Games and Puzzles Week is celebrated at the end of every November. With the upcoming holidays, colder weather, and lots of family time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to dive into some fun games and puzzles! Kids develop at different rates, so it can be tough to find a board game or puzzle that is challenging enough… without being frustrating.
Here are some ideas on games and puzzles that your children will love!
🧠 What Skills Do Games and Puzzles Develop?
There are many benefits to doing puzzles and games with children. These types of activities encourage problem-solving, strengthen concentration, and boost kids’ confidence. Here are some of the more technical benefits that kids can get from playing:
- Fine motor skills: Puzzles help children train the smaller muscles in their fingers. This helps kids eventually hold a pencil or tie their shoes!
- Gross motor skills: “Gross” as in the larger muscles in the body–not as in “eww”! When children (especially toddlers) do puzzles, they are training their muscles to do things like grasp large objects or hold their heads up.
- Hand-Eye Coordination: Games help children make connections between what they see and what they do with their hands—aka, performing tasks. Hand-eye coordination helps kids do everyday things such as sports, reading, and writing.
- Language Development: Games and puzzles are great ways to facilitate language with new vocabulary words about shapes, colors, animals, etc.
🧩 Games and Puzzles for Different Ages
3 and under
Can toddlers even do puzzles? The answer is yes of course! Depending on the child, some 3-year-olds may even be able to handle puzzles with 9 – 12 pieces. Toddlers will generally figure out how to do these puzzles themselves, but parents and guardians can help by modeling and allowing kids to copy them.
The best puzzles for children in this age group are:
- Peg puzzles
- Shape sorters
- Color-matching games
- Basic puzzles with 2 – 5 pieces
This is an example of a peg puzzle containing shapes and colors
Kids ages 4-6
During this age range, children can usually handle games with a bit more complexity. Board games that include dice are a great way to help children learn to count, subtract, or add.
Plus, kids can begin to learn important life skills like sportsmanship. We all know it can be challenging for kids to deal with losing a game, but it’s good practice!
Top activities for children in this age group are:
- Puzzles with 24 pieces
- Simple board games like “Snakes and Ladders” or “Candyland”
- Maze games
Children playing the “Snakes and Ladders” board game
Kids ages 7+
At 7-years-old, kids can enjoy more challenging games and puzzles! The best types of games encourage kids to use critical thinking, problem solving, and logic.
Top games for children in this age group are:
- Puzzles with up to 120 pieces
- Card games like “Uno,” “Go Fish,” and “Spoons”
- Classic board games like Chess or Checkers
- 3D puzzles or models
Child putting together a 3D puzzle model
🎲 Games and Puzzles to Learn English
Learning a second language should be fun! In fact, when learning is fun, kids learn faster. Playing games and doing puzzles together as a family is a great way to help support your child’s language acquisition. The best types of games to help kids learn English have clear words and images to teach vocabulary.
- Vocabulary/Word building games: Bananagrams, Scrabble, Word searches, Crossword Puzzles
- Speaking & Listening Games: Pictionary, Charades, Skattergories, Taboo
- Lingokids memory® game: The goal is to use retention skills to match each of the 32 pairs. The game’s captivating and amusing images will inspire fun for the whole family, no matter the age! “Lingokids memory®” supports the growth of memory development, English vocabulary, and pronunciation. The game is available on Amazon in Germany, Italy, and France. Be on the lookout because it’s coming to the USA and more countries very soon!
Games, Puzzles, and Lingokids 💙
Looking for an offscreen puzzle activity to do with kids? Check out these printable puzzles for kids of different ages!
2. Print the puzzle handout
3. Let your child color in the image
4. Cut out the puzzles along the dotted lines
5. Have your child put the pieces together to reveal their picture
Check out our top puzzle games for kids in the Lingokids app!
Let us know your child’s favorite games and puzzles by tagging us on social media!