Are you a parent stuck at home with your child and in dire need for some quiet time? Well, parents and soon-to-be parents, puzzles are your answer. Puzzles are great for all ages, and they help kids develop different skills like concentration, problem-solving, and even fine motor skills. They will keep your kids busy for hours giving you a much-deserved R&R.
Finding the right one for your child to play with depends on their age bracket and puzzle experience. Thankfully, we have explored the child-friendly puzzles available online, mainly on Amazon, and come up with this top 10 list. Coming in first place is an educational dinosaur wooden jigsaw puzzle by Melissa & Doug that garnered over 6,000+ reviews on Amazon! Read on to see the rest of our top picks as well as a buying guide to help you find the best puzzle for your child.
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Table of Contents
Getting a new puzzle for your child can be a bit of a risk because you don't want it to end up lying around the room as soon as they get bored. Finding a fun yet educational puzzle is not that hard as long as you keep in mind a couple of factors, like the child's age, the type of puzzle, and even the puzzle material.
Not all kids will find any type of puzzle enjoyable. When picking out a puzzle for a child, pick an age-appropriate one that will keep them on their toes.
When a baby passes the 6-month mark and can sit up on their own, they can start playing with puzzles. At this young age, inset style puzzles are the best kind to introduce to your child.
These puzzles come in very few pieces and are large and chunky - making it easy for your baby to hold. At 10-12 months old, your baby starts to develop problem-solving and motor skills, and playing with puzzles will help enhance these skill sets. Be careful when picking out puzzles for your babies, however: some products could be a choking hazard.
From 1- 3 years of age, toddlers undergo a crucial period of significant cognitive, emotional, and social development. They can now graduate from playing with inset puzzles and move on to jigsaw puzzles of around ten pieces or more.
We recommend beginning with jigsaw puzzles that can be easily grabbed and rotated. Knob or peg puzzles are what you should consider purchasing. At this age, you can introduce shapes, colors, the alphabet, or numbers. It's also important to consider your toddler's interest when picking out a puzzle.
Kids at this age like to put anything they see in their mouths, so it is advised to use wooden puzzles that are large and not a choking hazard.
With prior experience, your kids can now move on to larger puzzles and more complex illustrations. During this time, your child is like a sponge and absorbs information at a rapid pace. Try introducing puzzles that are educational and enjoyable at the same time.
With the help of a floor puzzle, you can brush up on your child's alphabet knowledge while introducing three to four-letter words simultaneously. There are floor puzzles fit for precisely that. Floor puzzles are great for this age since kids 3-5 enjoy playing on the floor.
The majority of floor puzzles take up quite a lot of space when completed, so it's good to check beforehand if you have space.
At this stage, children can differentiate the puzzle pieces according to their location in the puzzle. Elementary-aged kids can even develop strategies and methods - color or shape sorting- to complete the jigsaw puzzles.
Unlike toddlers and babies that are satisfied with playing with the same toys over and over again, elementary kids are prone to boredom. That's why it's best to give them challenging puzzles of more than 100 pieces to keep them interested over time. It also helps to let them decide what kind of puzzle they want!
The older kids get, the harder it will be to get them to play with puzzles, so it is vital to introduce a variety of puzzles. If they're bored with cardboard 2D puzzles, try 3D puzzles for a change. Being able to see a three-dimensional output of their hard work will be satisfying for any child.
After taking into account what puzzle would best cater to your child’s age and interests, the next thing to consider is the different types of puzzles you can choose from.
The most common and widely produced type of puzzle is the jigsaw or 2D puzzles. Modern jigsaw puzzles are made out of paperboard, but these can also be made from wood, plastic, or even foam.
This type of puzzle is popular with children and adults because of the endless variety of themes you can choose from. The variations in the number of puzzle pieces also change the skill bracket significantly.
As long as it's not a choking hazard, jigsaw puzzles are great for kids above three years old. With proper supervision, even a two-year-old can already work on a chunky jigsaw puzzle. If you're at a loss on what type of puzzle to get, your safe bet is a jigsaw puzzle.
Next, we have three dimensional or 3D puzzles, usually made of cardboard, wood, or plastic. Three-dimensional puzzles do not lay flat on the floor but will stand upright on their own. Many 3D puzzles come with stands for placing the finished product.
With this kind of puzzle, kids can bring to “life” their favorite monument, tourist attraction, animal, vehicle, etc. Young and old kids alike enjoy 3D puzzles for its challenge and beautiful output. Even a lot of adults enjoy working on 3D puzzles.
Last on our list is the floor puzzles, which tend to be educational puzzles. This type of puzzle is your regular jigsaw puzzle turned big. The average size of one floor puzzle piece is about the size of multiple regular jigsaw puzzles stuck together.
If you’re looking for a jigsaw puzzle for your baby or toddlers, floor puzzles are what you should buy. Because of its size, floor puzzles are usually done on the floor. Hence, its name.
Topics can be about animals, the alphabet, colors, and the list goes on. Many preschools have a floor puzzle or two in their play area. This is a must-have because floor puzzles turn learning into playtime!
When it comes to puzzle sizes, generally, the larger the puzzle piece, the better suited it is for a younger audience. What will a baby or toddler do with a 100- piece regular-sized jigsaw puzzle? Probably chew the pieces, that's what.
Large, chunky pieces that they can easily grab and turn is your goal. After that, they can move on to floor jigsaw puzzle pieces that are still large but more complex.
A regular-sized jigsaw puzzle, the ones we see the most, is great for older children and adults. This type comes in 100 to 400-plus pieces, so it will keep anyone busy. To be safe, always read the safety tags of your puzzle. Watch out for any choking hazards and pay heed to the recommended age mentioned before purchasing.
Puzzles usually come in either wood, cardboard, plastic, or foam. Picking a material that works for your child is essential because no one wants a half-eaten, soggy puzzle piece.
A general rule of thumb is that wood puzzles, usually inset with a peg or knob style, are best for babies and toddlers. Cardboard tears easily and is not suited for toddlers who bite and chew anything they get their hands on.
Wood is durable and will not soak up your child's dribble. However, wood products are prone to splinters if not properly sanded. Better inspect your wooden puzzles before letting your child play with them.
A foam puzzle is easy to put together and doesn't come apart as fast as cardboard does. Large foam puzzles can also be playmats and replacements to a small rug or carpet. On the other hand, plastic puzzle pieces are very durable and can last a long time. Three-dimensional plastic puzzles are great decor to have around the house.
Be sure to choose safe and non-toxic puzzles for your kid. The three things you want to be aware of it lead paint, fire retardants (PBDE), and Bisphenol A (BPA).
Lead in paint is typically banned in the US, but a loophole allows lead-painted toys from China to be imported and sold here, so you might want to double-check the origin of the puzzle, especially if it's made of wood, before you commit to buy.
PBDEs are used to slow the rate of which a fire grows but has raised concerns over its affect on overall human health as well as on the environment. Lastly, BPA is found in plastic and can pose a risk to your baby's health. That's why many manufacturers now make BPA-free products.
If none of the puzzles caught your attention, letting your child make their own puzzle is always an option. Websites like Amazon sells blank jigsaw puzzle templates that you can turn into a masterpiece with crayons, markers, and paint! Let your child's imagination run wild as they explore the world of arts and crafts.
Once completed, you can even frame the puzzle and hang it up as a decoration. It will surely age as a fond memory.
Click to purchase
Melissa & Doug
Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles｜4 pack
4-in-1 Durable Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Great for Trips
Wooden Preschool Colorful Shape Puzzles
The Inset Puzzle Every Little One Should Have
Fat Brain Toys
Wooden Personalized Name Puzzle
Teach Kids to Spell Their Name With This Puzzle
Melissa & Doug
ABC Learn the Alphabet Floor Puzzle
An Alphabet Floor Puzzle Perfect for Preschoolers
The Learning Journey Store
Match it! Spelling
A Self-Correcting Spelling Jigsaw Puzzle
Multi Pack Jigsaw Puzzle, Farm & Country｜4 pack
A Glow-in-the-Dark Animal Jigsaw Puzzle
The Learning Journey Store
Lift & Learn Puzzle - USA Map
An Interactive USA Map Puzzle Great for Many Ages
Asher and Olivia
Wooden Toddler Puzzles and Rack Set｜6 pack
A Peg Puzzle Bundle That Comes With a Storage Rack
Children's World Globe
A 3D World Globe Puzzle That Spins
Blank Jigsaw Puzzle
When in Doubt, Create Your Own Puzzle
High-quality and made entirely out of wood, this 4-in-1 jigsaw puzzle is the perfect toy to keep your child busy and happy during long trips. The storage box is divided into four compartments to segregate each dinosaur puzzle neatly. Another great feature of this puzzle is its slide-on lid that also acts as the puzzle board.
It is worth mentioning that this jigsaw puzzle is quite small in size, surprising some reviewers on Amazon. Better skip this puzzle if you're looking for larger puzzle pieces.
Other than that, buyers loved the quality and compactness of this puzzle. A feature that reviewers also really found helpful was the coded shapes on the back of each puzzle piece for easy sorting. Kids and parents were happy with their purchase!
Exercise your baby or toddler's motor and visual-spatial skills with this wooden inset style jigsaw puzzle. No need to worry if this puzzle is safe for your young one as it undergoes strict safety measures before release. Blocks are large enough to not be a choking hazard; however, best to still watch over your baby during playtime.
A couple of buyers noted that the paint of the shapes would chip off after being bitten by their children. Though the paint is non-toxic, better be careful if your kid is in their biting phase.
This inset puzzle is great to have at home or in preschools as reviewed by multiple buyers. Buyers were thrilled to see their kids pick up on shapes and colors after using this puzzle!
Why not teach your child to spell their name the fun way? With this made-to-order wooden name puzzle, kids will learn letter recognition and name spelling. This product is gender-neutral and suits all ages! It can even be used as a decoration in your child's room.
A downside of this puzzle that reviewers were not that thrilled with was the inability to pick the colors for each letter. Despite that, buyers were more than content with the durability and bright colors of the letters!
Happy customers called this puzzle the perfect gift. The majority praised the fast shipment of the puzzle while still arriving in top-notch quality.
Introduce the alphabet and enhance your child's hand-eye coordination and letter recognition with this easy-to-clean floor puzzle! This puzzle is easy to assemble and kids will find satisfaction putting all 24 pieces together.
Some reviewers commented that once connected, some puzzle pieces would pop out. Apart from that, buyers loved the size of the product and many found it perfect for their toddlers and preschoolers' tiny hands.
Though made from cardboard and not wood, reviewers were quite happy with the durability of this floor puzzle!
Kick-start your child's reading and spelling skills with this self-correcting jigsaw puzzle! With the help of the colorful images, your child will learn how to spell three and four-letter words by associating the object to the word. The jigsaw puzzle comes with ten three-letter words and another ten four-letter words.
Because the puzzles are made of cardboard, it is advisable not to let children below two years of age come near it. If not handled correctly or if bitten, the puzzles will break. A couple of reviewers learned this the hard way and had their product destroyed by their babies.
Other than that, the majority of commenters found this product an excellent learning tool that came with great visuals. Many were thrilled to see their kids learn how to read and spell with this puzzle!
Have your kids try their hands on this animal-themed jigsaw puzzle! Not only will your kid have some fun completing this puzzle, but you also get to support wildlife charities after every purchase. Each set comes with 100 unique glow-in-the-dark pieces that will keep your child entertained for hours.
A couple of reviewers encountered some trouble with storing the puzzle pieces. There are no compartments inside the box, and the bags the puzzles come in were not resealable. However, you can transfer the pieces into ziplock bags to avoid mixing up the pieces for each set.
Apart from that, the majority of buyers loved this puzzle for its sturdy pieces and secure fit! Many loved the cute illustrations on the puzzles as well. The glow-in-the-dark feature was a little treat many buyers enjoyed after completing their puzzle.
This puzzle teaches kids the states and capitals of America through a "lift and learn" concept. Lift a state and learn its capital. The puzzle pieces are designed for easy grabbing, so young children will have no trouble enjoying this puzzle!
To the dismay of some reviewers, this puzzle is not water-resistant. This drawback did not hinder the rest of the reviewers from commenting on this excellent learning tool, as many referred to it by. The majority loved the quality and design of the puzzle, and their children couldn't get enough of it!
If you're looking to get back your money's worth, this 6-pack peg wooden puzzle bundle is the one for you. Not only does this product come with a storage rack, but also a learning clock that introduces the concept of time to your kids!
Each peg puzzle is unique with themes such as transportation, the alphabet, fruits, and animals. The peg puzzle pieces are the right size to avoid choking for babies and toddlers.
A downside of this bundle, as noted by some buyers, is that the puzzle pieces don't have matching pictures on the board. It might be difficult for some kids to find the right slot for a peg with the lack of visual aids.
Overall, the majority of reviewers were quite pleased with their purchase. Many loved the storage rack the puzzle came with while others commented on the durable quality of the puzzle pieces that fit perfectly on the board.
Ravensburger is known for its high-quality and durable 3D puzzles, and this puzzle fits just that. The Children's World Globe puzzle, made of plastic, is an excellent activity for your child to work on alone or with a parent. No glue is required to assemble it, and each puzzle piece is numbered on the back for easy assembly.
Because this 3D puzzle is quite small, some buyers found it difficult to read the descriptions and writings on the map after completing it. It's also unclear what year this puzzle was made, so it might not be 100% up to date.
Apart from that, this product was a huge hit for a lot of reviewers. A handful of them commented on the excellent quality of the plastic puzzle pieces. Durable and sturdy - as many of them said. If you're looking for a present for your niece or nephew, this is the perfect gift!
If you're still at a loss on what puzzle to get your child, why not let them make one? With this blank jigsaw puzzle, your child's imagination will be tested. The product comes with 28 puzzle pieces that are made of cardboard with a glossy white finish. You can decorate with markers, crayons, paint, stamps, and pencils!
Be careful when taking the puzzle pieces apart as there are possibilities of the cardboard tearing. Some buyers, who were not aware of this were disappointed with their torn puzzle.
In spite of that, the majority of reviewers enjoyed seeing their kids create their own puzzles! Reviewers were also happy with the quality of their puzzle, and many loved how easy it was to decorate it.
Check out these other activities - educational and fun - that your kids might be interested in!
No. 1: Melissa & Doug ｜Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles｜4 pack
No. 2: GYBBER&MUMU｜Wooden Preschool Colorful Shape Puzzles
No. 3: Fat Brain Toys｜Wooden Personalized Name Puzzle
No. 4: Melissa & Doug｜ABC Learn the Alphabet Floor Puzzle
No. 5: The Learning Journey Store｜Match it! Spelling
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