Picture Puzzles and its 5 Benefits
Sometimes, the best learning games happen to be the most simple ones. At times, this can be hard to believe. But it’s true. As the years go by, toys become more detailed. Flashy and fancy. They look cool. Not to mention, fun to play with. However, they are not as challenging and fulfilling as they should be. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where picture puzzles come into play.
Looking for a way to challenge your students through play? How about a way to entertain them with hands-on learning activities? If so, then puzzles are your best bet my friend. Physically. Mentally. And even emotionally. Puzzles are great learning resources to have in your Pre-K and preschool classroom.
That’s why Pre-k Let’s Play has created picture puzzles. For your students’ enjoyment and entertainment. They are fun to play with. So easy to use. And they need very little prep work. Each puzzle is an image outlined in puzzle form. Cut the image outlines into pieces. Then watch your students assemble them back together. Print, cut, and play. It’s that simple.
In this blog post, I will go over 5 benefits of having your students play with these puzzles in your classroom. Before reading these benefits, please check out these themed puzzle printables. You can get these puzzles at my teachers pay teachers store. Click on any of these covers below and get access to your copy of these picture puzzles today!
1) Playing with These Picture Puzzles Help Strengthen Fine Motor Skills
Playing with puzzles may not feel like a physical exercise. But guess what? It definitely is for your young learners. Consider this as an exercise for their hands. Also known as fine motor skills. Fine motor skills is the ability to make movements using the small muscles in your hands and wrists.
Puzzle play is a great way to practice fine motor skills. Playing with these puzzles strengthens the muscles in their fingers, hands, and wrists. Thus, improving your students’ fine motor skills. This includes your students picking up puzzle pieces with their fingers. Physically rotating those pieces with their wrists. Using the right amount of pressure with their fingers to fit the puzzle pieces. Overall, this is a great way for them to practice controlled use of hands. This also leads to stronger hand eye coordination. Which is also important to learn. For sure.
As a matter of fact, strengthening fine motor skills also shows up in other areas of their everyday lives. Such as picking up a pencil with their fingers. Opening a water bottle by rotating the cap with their wrists. Even snapping the buttons on their coats before going outside. Now your students can do these daily life routines with more ease. And less help. All because they have stronger motor skills. All from playing with these printable picture puzzles. Of course.
2) Picture Puzzles Are Great Mental Exercises for your Students
Playing with puzzles is like going through a full workout. But instead of your whole body being exercised, it’s actually your whole brain. I like to call it a full mental workout. That’s what playing with these picture puzzles provide to students. A challenging mental exercise for them.
The mind is a very fascinating part of your body. It makes up 2 sides. The left side and the right side. The left side of the brain handles logic and reasoning. Meanwhile, the right side of the brain handles emotions, intuition, and creativity. Therefore, playing with puzzles makes both sides of your brain work together. As a result, this is how their cognitive functioning increases. Because both sides are engaged.
The left side can make connections between color, shapes, and images. While the right side takes that information. Uses it. Then comes up with creative ways to form the puzzle. This is necessary to complete these picture puzzles. This form of mental exercise helps your students sharpen their cognitive skills. Keeps their minds active. As well as improving their memory. Making them even more super smart!
3) Puzzle Printables Helps Improves their Concentration
At times, playing with puzzles can be a bit challenging. It’s true. At first, you may see children get frustrated. Impatient. Even distracted. However, with the right amount of practice, they will get better. This is because it takes a certain level of concentration to solve these puzzles. In order to get to that level, your mind has to work. These puzzles put your students through a mental exercise. Their minds have to think and pay close attention to detail. More than they usually do. The more pieces to solve, the more work, focus, and attention to detail their brains must use.
This is because puzzle printables give students the chance to train their eyes and minds. It helps them notice the small differences in colors, images, and objects. Which will help them complete the puzzle. Definitely. This ability of detail awareness leads to stronger levels of focus. Which also leads to gaining more discipline. And more patience too. As a result, this mental exercise helps increase their attention span. It’s no wonder why playing with puzzles is such a great practice for improving concentration.
4) Puzzles Help Sharpen Problem Solving Skills
Learning how to problem solve is a very important skill to have. That’s why it’s best to learn at an early age. To become a great problem solver, you must face problems constantly. And solve them. You also must feel comfortable with solving these problems. That’s because problems happen in our lives everyday. Some are big. Life changing. Even threatening. While some are small. Not important. All in all, we know that they are all around us.
And that’s why puzzles are unique. Unsolved puzzles represent problems for students to solve. Putting all the pieces back together is the goal. That’s it. So playing with these picture puzzles gives students the chance to come up with plans to solve the problem. Solutions.
Once they create these strategies, they then can use trial and error to see which strategy works. See which strategy is best. They can notice which strategy was most effective and efficient. Not to mention, these puzzles can also help them see which strategies didn’t work and why. Overall, puzzles help train students on how to plan and solve problems. They are learning and teaching themselves these strategies and skills through play. This prepares them for the real world. And the amazing part of this is that they don’t realize this.
5) Picture Puzzles Help Develop Spatial Awareness
Playing with puzzles helps students understand the concept of parts to whole. These picture puzzles are cut into many pieces. Each puzzle set has a certain amount of pieces based on the students’ level of skill. The goal is to take the pieces (parts) and figure out how to assemble them together to complete the picture (whole).
This style of play helps kids develop the skill of visualizing parts to a whole. This visualization happens way before completing the puzzle. This is known as spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is the ability to know where an object (or your body) is in space in relation to other objects. So during puzzle play, children are learning how to decide which puzzle piece goes where. They are then moving, rotating, positioning, and connecting these pieces onto other pieces. To create a big picture. This skill is important to develop. It helps kids understand the value of space, distance, shape, direction, and position.
It also widens and supports a different way of thinking. A more abstract way of thinking. As a result, this skill shows up in other areas of their life. Present, and future. Examples include, reading a map. Driving a car. Drawing. Learning dance moves. And many more. Who would’ve thought kids can learn all these skills? All from playing with these picture puzzles.
Puzzles come in a wide variety of themes and topics. Examples include alphabet, shapes, transportation, animals, colors, and so much more. As proof of this, Pre-K Let’s Play has a variety of topics and themes to choose from. This helps students develop a deeper understanding. As well as a visual representation of these concepts, topics and themes.
In addition, puzzle play has many benefits as you can see. It’s safe to agree that puzzles are so fun. Yet, super educational too. These 5 listed here are just some of the many benefits that playing with puzzles has to offer. Just to name a few.
Pre-K Let’s Play offers a variety of different types of puzzles to choose from too. Different styles. Different uses. Same fun learning experience. Check out these other blog posts that detail many other puzzle benefits. For instance, the top 5 benefits of playing with pattern block printables. And don’t forget to take a look at the top 5 benefits of playing with number strip puzzles.
So give your students a fun learning experience. Download a puzzle today. Check out the puzzle themed image links below and get your copy now.