Actually I’m playing with words! Math puzzles can take many different shapes and forms – but ultimately they will help your child become a much better thinker and user of math.

**Puzzles for Education **

Today most children spend a lot of their time learning from the television. The lessons they learn are not always those that we would like. The thing to keep in mind is that our children can learn from other influences or games just as well. The advantage to the ‘other influences’ is that we usually have more control over what they are learning. Using puzzles for education is still a great method to help your child develop a number of skills.

When putting a puzzle together, the kids have so much fun with them that they do not even know that they are also learning from these toys. Puzzles work on depth perception, small motor skills and patience or any variety of skills depending on the type of puzzle that you select.

What kinds of puzzles should I get for my child?

All types of puzzles are good for learning. When you think of puzzles, you probably think only of the type that comes in a box with 500 or 1,000 pieces. This is only one type of puzzle. There are many puzzle books to choose from like, crossword or seek-n-find, Sudoku puzzles and even reading puzzles. If they do not have the type of puzzle that you are looking for, you can always make your own. Today there are Dummy books on almost every topic, including how to design and create your own puzzles. These include math puzzles, reading puzzles, language arts puzzles, music puzzles, and many more.

How children learn from puzzles:

Puzzles will help keep your child from feeling discouraged, since they encourage them to want to learn through play. Children always learn best through play. With puzzles, they can learn to play together or entertain themselves. Puzzles help teach children creativity. As they get older, your child will be able to use the creativity that they have learned to keep from being bored.

Puzzles can teach your child hand-eye coordination and help to develop their memory. They will also help them learn to solve more complex problems.

Some types of the educational puzzles:

When you start to look at puzzles, you will find that there are math puzzles that include basic math, addition, subtraction, multiplication. The math problems are designed to be basic helping to inspire the child to continue learning.

There are reading puzzles that teach the basic reading skill that they need. These puzzles encourage children to put words together to make a sentence, or even a story. There are puzzles designed for racing the clock. These are for the more inventive or competitive child. With this type of puzzle they race to try to beat the time of the last puzzle they put together.

There are matching puzzles, matching pictures and words. These are designed for the younger child just starting out with puzzles. There are only a few matches on a page to help encourage them and to allow them to find the correct answer more easily.

There are toys that transform to create a different toy. Although these puzzles are usually more complex, they are still puzzles. Imagination, patience, small muscle dexterity and creativity are all challenged with transforming toys.

Create your own puzzles:

Puzzles can be made out of anything, including cardboard. You can make puzzles from old pictures, draw your own pictures or create pictures from many types of material, including magazines, cut-out color shapes. You can glue pieces to cardboard to make them longer lasting, or simply use a sheet of paper. Remember not to make the puzzle so difficult that they will be discouraged by it.

Learning is not supposed to be a frustrating experience. Toy makers have discovered that the educational toys should be designed to make it fun to play. Try to keep this in mind when choosing educational toys for your child. If they seem to be frustrated by a toy, put it away for a while before trying again. A frustrated child is not going to benefit from continuing to be frustrated.

Belinda Nelson is a free lance copywriter who enjoys writing on a variety of subjects. Each article is carefully researched and put together for the benefit of the reader. You are invited to find out more and leave your own comment about her findings on the subject of encouraging children by visiting: http://www.playgroundwherehouse.com

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So don’t be puzzled! Go get some puzzles for you and your children and get more brain power going!

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