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Free Printable Fill-In Puzzles
So why play printable fill-in puzzles? Puzzles are one of the oldest pastimes for children, and there is very good reason parents have been purchasing them nonstop for many generations. Besides giving parents quiet time to do housework or just relax, there are many benefits for children who regularly play with puzzles of all varieties.
Puzzles are a constant source of mental stimulation for children of all ages, even if they are simply reworking the same puzzle over and over again. They have to think through the best strategy for fitting the pieces together, such as doing the edges first and filling in the middle or vice versa.
They are also challenged from the first piece to the last as they try to locate specific pieces and match the connecting parts up so they resemble the picture on the box.
Even electronic toys and educational games currently on the market can rarely compete with the consistent challenge presented by a simple puzzle.
Developing hand-eye coordination is extremely important for younger children, and puzzles are a great way to do it! The reason small children have to use oversized puzzle pieces and try a bit harder to fit them together is because they haven't yet developed the coordination required to skillfully put together a puzzle with small pieces.
Babies start out with wooden peg puzzles with their tiny hands being guided by a parent. With time they are able to match the shapes and do those puzzles on their own, then graduate to oversized floor puzzles and eventually to the small pieces of 500+ piece puzzles. This is a reflection of the gradual development of hand and eye coordination.
Reasoning & Problem Solving Skills
Solving a puzzle also demands problem solving and reasoning skills. Children are constantly confronted with small problems that must be solved in order to complete the puzzle successfully.
For instance, when it comes down to those last few missing pieces which are all similarly colored, the child must determine which one goes in which spot. This is usually done by process of elimination, trying one piece in each hole until it fits somewhere. With time, children are able to solve these little problems much faster.
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