We loooooove puzzles at our house, but how do you know when baby is ready for puzzles and where do you start?

First of all, puzzles require fine motor control.  If your baby can put together MegaBlocks or something similar, he or she is probably ready for simple puzzles.  For our boys, this has been around fifteen months.

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Start with puzzles that have large, thick pieces so baby can easily manipulate them.  We have a couple that have worked especially well for us.  This foam puzzle mat is great because the pieces are soft and our toddler can kind of smush them to get them together, and of course, they can go together in any configuration, so he gets to practice the physical skill of assembling them without also having to make decisions about which piece goes where.  We also love this chunky Melissa & Doug puzzle their auntie picked out.  The pieces are about a half inch thick, so they are very easy for little hands to grab, and the image shown on the background matches the piece.  The sun has been the first piece both our boys have mastered since it does not have to be lined up very precisely.  Once they’ve had some success with that, it encourages them to be persistent with the other, more difficult pieces.

 

The Melissa & Doug puzzle is just $10 on Amazon.  Click image for link.

What have been your baby’s favorite early puzzles?

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