How to choose a puzzle, tips for choosing and reviews
Puzzle – a game, the essence of which is to put together a picture from its many parts of a complex shape. Such a puzzle, in addition to entertainment, develops the child’s logical and imaginative thinking, fine motor skills, attention, perseverance, patience, forms the perception of the relationship between the whole and the part.
Assembling a puzzle broadens one’s horizons, for example, sets with historical paintings or 3D puzzles with masterpieces of world architecture.
- Classic puzzle
- Puzzle 3D
- puzzle mat
Classical puzzle – a set of fragments of a picture that make up a flat picture. Classic puzzles are the most common and feature the widest themes: animals, cartoon characters, maps, sports, landscape, architecture and more.
3D (3D puzzle) – a three-dimensional picture or figure, reminiscent of a designer. From the 3D puzzle, architectural structures (for example, the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower), cars, trains, ships and much more are added. This puzzle develops the spatial thinking of the child.
4D (4D puzzle) – in such a puzzle, along with three spatial dimensions, there is also a fourth dimension – time. The figure consists of various layers reflecting its historical development. For example, a layout of a city that, during assembly, undergoes evolution from a small settlement to a global metropolis.
Soft puzzle – a set of large and soft blocks, of which, for example, a puzzle rug is made – an interesting and practical option. The main theme is the heroes of fairy tales and cartoons, animals.
Important: a classic puzzle is most often of a rectangular format, square and curly models are less common. Three-dimensional puzzles – curly.
Number of sides
Unilateral puzzle – the image is printed on one side of the puzzle.
Bilateral puzzle – the image is printed on both sides of the puzzle. For example, on one side there is a color picture, on the back – a black and white version of the same picture; or on one side – a picture, on the other – the alphabet.
Volume puzzle – a three-dimensional image or figure, consisting of three-dimensional elements.
Holographic puzzle – the image changes depending on the angle of view. As a result, the picture is given the illusion of volume. A holographic puzzle looks much more spectacular than a regular one, but it is also much more difficult to assemble it, since the pattern of each fragment changes from different angles of view.
Magnetic – a puzzle consisting of magnetic elements. The assembled picture is placed on any metal surface, such as a refrigerator.
With sound – a puzzle that makes a certain sound if the picture is correctly assembled. Sounds can be different depending on the theme of the puzzle (for the puzzle “farm” – the sounds of animals, for the “engine” – the sound of a steam engine). The sound puzzle develops in the child an associative connection between the image and sound.
Luminous puzzle – the assembled image begins to glow in the dark, creating a festive and magical atmosphere. Pictures depicting the solar system or scenes from fairy tales look especially impressive.
with textured surface – the elements of the puzzle are covered with a special material (natural or cork wood, Japanese silk paper), which gives the assembled picture a spectacular look. And it is much more pleasant to assemble such a puzzle than a regular one, because the elements with such a surface are very pleasant to the touch.
Elements of classic puzzles come in various shapes. Most often there are rectangular elements with recesses and protrusions.
The more pieces in the puzzle, the more difficult it is to assemble. The child should start with simple options, consisting of a small number of elements, and then move on to more complex drawings. Also, the size and price of the puzzle depends on the number of parts – the more parts it contains, the more expensive it is.
Models designed for the smallest (up to 2 years old) consist of 3-9 pieces (it is better to choose a puzzle with 4 pieces).
If the baby is 2 years old, then he can be offered a puzzle with 20-30 details. As the child develops the skills of assembling pictures, the number of pieces of the puzzle also grows.
Important: children under 3 years old should choose puzzles with large parts for two reasons: firstly, at this age, the baby often drags small objects into his mouth, and secondly, it will be difficult for the child to fold small parts.
Puzzles consisting of 500 pieces are designed for children of 10-11 years of age, and children who have reached the age of 12 can purchase sets of 1000 pieces or more. Over time, the child will be able to master the assembly of puzzles from 3000-4000 pieces.
Most classic puzzles are made of dense cardboard. When purchasing a set, it is worth remembering that the cardboard parts should not bend. The sides and edges of wooden puzzles must be smooth and free from burrs that could injure the baby. In addition, rough joints will not connect well with each other.
Soft puzzles are made from isolon – special environmentally friendly material. For the development of tactile perception in babies, puzzles with elements from materials of different textures are suitable, for example, a combination of soft plastic and fluffy fur.
3D and 4D puzzle parts are made of plastic. It must be of high quality and non-toxic.
One of the important factors when choosing a puzzle is its picture.
For the youngest children (1-3 years old) the best choice would be puzzles with animals, toys, letters and numbers. It is good if the puzzle is laid out in a frame to simplify the task of assembling the picture.
Older children (4-6 years old) will be interested in puzzles with characters from cartoons and fairy tales, pirates, cars. At this age, you can buy educational puzzles, for example, the rules of the road.
For children 7-11 years old the best option would be puzzles with landscapes, views of cities, 3D sets depicting military equipment.
For children from 12 years old the best option would be complex puzzles, such as paintings by famous artists, geographical maps, 3D sets from which you can assemble architectural monuments and even city models.
Important: puzzle drawing should be kind, not scare, but please the baby.
Players with a lot of experience in assembling can be offered a puzzle with an oil painting, especially painted in the style of impressionism. It is quite difficult to assemble a puzzle with a large monochromatic space, where there are many light and shade transitions (for example, the sky area).
- It is advisable to buy a puzzle with the baby. Let him choose a toy to his liking.
- For boys, they traditionally buy sets dedicated to technology (cars, tanks, planes), architecture, puzzles with fantastic stories. Pictures with a fairy-tale theme (princesses, elves, unicorns), with the image of dolls and animals are suitable for girls.
- It is very convenient to store all the puzzles in one place, for example, in a closet on a separate shelf.
- If the child does not like the puzzle or shows no interest in it, postpone the set for one to two months. Over time, the child’s attitude to the puzzle may change, especially if parents help in assembling it.