As teachers, we now understand that a child’s brain development is influenced significantly when he or she manipulates the world around them. Puzzles are a perfect tool to provide this vital opportunity. In Puzzle Club, children learn to change the shape and appearance of their environment when they work with puzzles. Puzzles also provide the opportunity for children to develop their fine motor skills and eye to hand coordination. Fine motor skills are a necessary component for handwriting and other skills that require strong pincer grasps.
Puzzles also enable children to use logic when problem solving. The piece of the puzzle either fits or it doesn’t. As children put the pieces of a puzzle together, they develop strategies that enable them to become faster and more efficient as they move on to more complicated puzzles. This allows children to work towards smaller goals that ultimately empower them to succeed with larger goals. Many modern games and toys provide instant gratification which robs children of the ability to tolerate patience and benefit from delayed gratification.
When a struggling student successfully completes a puzzle independently, what a rewarding sense of accomplishment he or she experiences! Seeing that triumphing smile and hearing that victory shout, “Look, I did it!” is one of the many gifts I receive as a teacher!