Puzzles have been shown to improve developmental and learning abilities in children. Additionally, they are scientifically proven to be very effective in promoting new skills in children. In addition to providing them with multiple long-term intellectual and cognitive benefits, puzzles are an educational alternative for children who learn by playing, while also spending quality time with their families

 If you've ever thought about buying puzzles for your child, but haven't done so because you thought as them just a hobby, here's a list of puzzle facts you should definitely consider.


1. Puzzles are not just a game (they never were)


First Jigsaw Puzzle

Contrary to popular belief, puzzles were not invented to be a hobby for children. In fact, the first puzzle was a map of Europe created in 1766 by English cartographer John Spilsbury so that children of upper English society could learn geography. However, Spilsbury immediately realized the enormous possibilities of "dissections" as they were originally called, as a teaching system.

The didactic invention became fashionable, and the English cartographer began to sell jigsaw puzzles with images of continents and other European countries. Today, puzzles have evolved into 3D shapes, puzzles in mobile apps and video games and have become one of the most popular low-tech activities in the world due to the multiple options and benefits they offer for all ages.

However, despite popular belief, puzzles are not just a hobby. More than leisure, they are useful tools for stimulation, mental exercise and teaching because of the multiple advantages they bring to the cognitive health of children and adults who develop the habit of playing with them.


 2. Puzzle-solving stimulates spatial and mathematical skills


Puzzle-solving stimulates

Puzzles teach children and adults about the different planes in which the objects are placed, thus encouraging the development of spatial vision and enhancing perceptual reasoning, an activity that helps children to begin perceive the three dimensions and to become familiar with shapes quicker.


 3. It also stimulates and develops visual memory


improves visual memory


The objective of the puzzle-solving is to organize and put together a few pieces (the number depends on the level of difficulty) to recreate the reference image. This helps to develop the visual memory of children and adults because to achieve it they need to memorize the pattern and try to look at it as infrequently as possible.


4. Children practice self-control and reflection through Puzzles


practice self-control


When children and adults play with puzzles, they are faced with challenging positions because sometimes it takes longer than usual to find the right piece. This allows them to practice tolerance against frustration when they see that the puzzle is difficult to put together and, without realizing it, they practice self-control, which in turn helps them reflect on things before acting.


5. Puzzles improve psychomotor development


Puzzles improve psychomotor development

Holding puzzle pieces in the hands and placing them in the right places helps puzzle solvers refine small manipulative movements, a skill that improves as they gain precision and hand-eye coordination.


 6. And they improve problem-solving skills too!


improve problem-solving skills

Since the goal of solving a puzzle is to find a solution to a problem, puzzles help improve an individual's critical thinking ability. The child or adult learns patience, determination and organization, i.e. how to divide large, complex problems into smaller, easy-to-solve portions.

They achieve a sense of accomplishment when they solve a puzzle. It also helps to increase a child's or adult's level of confidence in their ability to solve problems or overcome challenges.


7. Effect on IQ


Effect on IQ


Several pieces of research indicate that solving puzzles helps raise a player's IQ (intelligence quotient) level. Puzzles force the solver to think and reason. They force the player to use their general knowledge, memory, spatial imagery, logic, and problem-solving skills. The intellect sharpens by learning to overcome challenges.


8. On self-esteem


Increase self-esteem

For a child or an adult, putting together a puzzle is quite a feat. When they successfully solve one, satisfaction and motivation are the first feelings that they usually experience. This helps increase their self-esteem as every little success they achieve builds their self-confidence and motivates them to want to do more.


9. Puzzles as stressbusters


stress buster

Putting together a puzzle takes a lot of concentration. Focusing on puzzle-solving helps children and adults forget about their surroundings for a while and therefore reduce their level of anxiety and tension.


10. Puzzles are popular again!


jigsaw puzzle

Puzzles are one of the cost effective activities which are finding renewed interest, particularly among young adults. With the growing concerns of digital devices and their effect on our cognitive abilities, more people are buying puzzles to reduce their screen time while improving their cognitive skills through puzzle-solving!