With the holidays fast approaching parents will once again be trying to decide what toys will have a lasting educational value for their toddlers and preschoolers. I hope this article will help you decide on at least one toy that should be added to your child's collection.
I have discovered a wonderful new world of exciting toy shopping on the Internet. And one of my favorite stores (besides books) is a toy store selling classic and wooden toys.
Because we are all busy and have only a limited time to shop my suggestion of a toy I believe every toddler should have in his collection is a 3d wooden jigsaw puzzle. Actually he will need a collection whether it is all one theme or a variety.
3d wooden puzzles make a perfect first puzzle for a toddler.
These puzzles have chunky pieces and are easy for a young child to handle. If you have a child with lower muscle strength he/she will also be able to handle the individual pieces.
The average size of many of these puzzles begins at about 4 inches by 4 inches. Some can be as large as 6 x 10 inches. They will have anywhere from three to six pieces. Some of the larger ones may have ten to twelve pieces.
Puzzles are one of the most popular kid’s toys and can be given to children ages 3 and up. It will be fun for you to help your child pick out just the right puzzle that interests him. Make sure that it is not too difficult for his age or he will loose interest in it and set it aside.
Your child may even want to start a collection of one theme. There are many selections available including:
- African animals
- Sea life animals
- Birds and trees
- Domestic animals
I like the fact that because the puzzles are chunky (one inch or a little more), they can stand up by themselves. Instead of “throwing” them in a box your child will be able to keep them on his nightstand, dresser or even a bookcase. The puzzles will stay protected and in plain view.
Because your child will see his toy puzzles everyday he/she will be likely to play with them more often. These puzzles are also good to incorporate into your child’s daily creative playtime when he/she is playing with such other toys as:
- farm or barnyard toy set
- zoo play set
- circus toys
- train sets
QUALITY MADE TOYS
Like me, you will require a safe, quality-made toy. You will want to make sure you select a brand that is manufactured from eco-friendly rubberwood.
Rubberwood are wonderful trees that produce a sap, which is the source of virtually all the world’s rubber. At the end of their rubber-producing life, they are harvested and new trees are planted. But, these majestic trees have one more gift to offer – beautiful hardwood. Rubberwood is a very hard, non-splintering wood, making it an ideal selection in the manufacturing of toys.
Puzzles that I would select are both hand-made and hand-painted. Hand-painted puzzles are carefully painted with child-safe paint. Puzzles with a variety of brightly colored pieces are my favorite. And, like I said, “I love wood toys”.
BENEFITS OF 3D JIGSAW PUZZLES
Now let’s spend a few minutes talking about the many benefits of using puzzles. Besides being a favorite toy with kids you as a parent or teacher are making a wise choice in providing puzzles for your child because they do provide many benefits.
The satisfaction of putting all the puzzle pieces together to form an object is a gratifying feeling for a child. He feels a sense of pride at a job well done. Your child will also reap the benefits of learning:
- eye-hand coordination
- fine motor skills
- attention to detail
- finishing a task
Another way puzzles can be used in early learning development is to purchase alphabet and number puzzles. You will be able to introduce your child to sequential learning. These puzzles have to be completed in order and as they are done so the child will be concentrating on the order of his ABC’s as well as numbers 1-10. For instance, the letter “C” cannot come after the letter “A”. “B” is the only fit.
Finally, pay attention on how you give the puzzle to your child. Anchor a good feeling about the toy by making a game out of it. Discuss the animal/character as you sit down with him. Ask open-ended questions and guide him to new learning adventures. If he has an African elephant for example, you will have wonderful opportunities to introduce your child to another exciting part of the world. Be creative and create memories for both you and your child!
Puzzles are for fun and learning. It is the one learning toy your toddler must have!