Toddlers can be the worst. Sure, they’re cute and cuddly most of the time, roaming around discovering the world now that they can crawl or walk. But, then, there’s the other 75% of the day when those tantrums start flaring, and all you really want to do is hide in a closet until they use up all their energy crying and just collapse into a nap from exhaustion. First-graders aren’t much better. Now, the tantrums have a mouth on them, too. Thankfully, there are plenty of mom-approved floor puzzles to provide the kiddos with hours of entertainment.
Puzzles stop them in their tracks and make them focus on something other than wrecking the house. There’s no on or off button on puzzles. No noisy sounds or music breaks like other toys. Spending time with puzzles can increase your child’s problem-solving skills, cognitive development, and hand-eye coordination. It will also teach them how to be okay with asking for help. Our first-graders are little know-it-alls, so giving them puzzles offers a healthy challenge for them.
From Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles to puzzle games for kids of all ages, listed below are an assortment of fun and educational activities that your kids will enjoy. Don’t forget to charge your phone so you can take a picture of the finished product for your social, #MyKidsSoSmart.
Have an upcoming birthday to celebrate? Or just have kids that worship all things Frozen? This set of three Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles (49-pieces each) featuring Elsa, Anna, Sven, Kristoff, and the always funny Olaf will satisfy any kid aged 5+. Whether they do it solo or with a group, they’ll have the time of their life piecing this bad boy together. Bonus points if you have Frozen playing in the backdrop. Anything that fosters this much creativity and concentration is good in our book. Says this Amazon customer, “I love these puzzles! My granddaughter is 3.5 and can put them together. A great challenge for her mind. The puzzles are all loose pieces in a box. Don’t fret – each puzzle has a different back. We first separated the puzzles and put each puzzle in a ziploc bag. Each puzzle has a separate sheet inside of the box so you have a sheet to work against. The puzzles are well made. I’ll continue to buy Ravensburger Puzzles.”
What better way to spend a rainy day (or any day stuck inside, TBH) than with a super cool jigsaw puzzle? This 60-piece outer space-themed puzzle from Ravensburger is the cat’s meow. Boys and girls will feel incredibly smart and accomplished upon completing it. The pieces in this Ravensburger puzzle are constructed from extra-thick cardboard so you really get what you pay for.
One Amazon customer shares, “I bought this to assemble with my 6-year-old grandson who loves outer space. I assembled it first when he wasn’t here to test it’s difficulty level. Let me tell you, it was tougher than I expected. The pieces are smaller than most child’s puzzles, and the cuts and colors are very similar throughout. Once I had it assembled, I broke it into quarters and put the pieces into 4 separate baggies. When we put it together, he worked on each quarter first, then fit them together. This worked out much better. He was so proud of himself, he called everyone in the household to come over and look at the awesome puzzle he put together. And that’s what it’s all about, right?” Sick of the kids staring at screens all day? Same, mama, SAME. One grandparent on Amazon weighs in, “No electronic devices while socializing, talking and figuring out where each piece goes. Conversation has been great.” We’ll take that as a win!
The Likee pattern block set offers more than the traditional puzzle. Inside the tin container, you’ll find 36 interchangeable puzzle pieces. In addition to those pieces, you’ll find 60 different design cards. Each design can be made using a combination of the puzzle pieces. Show your child a design and watch as they search through the pieces to create a design to match the one shown on the card. This will help your child start to learn how to recognize different shapes and patterns. Once your child has figured out how to make all 60 designs, let them unleash their imagination and creativity by making their own designs. It’s great for toddlers and preschool age children. “I got these for my 4 year old son who seems to be obsessed with patterns and colors,” said Alice Carter. “I gave them to him when he was home sick from daycare one day and they were an instant hit!” Take their fun learning to the next level by using the pattern cards as sight words.
Shuttle up for a puzzle that’ll rock your world. Improve your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination with this 48 piece solar system puzzle. This puzzle is designed for your child to work independently or with others. The precision fit of the pieces help toddlers and older kids blast off to complete this wooden space floor puzzle with ease. The finished project makes for a great visual useful when teaching your little martians about the solar system. If you want, you can prepare a few facts on each planet to launch a little education into your family activity. They’ll be over the moon with fun. “Bought this as a birthday gift for my 3 year old nephew and he loved it! Even his 1 year old sister could “help” because of the size and thickness of the pieces,” said Qino B. “Will definitely recommend to anyone that is looking for kid friendly puzzles.”
Tired of the traditional square puzzle? Try this giant panoramic puzzle from Banana Panda. Great for your littles (2+), this puzzle can help to promote hand-eye coordination and help to improve their manual dexterity, which means that piecing together the puzzle can help your toddler to learn how to manipulate objects with intention and precise movement. The puzzle comes in a keepsake box with a sturdy handle making it easy to transport to and from playdates. Banana Panda is a family operated company that specializes in puzzles, educational toys, and games and won the 2019 Teacher’s Choice award in the preschool category. Give your child a fun activity that can also provide them with a headstart in learning. “I bought this for my three-year-old grandson who really liked this puzzle,” said Felicia Lovett. “It is a very good size and the puzzle pieces are easy for him to handle. He quickly mastered the puzzle and has put it together many, many times.”
Bonus, it gets the wee-ones prepared to participate in family puzzle night for years to come.
Put on your safety gear and head to the site. Your little builders will enjoy piecing together this construction zone filled with hard-working puppies. This puzzle has nice, thick pieces, perfect for little hands. The puzzle pieces are printed with soy-based ink so you don’t have to worry about the children playing with toxic materials. The storage box features a handle making it easy to take with you when you need something to keep your little one occupied while meeting up with the crew. “My son is able to do this puzzle all by himself and he has asked to do the puzzle almost every day since we got it,” said Soccer Mom in her Amazon review. “My son loves that this puzzle has 2 of his favorite things: construction and dogs.” Get ready for your child to build and tear down this puzzle over and over. Besides, what do construction workers do? They build!
Children love animals. Have you ever taken your child to the zoo or a wildlife preserve? Sure, the lions and bears can be a bit scary, but even when frightened, the children seem to have a curiosity about the animals. They wonder what they eat, where they sleep and of course, how far into the forest they live to make sure they won’t run into them any time soon. Your wild ones will love this rainforest themed puzzle that features some of their favorite animals. Not just animals, this puzzle also features creepy crawlers such as spiders, and reptiles such as snakes. The fun doesn’t stop there. After they’ve finished their masterpiece, they can search and find many more animals, insects, and plants that are all native to the rainforest. Those 40 objects are spread across the border of the puzzle so it’s like puzzle and hide and seek in one.
Your children have something in common with this next puzzle character. They’re hungry! This hungry caterpillar is ready to go wherever you are. It comes in this nifty travel-friendly drawstring bag that your little one can wear on their back like a backpack. Only 36 pieces, the puzzle can provide a quick break from the iPad and their YouTube videos. Whether you’re going to grandma’s house or just going from one room to the next, this to-go puzzle can make the trip. The colors are vibrant and feature the artwork of American designer, illustrator and children’s book author, Eric Carle. He’s known for his very popular book; you’ve guessed it, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Julie C said, “My 2 yo is OBSESSED with the book. We own THREE copies. We now read the book while doing the puzzle and it’s his favorite “game” to play.” Mom approved, this puzzle is a hit.
As a parent, I’m sure you’ve looked down at your little one and wondered what will become of them as they get older. What career will they choose? What will spark their interests? Get your child excited about who they’ll be when they grow up with the “Who Am I?” puzzle set. This is a self-correcting puzzle meaning that only the matching pieces will fit together. There’s no way they can get this wrong which will help decrease some of the frustration they may feel when working with traditional puzzles. This is a great puzzle to help build your child’s confidence, especially if they’re having trouble in other academic areas. “Both girls love to put together these puzzle pieces. It teaches different occupations along with some children favorites such as a clown, a ballerina, a witch, a fairy, super hero just to name a few,” said Jackie O. Although it doesn’t cover all possible career options, it can get a dialogue going about the different professions that are out there.
Are you afraid of the dark? Well, your kids might be but they’ll still enjoy this puzzle. Hit the lights for a little glow-in-the-dark activity your superheroes will enjoy. Piecing together this crime-fighting mouse will be no easy task, but your little one has the power to do so. The family who protects the world together, stays together. The Incredibles will have nothing on your and your little ones. Work together to take down this crafty puzzle. Part one, build the puzzle. Part two, flick the lights to see the image glow. You may find a few surprises in the revealed glowing image, too. You can also use the finished product as a nightlight. It might even help your child who is a little afraid of the dark. They might even ask to go to sleep just to watch it glow, but don’t hold your breath on that happening. #WishfulThinking
This roaring puzzle is a great option for your terrific two-year-olds. Kids can keep their pride of neon lions tucked away in this pouch. It may not take long to piece together for the older kids, but they’re sure to enjoy it, too. “We currently own three of these puzzles in different themes and they are my son’s favorite. I can really tell the designer for these puzzles put a lot of thought into the small child that would be assembling them,” said Christyna Orr. She continues to say that the 12 pieces are large which work great for tiny toddler hands. The puzzle comes packed inside of a secure, reusable pouch which makes transporting simple and easy. “The bag that it comes in is a lifesaver too. It has a sturdy zipper and colored trim that identifies which puzzle goes in which bag,” said Orr. Packing it up after each build will help your puzzle stay vibrant and fresh.
Don’t stop here. Take a peek at these other cool toys.