of 10% better test scores.
The American researchers were not surprised that boys had much higher scores on the test than girls. The researchers also looked at other factors and concluded that good performance on the spatial imagination test was determined by:
It has long been known that boys predominate in science and technology. Many scientists wonder what this phenomenon is caused by. Are these predispositions innate or acquired? Researchers at the University of Chicago have concluded that involvement in puzzles does matter. Girls in the study chose much simpler puzzles than boys. During the study, researchers also noted that boys have a genetic predisposition to spatial thinking.
Unfortunately there is no clear answer as to when is the best time for the first puzzle. If you want to interest your toddler in this form of play, it is worth conducting a test first. Try to arrange a small jigsaw puzzle with your child, and then assess whether your child was interested in it. If not, put the puzzle away and do it with your child again some time later.
It’s not worth putting together puzzles with your child by force, as you may alienate him/her from this form of entertainment.
There are many different types of jigsaw puzzles available on the market, from traditional ones to foam, wooden, magnetic and spatial ones. Regardless of which puzzle you choose for your child, you need to make sure that they are safe, that is made of certified materials.
It is worth looking very carefully at the composition of foam and wooden puzzles for the possible presence of toxins – such puzzles should be avoided. The most popular types of puzzles available on the market are: