Puzzles, memory games and brain teasers are a fun and challenging way to sharpen children's problem solving skills. Learning how to concentrate, analyze and retain information is an important lifelong skill, and what better way to practice than through play.
Children enjoy puzzles which come in a variety of developmental stages and difficulty levels. Early education puzzles contain a limited number of large pieces with simple picture designs. "First time" puzzle pieces usually have a small peg handle for easier manipulation. The Melissa & Doug Company has an extensive and superb selection of puzzles for young children. In contrast, puzzles for older children contain smaller, numerous pieces with more intricate designs. Older children may even wish to attempt challenging 3-D puzzles, which are great for developing spatial relations. When choosing puzzles, it is important to check the age guidelines and puzzle piece count before making your purchase.
Memory games are also possess multiple levels of difficulty, so once again check product descriptions carefully before selecting an appropriate game. The classic memory game for younger children, Original Memory, is always a favorite, and is now available in popular character designs.
Brain teasers, however, require higher level thinking skills and are more suitable for older children (although don't rule out the more persistent and inquisitive younger child.) There are usually no time limits which makes teasers a good choice for children who enjoy playing at their own pace. The ThinkFun Company is a leader in the challenging puzzles & brain teaser area. They carry outstanding and highly recommneded products which are both educational and entertaining!
Melissa & Doug Large Shapes Jumbo Puzzle Great 1st puzzle with large size solid wood geometric shapes. Extra large knobs for little hands. Matching color picture underneath puzzle pieces. Promotes the development of fine motor and matching skills. Ages 1+ For additional puzzle choices, view the extensive and superb selection of Melissa & Doug puzzles for young children.
Melissa & Doug Farm Cube Puzzle Challenging 6 puzzles in 1! 3D solid wooden blocks create 6 different farm animals. A great value for ages 3+. For additional puzzle choices, view the extensive and superb selection of Melissa & Doug puzzles for young children.
Melissa & Doug See-Inside Alphabet Peg Puzzle Learn your ABCs. Alphabet peek-a-boo puzzle displays full color illustrations underneath puzzle pieces. Illustrations match the puzzle letter (ie: A is for apple) Pegs for easy manipulation of pieces. Ages 3+. For additional puzzle choices, view the extensive and superb selection of Melissa & Doug puzzles for young children.
Crocodile Creek Jungle 123 7 Foot Long Across the Room Puzzle Giant 7 foot long Jungle theme floor puzzle. 48 large and colorful pieces can be assembled individually or as one long puzzle. Sturdy, thick pieces are perfect for little hands. Another quality Crocodile Creek product for ages 3+. ***See Little Ones review of Crocodile Creek products***
Ravensburger 3000 Piece Puzzle – Oceanic Wonders Intricate 3000 piece Ocean scene puzzle with photographic-quality colors. Challenging individual or family project. One of numerous Ravensburger puzzle varieties. Ages 10+
Earth 540 pc puzzle ball Totally awesome 540 piece 3D Globe puzzle forms an "exact fit" solid smooth ball. No glue required. Includes plastic base stand & metal rotation stand for proud display. Challenging puzzle with option of numbered pieces for easier assembly. Quality Ravensburger product that won't disappoint. Ages 10+.
Original MemoryDevelop memory and concentration skills with this classic game. Find the matching pairs by turning over cards 2 at a time. Game inlcudes 72 colorful picture cards with storage tray. Ages 3-6.
ThinkFun Fifteen Puzzle Extremely popular puzzle! A true classic. Polished metal and enamel version of this favorite game. Scramble 15 number tiles and slide them back into numerical order. Includes leatherette travel case and instruction booklet with solutions. Sure to please. Ages 8+.
Qwirkle Award winning wooden tiles game develops logic and strategy skills. This challenging family game has simple instructions that require players to match tile shapes and colors to earn points. Ages 8-adult.
ThinkFun Hoppers This game will keep you hopping! Peg solitaire in which players hop frogs over eachother until only the red frog is left. 4 levels of play with 40 challenge cards including solutions. Storage drawer keeps pieces together. Develops critical thinking/problem solving skills. Ages 8+.
ThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic grid lock brain teaser. Players maneuver 16 cars and trucks across grid board in order to get their red car out of grid lock. 4 levels of play with 40 challenge cards including solutions. Ages 8+. Also available in Junior version.
ThinkFun Serpentiles Create a continuous unbroken path with 19 winding tiles while alternating colors. Includes 40 challenge cards with solutions on back and a handy storage bag. Super problem solving and spatial visualization activity. Ages 8+.
ThinkFun Block By Block Extremely challenging and fun puzzle develops architectural and spatial relations skills. Use 7 brick pieces to create 3D structures as shown on 60 challenge cards. Create over 60 structures. Includes hints, solutions and convenient storage bag. Ages 10+
Rubik's Cube Brain Teaser Puzzle with Helpful Hints The ultimate brainteaser classic! Align 54 squares so colors match on all 9 sides of the cube by twisting and turning. Includes hints and solutions booklet. Super problem solving activity. Ages 8+.
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