Did you know that playing with puzzles is good for your brain? Puzzles help promote a healthy mental state, improve memory and decision-making skills, and even reduce stress! You can improve cognitive and fine motor skills such as spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving by putting together puzzles to form a picture or model. Puzzles also promote creativity which is important for expanding imaginative play and developing language arts skills like reading comprehension and vocabulary building. They're also just fun and rewarding to complete!
For parents, puzzles are great because they give children something to do while preparing dinner or getting other jobs done around the house. As parents, we're always looking for ways to entertain our kids without sacrificing educational value. Unlike mindless phone games, puzzles help with this! In addition, children are naturally engaged with puzzles, which is a great opportunity to learn more about STEM concepts. This blog post will dive into some of the best puzzles on the market that promote STEM learning. We will also explore the advantages your child may get from putting together puzzles from an early age.
What is STEM, and why is it important?
STEM stands for the four scientific disciplines primarily taught in schools. It's a simple acronym made up of the following words: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Popular fields and majors in STEM include astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, and more. Studying STEM subjects can lead to some great career paths like being an engineer or even a sports scientist! For example, some engineers work on sustainable energy sources and medicines that do not cause side effects. Other engineers design everything from bridges to airplanes, all to make them safer and more efficient. On the other hand, sports scientists use both science and their knowledge about how people behave physically (for example, during competition) to help athletes improve their performance. At its core, STEM learning is about using creativity and critical thinking to solve problems in new and different ways.
Top 5 Best Puzzles for Kids
Puzzles are not just for fun; they're also educational! With so many puzzles to choose from, it can be hard to pick which ones are best for your kid. Here's a compiled list of our favorite puzzles and why they promote STEM skills.
Tangrams are an ancient Chinese geometric puzzle comprised of a square cut into seven pieces. This simple puzzle was originally used as a game for entertainment but have expanded to be used in many different ways. The goal is simple: to arrange the pieces into objects such as people, animals, or letters, among countless other things you may not even have thought of. Tangrams are great for teaching kids about shapes, geometry, and angles. In addition, kids will develop spatial reasoning skills by putting the pieces together in different ways to see how and why certain combinations work best with each other. It's a great way to introduce critical thinking to children at an early age. Tangrams are also great because they help you develop logic and reasoning skills in addition to geometry knowledge. They're like jigsaw puzzle pieces without all the complicated shapes or edges!
#4 - U.S. Map Puzzle
This one is a classic that every American child should know how to solve! Putting together a puzzle of the U.S. map is a great way to introduce geography and spatial reasoning to your kid. Melissa & Doug's USA Map Floor Puzzle is a great way for children to learn about shapes, find their state on the map, and problem-solve when assembling the puzzle. It's important to introduce geography to your child at an early age because it helps them understand the world around them. A great way to incorporate this into playtime is while kids are still learning those topics at school. Map puzzles are also great for developing motor skills as they help children improve their dexterity by holding pieces carefully. Finally, these puzzles promote creativity and critical thinking because you need to figure out how all the pieces fit together when there are no instructions available.
#3 - Rubik's Cube
Invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik, the 3x3 Rubik's Cube is one of the most popular puzzles in history! The objective is to rotate the squares until each side has only one color on it. Learning to solve the Rubik's Cube is a great way to develop logic, spatial awareness, and analytical thinking. It's also a great way to teach kids the importance of patience! Solving this puzzle can take anywhere from minutes to hours or even days for some people. The Rubik's Cube is a great puzzle for anyone that wants to improve their memory, focus, or even reflexes! If you can solve the Rubik's Cube, you have a really good chance of solving most other puzzles that come your way. This is because to complete the Rubik's Cube, you need to know how to break down a problem into different parts. Taking the time to learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube will teach you how to map out the steps in figuring out how to overcome a challenge. Puzzles like the Rubik's Cube can help improve cognitive and problem-solving skills and positively impact a child's progress with STEM subjects in the classroom.
#2 - LEGOs
The LEGO brick is one of the most iconic toys globally, even being named the "Toy of the Century," not once but twice! However, it's not just the fun of building with these colorful blocks that make them special; they also offer a range of benefits for kids. Children who play with Legos are sparking their creativity and imagination while developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. When children put caution aside and build without any instructions, this leads to a more creative play experience, which is a key to building problem-solving skills. It's also a great way to learn the basics of engineering and architecture, which are essential skills for any future engineer! Out of all the puzzles on this list, LEGOs are the best at promoting cooperative play. Building LEGOs together is the perfect opportunity for children to express their imagination and storytelling! Regardless of whether they choose to follow the instructions or build from scratch, children will enjoy making their own masterpieces. Playing with LEGOs individually or in a small group can benefit children in so many incredible ways!
#1 - Woodiy Puzzles
Woodiy puzzles are 3D wooden puzzles that can be assembled by both kids and adults of all ages. They're an excellent way to exercise the brain, improve gross motor skills, develop spatial awareness, and learn basic engineering concepts. Woodiy puzzles also come in a variety of shapes, functions, and levels of difficulty. There is a wooden puzzle for everyone from scale model vehicles to musical Ferris wheels to guns that shoot rubber bands! Each puzzle kit is not only designed to be fun and rewarding to complete, but they're also stimulating and interactive in their own unique way. For example, the Marble Run series is a set of marble rollercoaster models that you can build. These wooden models help teach children about how things work, like springs, gears, or levers. As their minds start developing, new connections form between what they know and what they're constructing. What better way to learn STEM concepts than building something that actually does something? Introducing your child to Woodiy Puzzles will kickstart a lifetime of curiosity and critical thinking.
All in all, puzzles are an excellent way to keep your child’s brain active and engaged. There are many benefits that puzzle-building offers children, including developing self-confidence, perseverance, creativity, logical and critical thinking, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and communication. It also teaches teamwork in problem-solving as well as socialization with others who enjoy the same puzzles they do! If you have any questions about how these types of puzzles can benefit you or your family or want more information on which ones we offer at our store, contact us today.
We hope this has been helpful in your search for STEM toys that will challenge your children. What type of puzzles would you want your kids to try?