Updated on May 4, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
The toddler stage is the best time to start introducing puzzles to your little one. We introduced puzzles to our daughter around the time she was 18 months. It’s a great activity for your little one to learn how to work independently. Puzzles will give your toddler the chance to build their fine motor skills, which require small movements that are provided by completing puzzles.Please note: due to unusually high demand, a lot of these products are selling out fast! 🙁
The Best Toddler Puzzles For All Ages
(Best Value – $$)
Why it’s great: These wooden jigsaw puzzles are high quality. They are great for tiny hands to easily grip, and have smooth, safe edges. They have vibrant colors and cute animal shapes that encourage hand-eye coordination and imaginative play. The wooden puzzle itself is a small size, also making it ideal for tiny hands. The greatest part about this bundle set is that it comes with its own bundle box for storage.
Keep in mind: This bundle set comes with 6 puzzles. My recommendation would be to only take one puzzle out at a time, so there is less of a mess and your child can focus their attention.
Good for: Toddlers who love animals and for tiny hands
(Most Appealing – $)
Why it’s great: This set is one of our absolute favorites! It was the first set we actually started our daughter off with. This puzzle set comes in a 3-puzzle bundle pack. It has appealing features and is very engaging with its wooden pegs for easy gripping. These puzzles promote hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem solving. It is also made from high quality, sanded wood.
Keep in mind: The only negative thing I have to say about these puzzles is that the pictures can tear off if repeatedly tested, but then again my toddler has a habit of always putting things in her mouth too. I would recommend buying a separate storage bin for this puzzle.
Good for: Toddlers ages 3-5 years old.
(Best Animal Theme – $)
Why it’s great: This 6 piece puzzle set is the best animal themed learning activity. It comes with an elephant, panda, giraffe, squirrel, tiger, and zebra. This puzzle set is perfect because it helps toddlers practice their problem-solving ability and reasoning. It’s the perfect educational activity for a rainy day and is screen free.
Keep in mind: A few parents have complained of pieces cracking. If your child likes to bend things, a thicker wooden set would likely be a better choice.
Good for: Toddler boys and girls, ages 2-4 years old.
(Best Alphabet and Numbers – $$)
Why it’s great: This bundle set comes with 4 different puzzles. These puzzles are great for toddlers because they include a variety of learning and have pegs on each piece for easy gripping. This set is made of 100% natural wood and non-toxic water-based paint.
Keep in mind: This 4 puzzle bundle set does not come with storage, so again I recommend purchasing a separate storage bin so you don’t have puzzle pieces all over the place. That seems to be the only downside to this set.
Good for: Learning numbers and the alphabet.
(Best Princess Puzzle – $$)
Why it’s great: This set includes 4 puzzles that make up the perfect toddler princess set. It includes a colored princess, unicorn, rainbow and a castle along with an actual wooden magic wand. These chunky pieces make it easier for toddlers to grip and are great for educational and skill building time. They will improve their concentration, recognition skills, and improve their ability to learn about shapes and colors.
Keep in mind: This puzzle set has a 5-star rating, so it should be a safe bet if your child would enjoy the princess theme.
Good for: Toddler girls
(Best Montessori Toy – $$)
Why it’s great: This 6-pack puzzle set is made of high-quality, durable, environmentally-friendly wood. They are lead-free, BPA-free, and made of non-toxic water-based paint. They have smooth edges so your toddler will not be harmed or scratched. Your toddler will have the selection of a bear, butterfly, ladybug, owl, snail, and bee.
Keep in mind: This puzzle set has perfect reviews but does not come with a storage case, so we recommend looking up storage to help hold your puzzle pieces.
Good for: Montessori learning activity.
(Most Advanced – $)
Why it’s great: This puzzle set comes with 30 puzzle pairs. It’s perfect for a toddler that is a little more advanced for their age. My daughter is 21 months and we actually just ordered these for her and we’re waiting for them to be delivered! This is the perfect puzzle pairing set to prepare your toddler for school. They make it easier to become familiar with words and introduce early reading ability. They are thick, durable, and are easy to grip and use. Your toddler will improve their understanding and knowledge of animals with this puzzle set.
Keep in mind: Some parents have complained that this learning concept does not make sense on puzzle pieces. However, overall, this set has great reviews.
Good for: Boosting confidence and self-esteem.
FAQ’s about Toddler Puzzles
1. Are puzzles good for toddlers?
Puzzles are a great way to pass the time and to promote independent learning. It is a healthy way to entertain your children and helps develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and shape recognition.
2. What kind of puzzle is right for my toddler?
The puzzles for your toddler should be easy to grip. Most puzzles have pegs that make each piece easy to pick up. Big pieces are also ideal for imaginative play. If your toddler is advanced you can always move them up a step.
3. What are the benefits of puzzles?
Toddlers receive many great benefits by completing puzzles. Children will usually start out with something simple that has knobs on it. The outlines will be simple and shaped to fit into the corresponding cutout. When your toddler is completing a puzzle on his/her own they are developing:
Physical skills – this is done by holding puzzle pieces and turning them into the slot until they fit.
Cognitive Skills – this skill is developed as they solve the puzzle.
Emotional Skills – as your toddler learns to complete a puzzle on their own, they learn patience and are rewarded when they complete it.
4. What material should the puzzle be made out of?
My advice would be to make sure that your puzzle is made out of non-toxic materials. Toddlers love to put pieces into their mouths. My daughter especially is one who sticks everything in her mouth and bites down on it. Still today, we have problems with toys being made with lead-based paint, which is of course very dangerous for children.
Organic wooden puzzles offer many environmentally-friendly benefits. Organically made toys are harvested by hand and then washed in hot water and a gentle soap so there are no residues that are acidic.
In conclusion, puzzles are so important in your toddler’s early learning stage. They help our kids with their cognitive skills, problem-solving, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, and social skills. The accomplishment of your little one completing their first puzzle is an amazing feeling to them. I remember when my daughter first completed hers. She didn’t stop until she finished it. Once she completed it, she looked over at me and started clapping with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.
Learning to overcome the challenges that puzzles bring is such an important accomplishment in a toddler’s life. It gives them a sense of achievement and builds a sense of pride within them. It adds a huge boost to their self-confidence and to their self-esteem, which will prepare them for other challenges they will face in life.
Puzzles will always be a fun, educational toy that will challenge the young minds of our kids while teaching them and preparing them for important life skills they can apply when they reach school age. My advice when purchasing puzzles is that you can never have too many! In a world taken over by screens, puzzles will always be the go-to in our home.