Login to Tulamama close
November 30, 2020

The Best Puzzles For Toddlers According To Moms Who Actually Know

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

There are so many puzzles for toddlers on the market. How do you know which ones are actually good?

For your convenience, this post has been broken down into the following parts:

  • How to choose puzzles for toddlers?
  • Parent’s choice puzzles for toddlers; and
  • Why toddlers need to play with puzzles / the benefits of puzzles.

How To Choose Puzzles For Your Toddler?

Look for the following factors as you choose the right puzzle for your child:

  • Getting the right puzzle(s) can be a great source of satisfaction for your child. When they succeed in completing a puzzle, they feel a sense of accomplishment. On the flip side, giving your child a puzzle that is too difficult can result in frustration.
  • Choose toddler puzzles that match your kid’s age and interest. For example, if he is into cars and trucks, a cars and trucks puzzle may be perfect.
  • Check the number of pieces – the more pieces, the more advanced the puzzle;
  • Check the size of the pieces – thick, chunky wooden pieces indicate it’s for younger puzzle makers;
  • Check the details of the picture and color variation. For younger puzzle makers, look for simpler images;
  • Get puzzles for toddlers that are appropriate for your kid. More experienced jigsaw puzzle makers can try more advanced puzzles;
  • Check the thickness of the pieces. The older your child gets, the thinner the puzzle pieces will get.

Parent’s Choice Puzzles For Toddlers

The puzzles in this collection are for toddlers – ages 1 to 3. best toddler puzzles for girls and boys

Chunky Wooden Jungle Animals Puzzle For Toddlers

This is a pack of jungle themed, chunky puzzles for the littlest puzzle makers – made out of quality wood. What aunts are saying: Louisv – “I bought this for my 1-1/2 year old great nephew and he just loves it. The colors are great and the animals are cute.”

Sea Animals - Wooden Peg Puzzle

This is a creative and easy-to-grasp wooden peg puzzle with sea-animal illustrations. The set-up is made from a sturdy wooden construction and contains 6 pegged wooden pieces in total.

What moms are saying:

M. Leigh – “My son loves these puzzles. I especially love that there is a picture of the animal in the empty space so that my toddler can learn how to match the pieces to the right slot. I also love that there are only 6 pieces to each puzzle…especially when I’m the one having to put it back together when I’m cleaning up the playroom! Good quality, vibrant colors, and easy to use pegs on each piece for toddlers’ little hands.”

Wooden Pattern Blocks For Beginners

This set is for older toddlers – 2-4 years. It is a wooden pattern block where toddlers can complete different pictures, using the wooden shapes. The set has 5 double-sided scenes and 30 geometric shape pieces for you to complete the given pictures, or create your own designs.

What dads are saying:

Anthony Phillips – “Bought as gifts for birthday and Christmas gifts since my toddler loves these! The blocks, shapes, and boards help with hand eye coordination, recognition of shapes, and making/thinking through processes. It’s a very educational set. The shapes (pieces) are made of real wood and can take a beating (since my son plays with them all the time). The boards are also sturdy.”

Fruits And Vegetables Puzzles

This is a set of two puzzles for 2-4 years olds. It is made up of two base boards, one with 11 small vegetable pieces and the other with 8 different kinds of fruit pieces. Pieces are thick, (made of wood) and will not break easily. They are also easy to grasp thanks to their little handles.

What moms are saying:

Ana Brown – “Satisfied with the purchase. This is my son’s very first puzzles. The handles are a great size for his little hands and he loves the colorful vegetables.”

12 Piece Pets Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

This is a charming and illustrative jigsaw puzzle, appropriate for 2 years and older. It is entirely constructed from wood, so it’s sturdy. The full package consists of a wooden tray for storing the puzzles and building them up.

What moms are saying:

Sunshine – “This is such a cute little puzzle. Exactly what I expected having purchased Melissa & Doug products before. My three year old just loves puzzles and this is one of her favorites because of all of the animals. The pieces are very sturdy and are great if you have a toddler that likes to chew on things here and there. I’m not worried about the pieces breaking, being chewed into an unrecognizable mess or the picture being eaten off. These are just great quality!”

Melissa And Doug Wooden Activity Board

This is an activity play board that enhances dexterity as well as motor skills. There are 6 different latches, and kiddies have to figure out how they work. The board is made of solid-wood board. Appropriate for children from ages 3 and up.

What moms are saying:

L. Myers – “This is by far the best toy for the money — educational, fun, durable, safe, no batteries, quiet, engaging, takes very little space. What else can you ask for? I’ve had it for years now. My first son loved it and figured out how to do latches very fast (dangerous skill!) The colors are still bright, there is no wear evidence at all. So my second son is on it now. It has so many educational features – numbers, counting, colors, latches of different type. Everything is riveted and very secure.”

Melissa And Doug’s Learning Shapes Puzzle For Ages 1+

This is a well-designed wooden puzzle that features jumbo wooden knobs for easy grasping. It is a perfect activity to encourage hand-eye coordination and visual perception skills. It has vibrant colors and engaging illustrations of familiar objects.

What moms are saying:

Jena Esposito – “This is such a great and well-made puzzle. I am a huge fan of Melissa and Doug products, they are always well made and affordable. These jumbo puzzles are great for toddlers and my two year old son especially likes puzzles that have knobs on the pieces. This is a great puzzle to learn shapes and colors, my son genuinely enjoys this puzzle and has not become bored of it.”

4-In-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

With this set, you get 4 pet puzzles of a fish, a dog, a cat, and a bird. The set consists of a sturdy wooden box for storage and also the puzzle boards, which makes it great for travel too. Each puzzle has 12 pieces. Perfect for kids from age 3 and above.

What dads are saying:

Jeff Benedict – “We have 3 of these puzzle sets and the kids love them all. They only contain 12 pieces which is just the right amount for our 3 and 4 yr olds. Enough to be challenging but not so many that they frustrate. Also each puzzle is stamped on the back with different shapes so as to keep the pieces sorted. It saves time when we’re cleaning up and reinforces shape recognition. Genius!”

12 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles In One Set

This is an amazing deal of 12 wooden puzzles for under $20. Each puzzles has 16 pieces. They are colorful and engaging, with animals on each: Elephant, Panda, Puppy, Little Lamb, Ship, Train, Plane, Goose, Cow, Tiger, Rooster, Frog. The set is made with a non-toxic material that is safe for kids 2-5 years.

What moms are saying:

Lessien Calafalas – “I bought these puzzles for my 3 year old daughter and she loved them. they are very colorful and the drawings are very cute. Excellent price for the 12 puzzles, they are exactly like the pictures.”

Vehicles Peg Board Puzzle

Perfect for little boys (and girls!). It’s a peg board puzzle made of wood. This could be a great “first puzzle” – appropriate for ages 1 and above.

What moms are saying:

Heather Suminski – “My boy got this for Christmas. He was almost 2 and he’s been loving this puzzle. The pegs make it easy for him to grab the pieces and he’s been having fun matching the pieces to their corresponding vehicle. Puzzle is very easy for little hands with the chunky pegs. We’ve always loved M&D puzzles with all my kids (8, 4 and 2) and I was happy to get a couple new ones for my youngest. He loves them!”

Learn Colors, Numbers And Letters – Set Of 3

This is a great set. Your toddler learns the alphabet, numbers, and colors! Under the numbers – there are little figures to count, which matches the number that goes on top of it. On the alphabet, there are corresponding images that match the letter – for example B is for Basket, Z is for Zipper. It is constructed with durable wood.

What moms are saying:

SCHMomma – “I bought these puzzles when my daughter turned 19 months old; she is now 23 months old. My husband and I wanted her to work on her fine motor skills and also thought these puzzles would be good in helping her to learn her colors, numbers and letters. She learned to solve these puzzles within a few weeks. She loves these puzzles, especially the fish and number ones. She will bring out these puzzles many times throughout the week and solve them.”

Race Car, Fire Truck, School Bus & Train Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

This is a 4 piece set that comes with its own wooden storage case. The lid of the storage box also acts as the puzzle board. There are 12 pieces per puzzles – appropriate for 2 years and above.

What moms are saying:

Mommy on a Budget – “We love Melissa & Doug toys in our house, especially the puzzles! These have been the perfect addition to our “puzzle toy box”. There are four puzzles in each box. The box has four separate sections inside and each puzzle has a specified shape for each puzzle piece. This is a wonderful addition for the times our 3 year old decides to mix them all together. I would highly recommend these and plan to purchase the other sets soon!”

Wooden Cube Puzzles – 6 Puzzles In One

This is a fully colored wooden chunky puzzle which contains 8pcs that feature farm animals. These pieces are easy to grasp by young hands. The illustrations are accompanied with visual clues beneath them. Appropriate for kiddies 2 and above.

What grandma’s are saying:

Doris A. Fuller – “My three-year-old granddaughter absolutely loves these six puzzles in one. She likes to choose which animal she will be making, and the grownups use them to teach her patterns (“let’s start by finding all the red-checked pieces”) and talk about the animals. When she is feeling particularly frisky, she likes to demonstrate putting them together outside the box. When she gets bored, she uses them as blocks.”

Wooden Shape & Color Learning Toddler Puzzle

This is a wooden preschool shape puzzle that is made up of colorful wooden blocks and a board. The pieces are painted with non-toxic water-based paint. The shapes to learn include triangle, star, diamond, square and more. Appropriate for kids 3 years and older.

What moms are saying:

lyss-mcc – “I purchased this specifically to take to restaurants to keep our 21 month old occupied. She’s just getting into shapes/colors and puzzles. The size is perfect for travel and the shapes fit easily in little hands. It arrived in a padded envelope and the puzzle itself was plastic wrapped. If you’re looking for a smaller puzzle this is great and well worth the price in my opinion. Just as well made as other name brand wood puzzles.”

4-In-1 Preschool Learning Set

This is a set of chunky wooden pieces. Colorful pieces need to be placed together so that everything fits, so it’s great at developing reasoning skills.

Kerstin Walling – “Bought this for my son for his 2nd birthday. He’s obsessed, especially with the 4 shape sorter. He loves wooden puzzles and I see this being used for a good while.”

Farmyard Animals – Chunky Toddler Puzzle

This puzzle has thick wooden pieces, perfect for little hands to handle. Full-color pieces are very engaging. There are also visual cues under each puzzle to let little ones know what belongs there.

What moms are saying:

Mashelle – “I love this puzzle. My daughter’s speech therapist brings it with her when she has her visits. My daughter loves doing it over and over again and she has gotten so good at it. The animal pieces are thicker than the board so they stick out making it easy for those little hands to pick them up. I had to order one because it makes me so happy to see my daughter doing so well with it.”

Why Toddlers Need To Play With Puzzles

  1. They help to develop hand-eye coordination.“When children flip, turn, remove, etc. pieces of the puzzle, they are learning the connection between their hands and their eyes.” – Child Development Institute

    best toddler puzzles for girls and boys
    Melissa And Doug
  2. They help to develop problem-solving strategies – to rebuild a puzzle, your child uses critical thinking skills to solve the puzzle.
  3. Puzzles that are well chosen for your child’s age and level can be satisfying. They are having fun while learning and developing key skills.
  4. They teach patience and perseverance;
  5. Puzzles help develop their self-confidence. Every time they are able to finish a puzzle by themselves, they get a confidence boost.
  6. Puzzles help to develop fine motor skills. Your toddler learns to grasp big and small pieces, all the while concentrating as they try to fit the puzzle. Some puzzles require twisting knobs or pressing down. Activities like these help your kiddo develop strength in their fingers.
  7. Puzzles can be played alone, or in a group;
  8. They provide great practice in visual perception;
  9. They improve memory skills – particularly as they redo puzzles that they’ve done before.
  10. Puzzles develop the cognitive skills necessary for organizing and strategizing how to piece everything together;
  11. Kids learn to classify and sort when they play puzzles. Some kids may get all the corners together, or the pieces that have similar colors – knowing that these may likely go together.
  12. Puzzles reach a variety of different learning styles.

Note From The Author

Individually, most wooden puzzles aren’t too expensive but if you get a few, the numbers quickly add up. However, as a mom of 5, I do recommend getting the decent, wooden puzzles because they’re safer and they certainly last longer. If you plan on having more than one kid, it will be money well spent.

The twins are still playing with puzzles that I bought for our first child.

Seriously Clever Tip that I regrettably learned late. As you kids get older, they will get cardboard puzzles. But chances are great that your child will not have only 1 puzzle, right? If your kids are like mine, those puzzles will get mixed together – which is a nightmare to sort.

Solve that hassle early! As soon as you get your cardboard puzzles, write something on the back or make a shape that would be unique to that one puzzle. Mark every piece. For example, it could be an “A” or a little triangle – whatever you choose. Each puzzle will have its own unique mark. If puzzles are ever mixed up, this will make sorting much easier for tired parents.


Post a Comment:

Tulamama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an Elite CafeMedia Family & Parenting Publisher.
Copyright © 2020 - TulaMama. All Rights Reserved