It is important to remember that each child is unique and that the choice of a puzzle must be adapted to their abilities and development. Are you afraid that he will get discouraged by a puzzle that is not adapted to his level? Follow the guide! If, on the other hand, he is bored with puzzles recommended for his age, the difficulty is increased so that he will always continue to face new challenges!
From 18 months: wooden puzzles from 2 to 5 pieces
When your child masters the movement of the pliers (thumb and index finger closer together) like a champion, let’s go for his first puzzle! Be careful though: at this age, children still put objects in their mouths. Therefore, wooden puzzles or cubes with large pieces that are impossible to swallow should be preferred.
Parts that are easy to handle and grab
We choose cubes and puzzles of the embedding type with rather large wooden pieces that are easy to grab for our little hands, or we choose a puzzle with flat pieces but with buttons to make it easier to hold our toddler. Embedded puzzles consist, as their name suggests, in grabbing a pre-cut shape (often animals, vehicles or friendly little characters) and placing it in a corresponding location.
Bright colours and beautiful illustrations
Forget the dull puzzles and choose smiling farm animals, fish of all colours, brand new trucks or pretty princesses in sparkling dresses to stimulate your imagination!
Fun and playful puzzles with various textures… and sound!
A puzzle made of soft material such as felt or even with different materials to touch, a sound puzzle that will make the sounds of animals heard if the child places them in the right place, a cube puzzle to make turns and make several drawings, a magnetic puzzle… There are many original models to change the most traditional puzzles.
If your child has never done a puzzle before, the ideal is to opt for progressive puzzles composed of, for example, a 3-piece, 4-piece and 6-piece puzzle to help him/her learn the puzzles gently. To each his own rhythm!
From 2 years old: up to 10 pieces
The child acquires the essential notion of the puzzle at 2 years old. He now knows that it is necessary to embed one shape in another: so it is time to move up a gear with real cardboard puzzles, like the big ones! Start with 3 or 5-piece puzzles and gradually increase the difficulty level to 10 pieces. Choose puzzles with a rigid frame so that the exercise seems less insurmountable to them, and if possible with the image of the puzzle to be made printed in the bottom of the frame to guide your child with his first real puzzles. Indeed, at this age children have not yet acquired the famous trick of starting at the edges of the puzzle!
From 3 years old: from 10 to 30 pieces
At the age of 3, he learned that it is not enough to embed the shapes but that the main objective is to complete a drawing. However, it is still necessary to avoid overly complex graphics and generally limit yourself to up to 30 parts.
From 4 years old: 30 to 50 pieces
For the first complex puzzles, be sure to accompany him and give him the right tips and techniques to make a successful puzzle: we start at the edges and then fill the puzzle by sorting through the template or by sorting by colors or drawings. Thus, your child will gradually learn to master the sorting of parts on his own and will remember that you must start with the contours of the drawing.
Once these techniques have been mastered, the number of parts and the complexity of the illustration can be increased.
Do not hesitate either to support his academic learning with puzzles such as the famous Alphabet puzzles, which are often very pretty, or puzzles that represent numbers to help him in his learning of numbers.
You can also opt for observation puzzles that consist for the child to start by assembling the pieces of the puzzle before looking for elements in the scenery he or she has reconstructed. In this way, he develops his sense of observation and his vocabulary!