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10 Types of Puzzles Kids Love to Solve
May 25, 2011 | in Babysitting Jobs
One thing that most kids have in common is a love of puzzle-solving. The challenges and sense of accomplishment make puzzle-solving fun, and the kids are developing both mental and physical skills as they solve them. Here are 10 types of puzzles that kids love to solve.
- Jigsaw Pictures. We’ll start with the most obvious, jigsaw puzzles of pictures. This type of puzzle can be a favorite at any age, as the complexity of the pictures and pieces can be increased as the kids age. It may be as few as 4 large pieces in a wood frame for toddlers, a thousand pieces for late elementary school children, or any number in between.
- Geometric Inserts. Especially for toddlers, these simple puzzles can provide much entertainment and help small kids learn about shapes. This type of puzzle can easily be made at home, from plywood or cardboard. Cut shapes out of a flat sheet, and you have a puzzle for the little ones, taking the cut-out pieces and finding the corresponding holes they were cut from to insert them in.
- Connect-the-Dots Pictures. These types of picture puzzles are great for kids. They enjoy connecting the lines and discovering a picture, and are learning about numbers progression while having fun.
- Mazes. As with jigsaw puzzles, a maze can be very simple for the little ones, or as complex as needed to be a challenge for the older kids. A maze can be as small as a matchbox sized piece of paper, or as large as a cornfield.
- Hidden Pictures. This is another type of puzzle that kids of all ages can enjoy. It’s a simple concept, pictures hidden within other pictures, which can be very easy for the youngsters, or very complex for the older kids. Think of “Where’s Waldo” as an example.
- Missing Element Pictures. In this type of puzzle, kids are presented with two pictures that appear to be the same, but are slightly different in the small details. The idea is to compare the two pictures, and find all of the differences. Again, these can be made as simple or as complex as the age of a child requires.
- Columns Matching. This type of puzzle may be made up of words or letters, geometric shapes, or pictures in two columns. The idea may be to find identical in each column and draw a line between them, or it may be words and pictures that need to be matched up with lines, or any number of other combinations for kids to puzzle out and match together.
- Crosswords. As with so many of the others that we are listing here, crossword puzzles can be designed for different age and development levels. A 1st grade child isn’t likely to take on the New York Times crossword puzzle, but she can certainly enjoy doing her simple crossword at the table next to Mommy working on the NYT crossword.
- Word Search Puzzles. These puzzles appear, at first glance, to be just rows and columns of letters in a square or rectangular shape on paper, but if you look closely you will find words hidden in the mass of letters. They may be side-to-side, diagonal, or up and down, forward or backward in the row or column. Again, these will be simple or complex, as required to be age-appropriate.
- Riddles. Riddles are dearly loved by children, because they can be serious or silly. Riddles can be presented and solved anywhere, at any time. Riding in the car, sitting in a waiting room, anywhere that allows discussion and thought.
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