Puzzles are one of those toys that have captivated children’s attention for generations. Kids simply love playing puzzle games as they use bright colours and reward them with an interesting story once they manage to complete the image. And besides being incredibly fun to sort, puzzles are also beneficial for developing hand-eye coordination, memory, fine motor skills and problem-solving skills.
Considering all of this, puzzles can be some of the best toys for a toddler. When considering to get some colourful puzzles for your toddler, you might be worried whether they are actually suitable for such a young age. However, there are many puzzle games which are specifically designed for toddlers’ cognitive abilities. The thing you should be worried about more is which puzzle toys are safer, and overall, better for a young child to play with – wooden or cardboard?
Currently, wooden toys are having a major comeback as more and more parents realize that they are some of the safest, healthiest and most durable toys for children to play with. And the same can also be said for wooden puzzles. They haven’t been treated with toxic chemicals and have sturdy pieces, making it impossible for a child to break them into smaller parts and swallow them or get hurt by the sharp edges. On the other hand, cardboard is a soft material and children can easily chew off a piece and swallow it.
Compared to cardboard puzzles which are mass-produced and cheaper, wooden puzzles tend to last much longer. Not only does this make them a valuable investment, but over time they can become cherished family possessions which can be passed down to generations of kids. In addition, wooden puzzles have more weight and texture to them, which can present a bigger challenge when children handle them. As a result, they get to exercise their motor skills better.
If you feel that your child might find it difficult to sort wooden pieces, some wooden puzzles also come with knobs attached to them. This way, a child can pick up the piece more easily by holding the knob. What’s more, wooden puzzles can feature 3D pieces which children find interesting. Just imagine the child’s excitement when the final image literally pops out of the table!
All things considered, the decision whether to get wooden or cardboard puzzle games is entirely up to you, the grown-up. On the other hand, the theme that the puzzle depicts should match the specific interests of the child, whether that’s animals, cars or Disney princesses. If the puzzle is about something the child loves, it will get him/her more excited and motivated about completing the final image.