Boost maths skills with a puzzle
I’ve always been a big fan of children doing puzzles from a young age. I think it’s a great way to entertain them for a reasonably long time for one, but it’s also a great way for kids to enjoy the results of their labour.
When I read that a recent study proved puzzles help to improve maths skills, I was really pleased. Archie is a big fan of puzzles – at least when he gets a chance to do one. Unfortunately, Gracie also likes to participate by walking all over the pieces and sticking the choicest selections in her mouth for a good old chew.
It hadn’t occurred to me before, but one of the key things the researchers in this University of Chicago study point to is the universality of puzzles. No matter what your finances, puzzles are a great way to enhance your kids’ development.
There isn’t just a small benefit from inexpensive puzzles. The researchers were particularly pleased with the relation to mathematics achievement, particularly spatial awareness.
Although Gracie doesn’t pay puzzles targeted at her age group much heed, there are still plenty of puzzles for 18 months-plus kids, so they needn’t wait until toddler age before they get involved.
Alfie’s favourite while he was still mastering walking was the Gruffalo Wooden Peg Puzzle. I like this one in particular because it was more than just a puzzle. He still uses it now for its more advanced numbers and colours functions. When he was younger though, it was more about fitting the correct shapes into the correct sized holes.
My daughter recently bought a puzzle that becomes a comic strip-style picture board – something which it has been a struggle to separate Alfie from. He also quite enjoys the Gruffalo’s Child puzzle story book which we bought him for Christmas.
In fact, the more I think about it, Alfie has an awful lot of puzzles. Maybe he’ll grow up to become a maths genius!