How Many Puzzle Pieces Can My Toddler Handle?

We have not been shy in preaching the benefits of puzzles for children. Not only do puzzles improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills at a young age, but they also encourage problem solving, shape recognition, and improve memory. From infancy well into childhood, puzzles are not only fun but also essential for development, but we often field questions about which puzzles are most appropriate for children of certain ages. 

The good news is that we sell puzzles that are appropriate in some ways for babies, while others are more appropriate for older children a little further along in their development.

If you are unsure what types of puzzles to purchase for your child of a certain age, consider the following tips to help you choose the perfect puzzle.

Puzzles for Infants

As babies, it isn’t likely that they will be doing much serious jigsaw puzzling, but babies do love to experiment with wooden puzzles, fitting certain shapes into their spots on the puzzle board. They also like the feel of the heavy, smooth pieces, and may even elect to put those pieces in their mouths. A large, simple name puzzle can introduce them to the feel and texture of wooden toys.

Puzzles for Children Age 2-3

By the time a child is three years old, they can identify well-known shapes and characters well enough to start completing certain simple puzzles in earnest. We recommend starting with puzzles that are broken up into four to eight pieces. By the age of three, children may even be able to recognize the letters in their own names, which means those name puzzles are something they can actually complete by this age.

Puzzles for Children Age 4-5

By preschool age, children can start to deal with a little more complexity in the puzzles they complete. Typically, you’re still going to purchase puzzles with larger pieces rather than the small ones you’d see with adult puzzles, and kids of this age can handle somewhere in the range of eight to 60 pieces. The closer they get to kindergarten, the more complex the puzzle they’ll be able to complete. By this age, our USA map puzzle is worth a try, not only for the puzzle but for the opportunity to teach some basic geography.

Puzzles for Children Age 6-8

By age six, the USA puzzle will be perfect, though this age is also a time when parents can start investing in puzzles with smaller pieces. An eight-year-old child may even be able to complete a jigsaw with as many as 500 pieces, which by that point is close to on-par with some of the easier adult puzzles.

Choose a Quality Puzzle for Your Child

If you are interested in purchasing a puzzle for your child here at Hollow Woodworks, have a look at our options knowing that your kids will benefit in many ways having them among the toys they prefer to play with. They are not only great for child development but also are durable, meaning they’ll hold meaning for your children long after they’ve moved onto more complicated puzzles.