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45 Fun and Clever Brain Teasers for Kids with Answers!

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Written by Laney Kennedy

Reviewed by Sarah Tino, M.Ed.

Engage and motivate your students with our adaptive, game-based learning platform!

  • Game-Based Learning
  • What brain teasers are
  • The benefits of brain teasers for kids

Math brain teasers for kids

Sometimes keeping your students engaged during a (long) school day feels like a losing battle. How do you gain their full attention while teaching the skills they need to succeed? How do you turn tough and intimidating concepts into fun, entertaining lessons that actually spark life in the classroom? 

Brain teasers for kids are a great form of game-based learning that not only entertain children but also inspire some creative thought in the classroom. People of all ages can indulge in these playful — yet challenging — activities.

And some examples of when teachers might want to use brain teasers are on a bulletin board in the classroom, as a partnered activity to start a new concept or lesson, or during a rainy day indoor recess box.

We’ve gathered 45 examples of brain teasers for kids with answers, organized by category:

Table of Contents

Language brain teasers for kids :

Riddles ; Language associations ; Lateral thinking problems.

Math brain teasers for kids :

Math riddles ;  Pattern problems ;  Prodigy.

Visual brain teasers for kids :

Spot the difference ;  Rebus puzzles ;  Optical illusions ;  Stroop effect test.

Use the list below to find the perfect brain teaser for your class!

What are brain teasers?

Before you explore our examples, you might be wondering what brain teasers actually are.

Cambridge Dictionary defines a brain teaser as “a problem for which it is hard to find the answer, especially one which people enjoy trying to solve as a game.”

Brain teasers are a type of puzzle — and as the list below reveals, they come in many different forms. Often presented as a riddle, question or activity, brain teasers require a little extra brainpower to solve.

It's important to note that if you have any English language learners in your class, brain teasers for kids might pose a challenge for them. If that's the case, they might need you to walk them through the brain teaser more closely, or you can find ones that better suit their language level.

Brain teasers for kids differ from other complex or abstract problems because they’re usually done for fun. Although you can use them to analyze problem-solving and critical thinking skills, they’re often used as an amusing activity to encourage logical and lateral thinking , or thinking “outside the box.”

45 Brain teasers for kids

We’ve compiled a list of language, math and visual brain teasers to get your students thinking. Get inspired by the examples below — including answers!

Language brain teasers for kids

When you hear the term “brain teaser,” a riddle is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Riddles are perplexing — sometimes misleading — questions or statements that require creative thought to solve.

Riddles are usually fun, and plenty of them can add some humour to your classroom.

Enjoy our list of riddles for kids below!

a) Billy’s mother had five children. The first was named Lala, the second was named Lele, the third was named Lili, the fourth was named Lolo. What was the fifth child named?

b) Choose the correct sentence: “The yolk of the egg is white” or “the yolk of the egg is white.”

c) It’s as light as a feather, but the strongest person can’t hold it for more than five minutes. What is it?

d) The more there is, the less you see. What is it?

e) What gets more wet while it dries?

f) You can find it in Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, but not in Venus or Neptune. What is it?

g) It likes food, but water kills it. What is it?

h) What’s full of holes but can still hold water?

i) Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?

j) How far can a dog run into the woods?

k) You’re driving a city bus. At the first stop, three women get on. At the second stop, one woman gets off and a man gets on. At the third stop, two children get on. The bus is blue and it’s raining outside in December. What colour is the bus driver’s hair?

l) There are three houses. One is red, one is blue and one is white. If the red house is to the left of the house in the middle, and the blue house is to the right of the house in the middle, where’s the white house?

m) It’s at the center of gravity and you can find it in Venus, but not Mars. What is it?

n) What goes on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening?  (This is from the classic myth,  Oedipus and the Riddle of the Sphinx )

o) What travels faster: heat or cold?

p) A man was walking in the rain in the middle of nowhere without a coat or an umbrella. He got soaked, but not a single hair on his head was wet. How can this be?

q) A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He stayed in town for three days and rode back out on Friday. How is this possible?

b) Neither. Egg yolks are yellow, not white!

f) The letter “R”

h) A sponge

i) Neither. Both weigh a pound!

j) Halfway. Once it reaches halfway, it’s running  out  of the woods.

k) Whatever colour your hair is. Remember, you’re driving the bus!

l) In Washington, D.C.

m) The letter “V”

n) A human. The times of day represent stages of human life. At the beginning of life, a baby crawls on four “feet.” As a person gets older, they walk on two feet. Later in life, a person will walk on three “feet” (two feet, plus a cane to help them walk).

o) Heat travels faster because you can catch a cold!

p) He was bald.

q) The horse’s name was Friday.

As a bonus, use these riddles to challenge preconceived notions and get students thinking about natural bias .

a) Two boxers are in a match scheduled for 12 rounds. (Pure boxing only - no kicking, UFC takedowns, or anything else). One of the boxers gets knocked out after only six rounds, yet no man throws a punch. How is this possible?

b) A father and son have a car accident and both are very injured. They are taken to separate hospitals for treatment. When the boy is taken in for an operation, the surgeon says, “I can’t do this surgery…. this boy is my son!” How is this possible?

a) The two boxers are women.

b) The surgeon is the boy’s mother.

2. Language associations

These brain teasers for kids explore the complexities of the English language. Use them to boost student knowledge of sounds, words, spelling, categorization and more.a)  Word association : find a word that associates with the following sets of words.

  • Cake, swiss, cottage
  • Glasses, screen, day
  • Cream, cube, cap
  • Knife, fly, cup

b) Find the mystery word . Replace the third letter of each word with a new letter to create a different word. When read vertically, the new letters will reveal the mystery word.

For example, the word MA K E could become MA R E, MA L E, MA T E and so on. It’s your job to figure out which one works to create the mystery word. 

Hint: It’s something you’ll find outside.

c) Find rhyming pairs . Unscramble the words below so that each pair of words rhymes.

  • RBAE & HREAS
  • WNROED & UTRHNDE
  • TUGHAT & HBTUGO
  • ODULC & ODOG

Mystery word: FLOWER

  • BEAR (or BARE) & SHARE
  • WONDER & THUNDER
  • TAUGHT & BOUGHT
  • COULD & GOOD

You can also use printable brain teasers for kids like this one:

brain-teasers-worksheets-for-kids

Image source: Spelling Words Well

Answer: The “happy word” is SMILE.

3. Lateral thinking problems

Lateral thinking problems require creative thinking with an indirect approach.

These questions require logic and careful thought to solve. The most notable example of a lateral thinking problem is the classic Monty Hall problem .

Here are two examples of lateral thinking problems kids can try to solve.

a) The river crossing problem

brain-teasers-for-kids-riddles

Image source: Popular Mechanics

A farmer is travelling with a fox, a goose, and a bag of beans. During his journey, he comes across a river with a boat to cross it.

The farmer can only fit one thing in the boat with him at a time. If left alone together, the fox will eat the goose or the goose will eat the beans. How does the farmer get everything across the river safely?

b) The light bulb problem

fun-brain-teasers-for-kids

There are three light switches outside of a room-- labeled number one, number two, and number three. The door to the room is closed and you can’t see in. All three switches are off.

You need to figure out which switch belongs to which bulb. You can use the switches however you want to, but can only enter the room once. How do you do it?

a) Here’s the step-by-step solution:

  • The farmer brings the goose across the river first (if he leaves the goose alone, it will either eat the beans or be eaten by the fox).
  • The farmer brings either the fox or the beans across and leaves the other one alone.
  • Now the farmer has two items on the other side of the river, including the goose. If he leaves the goose again, the same problem will occur. So, the farmer must bring the goose back to the other side.
  • The farmer brings the other item back (either the fox or the beans) and leaves the goose alone again. The fox and the beans are now on the other side of the river.
  • The farmer returns and brings the goose across the river again.

b) Turn on the first switch and leave it on. Turn on the second switch for a few minutes, and then turn it off again. When you enter the room, one light bulb will be on. You’ll know it goes with switch one because you turned it on. Another bulb will be hot. You’ll know that goes with switch two because it was on for a little while. The bulb that’s off and cold goes with switch three because you didn’t touch it.

Like math puzzles , these brain teasers for kids can increase engagement with math content and inspire your students to work on math concepts and problems outside of regular lessons.

1. Math riddles

These riddles are just as amusing as the ones above, but they’re math-focused . Use them to give students some extra math practice and encourage resourceful thinking.

Math riddles

a) Divide 30 by ½ and add 10. What’s the answer?

b) A clerk at the butcher shop is six feet tall and wears size 10 shoes. What does he weigh?

c) A farmer has 19 sheep on his land. One day, a big storm hits and all but seven run away. How many sheep does the farmer have left?

d) Your sock drawer only contains 18 white socks and 18 blue socks. How many times do you need to reach inside the drawer and take out a sock to guarantee a matching pair?

e) You planted sunflower seeds in your back garden. Every day, the number of flowers doubles. If it takes 52 days for the flowers to fill the garden, how many days would it take for them to fill half the garden?

f) Using only addition, how can you use eight eights to get the number 1,000?

g) When Ashley was 15, her mother was 37. Now, her mother is twice her age. How old is Ashley?

a) It's 70. You’re dividing 30 by ½, not by two. Thirty divided by ½ is the same thing as multiplying it by two, which is 60. Plus 10 makes 70!

b) Meat. He works at the butcher shop, so he weighs meat for a living.

c) Seven. The riddle says  all but seven  run away, meaning there are seven left who didn’t.

d) Three times. On the third time, you’ll get either a white or a blue sock to match with one of the other two you’ve already grabbed.

e) It would take 51 days. If the number of flowers doubles every day, half the garden would be full the day before, on the 51st day.

f) 888 +88 +8 +8 +8

g) Ashley is 22. Her mother is 22 years older, so when Ashley is 22, she’s now half her mother’s age.

2. Pattern problems

These questions require students to identify a pattern before they can answer a particular question. Kids must use creative and logical thinking to find the answers.

4 + 4 = 168

5 + 5 = 2510.

b) What makes this number unique: 8,549,176,320?

c) Solve the pattern puzzle below. Find the missing number to replace the question mark.

printable-brain-teasers-for-kids

Image source: Genius Puzzles

d) Solve the following:

math-brain-teasers-for-kids

Image source: AOL

a) The missing number is 3612. The answer is the number multiplied by itself and then the number added to itself. Six multiplied by six is 36, and six plus six is 12.

b) It contains each one-digit number, zero through nine, listed in alphabetical order.

c) The missing number is 17. Each number in the circle is the sum of the numbers in the opposite quadrant. In this case, the numbers are eight and nine — added together makes 17.

d) The answer is 14 (or 16), if you’re on the other side of the debate .

3. Prodigy Math Game

Screenshot of Prodigy Math Game battle

This math activity is a bit different from others on the list. It’s not a traditional brain teaser, but it can also be used as a fun, skill-building alternative to traditional math class.

Prodigy is a game-based learning platform that takes your students on an online fantasy adventure while they answer standards-aligned math questions. It’s engaging and effective at teaching necessary skills. 

Prodigy's free teacher tools help you differentiate learning, send assessments in-game and even collect student insights!

Visual brain teasers for kids

1. spot the difference.

This ever-popular activity might remind you of your own childhood — and kids still love it! Spot the difference puzzles require lots of deduction and attention to detail.

Here’s an example of a printable spot the difference activity.

printable-brain-teasers-for-kids

Image source: Tim’s Printables

brain-teasers-for-kids-with-answers

2. Rebus puzzles

A rebus is a visual word puzzle that uses lateral thinking to find its intended meaning. The word or phrase is depicted with a visual illustration, including letters and words. Students must think creatively to figure out the meaning from the clues they’re given. 

brain-teasers-games-for-kids

Image source: Wikipedia

brain-teasers-for-kids-with-answers

Image source: Stack Exchange

a) Top secret

b) Think outside the box

Visit the link below if you want more fun rebus puzzles for your students:

3. Optical illusions

Get tricky with your students! Optical illusions use visual tricks that alter the perception of what you’re really seeing. Students will love trying to figure out what’s really going on in these examples.

a) How many legs does the elephant have?

brain-teasers-questions-for-kids

Image source: Optics For Kids

b) Are the two squares different colours?

brain-teasers-for-kids-with-answers

Image source: Brain Den

b) They’re exactly the same colour. If you place your finger over the spot where the squares meet, you can see they’re the same. Try this impossible paper puzzle if you want a more hands-on optical illusion. You can make one to show your class, then have students make their own as a fun brain teaser to show friends and family.

4. Stroop effect test

The Stroop effect was discovered in the 1930s by John Ridley Stroop. During the test, you’re given a list of colour names, with each word being a different colour than what they describe.

The test involves saying the colour of a word, rather than reading the word itself. Your mind must process the two conflicting pieces of information, which slows down reaction speed and requires careful thought to get through.

printable-brain-teasers-for-kids

Image source: The Crafty Classroom

Benefits of brain teasers for kids

You know your students enjoy them, but did you know there are plenty of additional reasons to make brain teasers a regular activity in the classroom?

A study on the attention spans of six-year-olds found children who were given brain teasers were more attentive than those who were not — showing brain teasers were effective at boosting children’s attention spans.   

Brain teasers for kids can also:

  • Strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Encourage lateral thinking and build new perspectives
  • Improve cognitive abilities like memory and processing speed
  • Inspire teamwork and communication
  • Engage students and motivate them to learn
  • Provide necessary breaks from traditional class work

How to use brain teasers in the classroom

In addition to their many learning advantages, brain teasers are a great way to break up the day and engage your students. Here are just a few ways you can use brain teasers for kids as a teaching strategy and maximize the benefits in your classroom:

  • Engagement-boosting activity before or after lessons
  • Bonus questions in assignments and tests
  • Optional “free time” activity
  • Encourage team building — split students into groups to solve them together
  • Supplement lessons — choose brain teasers about the subject you’re teaching

Final thoughts on brain teasers for kids

No matter what subject or skill you want to focus on, a brain teaser is a great addition to traditional teaching methods. Plus, it’s something students will actually be excited to do.

Remember that brain teaser are designed to be fun for kids. it’s not about finding the right answer, but the mental exercise they get from trying to find the solution.

Use any of the brain teasers in this list whenever you need a boost of energy in your classroom. Bonus points if you can stump any adults!

Create or log in to your free teacher account on Prodigy – a game-based learning platform for math that’s easy to use for educators and students alike. Aligned with standards across the English-speaking world, it’s used by more than a million teachers and 90 million students.

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Easy Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

Problem solving activities for toddlers are not only a great way to boost their critical thinking skills but also provide playtime fun for curious little minds.

These daily activities help toddlers develop important cognitive and motor skills while enhancing their creativity and imagination. By engaging in problem solving activities, toddlers learn to think logically, make decisions, and develop a growth mindset.

In this article, I have curated a list of easy problem solving activities for toddlers that help your kids learn through the power of play. These activities require minimal preparation and offer maximum fun for your child – all while promoting language skills and social skills.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full  privacy policy and disclosure here.

Easy Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

Key Takeaways:

  • Problem solving activities promote critical thinking and cognitive development in toddlers.
  • Engaging in problem solving activities helps toddlers develop important motor skills.
  • These activities enhance creativity and imagination in toddlers.
  • Toddlers learn logical thinking and decision-making through problem solving activities.
  • Curated a list of 50 easy problem solving activities for toddlers to enjoy.

The No-Stress Prep Principle to Toddler Activities

When it comes to toddler activities, the key is to keep it simple and stress-free. The last thing parents need is complicated setups and multiple materials to juggle. That’s where the no-stress prep principle comes in. By providing activities that require minimal preparation and materials, parents can ensure low-effort, high-reward fun for their toddlers.

Table of Contents

These no-stress activities not only provide entertainment but also contribute to cognitive development, fine and gross motor skills, as well as creativity and imagination. Toddlers engage in problem-solving tasks such as sorting and matching, which promote cognitive development and critical thinking.

At the same time, these activities focus on refining fine and gross motor skills. Toddlers can practice pinching small objects or jumping and hopping, enhancing their physical coordination and strength.

Moreover, these low-stress activities foster creativity and imagination in toddlers. Through open-ended play, they have the opportunity to express themselves and explore their ideas. Whether it’s building a tower with blocks or creating a pretend play scenario with dolls, these activities encourage imaginative thinking.

By following the no-stress prep principle, parents can provide their toddlers with enriching and enjoyable activities that support their cognitive, physical, and creative development. Let’s take a look at some examples of these easy and rewarding toddler activities.

Benefits of the No-Stress Prep Principle

With these no-stress activities, parents can create a fun and enriching environment for their toddlers while minimizing the effort needed to set up and prepare. Finding the balance between simplicity and engaging experiences is key to ensuring that both parents and toddlers can enjoy quality time together.

Sticky Wall Art

Looking for a simple and mess-free activity to engage your toddler’s senses and enhance their fine motor skills and creativity? Look no further than sticky wall art! With just painter’s tape and a few pieces to stick and re-stick, your little one can enjoy endless fun while developing important skills.

Sticky wall art offers a sensory experience that captivates toddlers as they explore the sticky texture of the tape. This tactile exploration stimulates their senses and encourages curiosity. As they peel and stick the pieces onto the walls or floors, toddlers also develop their fine motor skills by practicing grip and hand-eye coordination.

But that’s not all—sticky wall art is a fantastic opportunity for your toddler to unleash their creativity and imagination. They can arrange the pieces in any way they like, creating their own unique artwork. This open-ended activity allows them to express themselves and develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in their creations.

Create a designated area in your home for sticky wall art, whether it’s a wall or a large piece of cardboard on the floor. Stick the painter’s tape in various shapes and patterns, leaving plenty of space for your toddler to stick the pieces. Provide your child with a variety of materials they can use, such as foam shapes, fabric scraps, or even cut-up pieces of construction paper.

Encourage your toddler to explore the stickiness of the tape, experiment with different arrangements, and peel and re-stick the pieces as many times as they like. This interactive and sensory-rich activity will keep them engaged and entertained for hours while fostering their cognitive and motor development.

In conclusion, sticky wall art is a fantastic activity for toddlers that offers a sensory experience, enhances fine motor skills, and sparks creativity. With just painter’s tape and a little imagination, you can provide your child with a fun and educational sensory play opportunity that will keep them coming back for more.

Colander Pipe Cleaners

If you’re looking for a simple and creative activity to keep your toddler entertained, colander pipe cleaners are the perfect solution. All you need is a colander and some pipe cleaners. Show your little one how to thread the pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander, creating a colorful and tactile masterpiece. This activity not only helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination but also encourages creativity and imaginative play.

By manipulating the pipe cleaners and exploring different ways to thread them through the colander, toddlers can experiment with shapes, patterns, and colors. It’s a hands-on sensory experience that stimulates their senses and engages their curious minds.

Watch as their concentration levels increase while they focus on the task at hand. The satisfaction of completing their unique creation will bring a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence.

Colander pipe cleaners are an excellent activity for both solo play and interactive play with siblings or friends. You can even turn it into a friendly competition, challenging your little ones to create the most elaborate designs.

So grab a colander and some pipe cleaners and let your toddler’s creativity run wild!

Nature’s Paintbrush

Are you looking for a creative and sensory painting activity for your toddler? Look no further than Nature’s Paintbrush! This activity allows your little one to explore the wonders of nature while enhancing their sensory perception and unleashing their creativity.

To get started with Nature’s Paintbrush, all you need to do is step outside and collect some leaves or twigs. These natural materials will serve as your toddler’s paintbrushes, providing a unique and textured painting experience.

With Nature’s Paintbrush, your toddler can create beautiful artwork using the vibrant colors and shapes of leaves or the interesting patterns and textures of twigs. This activity not only engages their senses but also encourages their artistic expression and imagination. As they experiment with different strokes and techniques, they will discover new ways to use nature’s paintbrush to bring their ideas to life.

Nature’s Paintbrush is a wonderful way to connect your toddler with the natural world and foster a love for nature. It provides a hands-on experience that allows them to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors while developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

So, why wait? Let your toddler’s creativity bloom with Nature’s Paintbrush and watch as they create masterpieces inspired by the beauty of nature.

Mega Block Jumping

Mega block jumping is a fun and interactive gross motor activity that promotes active play and coordination in toddlers. This simple yet engaging activity allows little ones to burn off energy while developing their physical skills.

All you need for mega block jumping is a few large building blocks and a soft surface. Set up a line or a small platform using the blocks and encourage your toddler to jump from one block to another. This activity challenges their coordination and balance while providing them with a sense of accomplishment as they successfully land on each block.

Mega block jumping not only helps toddlers build their gross motor skills but also promotes the development of strength and agility. It gives them an opportunity to explore their physical abilities and improve their balance and spatial awareness.

Benefits of Mega Block Jumping:

  • Enhances coordination and balance
  • Promotes active play and physical development
  • Builds strength and agility

Mega block jumping is a fantastic way to incorporate active play into your toddler’s routine. It provides them with an enjoyable and stimulating experience while supporting their physical development. So grab some large building blocks and watch your little one have a blast while jumping to new heights!

Snowball Pick Up

Snowball pick up is a festive and engaging indoor activity for toddlers. All you need are some soft balls or crumpled pieces of paper to represent snowballs. Spread them out in a designated area and encourage your toddler to pick them up and put them in a container.

This activity is not only a great way to develop fine motor skills but also provides sensory play as toddlers feel the texture of the “snowballs.” It’s a fun and interactive way to bring a touch of winter magic into your home.

As your toddler engages in snowball pick up, they will develop their hand-eye coordination and grasp control, honing their fine motor skills. The sensory experience of touching and holding the “snowballs” stimulates their tactile senses, providing a multi-sensory play opportunity. It’s a wonderful indoor activity that keeps toddlers entertained while also promoting their physical and cognitive development.

The Big List Of Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

  • Sorting Games: Provide objects or toys for young children to sort by color, shape, or size, encouraging critical thinking and classification skills – there all kinds of possible solutions for shape sorting games.
  • Sensory Bins: Create sensory bins filled with various materials like rice, beans, or water along with scoops and containers, prompting toddlers to explore and problem-solve through sensory play. You can use open ended questions to prompt the play scene, or encourage free play to help encourage independent play.
  • Obstacle Courses: Set up simple obstacle courses using pillows, cushions, and other household items, challenging toddlers to navigate and problem-solve to complete the course.
  • Water Play: Offer water play activities with cups, funnels, and toys, allowing toddlers to experiment with pouring, filling, and problem-solving through water exploration.
  • Nature Walks: Take toddlers on nature walks, encouraging them to observe and problem-solve as they encounter different elements like rocks, leaves, and insects.
  • Shape Matching: Provide shape sorting toys or puzzles for toddlers to match shapes to corresponding holes, promoting spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.
  • Cooking Together: Involve toddlers in simple cooking activities like mixing ingredients or assembling sandwiches, fostering problem-solving and following instructions.
  • Animal Matching: Introduce matching games with pictures or figurines of animals for toddlers to pair together, enhancing memory and problem-solving abilities.
  • DIY Crafts: Engage toddlers in age-appropriate DIY crafts using materials like paper, glue, and recycled items, encouraging creative problem-solving and self-expression.
  • Story Sequencing: Use picture cards or storybooks to prompt toddlers to sequence events in a story or solve a basic problem, enhancing comprehension and problem-solving through storytelling.
  • Pattern Recognition: Create patterns using blocks, beads, or stickers for toddlers to replicate, promoting critical thinking and pattern recognition skills.
  • Sensory Exploration: Offer sensory exploration activities with materials like playdough, slime, or kinetic sand, encouraging toddlers to encourage problem solving skills  through tactile experiences.
  • Block Stacking Challenges: Encourage toddlers to build tall towers or structures with blocks, fostering spatial reasoning and problem-solving as they balance and stack and come up with creative solutions with creative thinking. Building toys are a must have for every toddlers toy box!
  • Color Mixing: Provide paint or colored water for toddlers to experiment with mixing colors, promoting problem-solving and exploration of cause and effect.
  • Shadow Play: Use flashlights or natural light to create shadows, prompting toddlers to explore and problem-solve by manipulating objects to create different shadow shapes.
  • Music and Movement: Engage toddlers in music and movement activities like dancing or playing instruments, fostering problem-solving and creativity through rhythm and movement.
  • Outdoor Scavenger Hunts: Organize scavenger hunt in the backyard or park, challenging young toddlers to find and collect items based on visual cues or descriptions – focusing on developing cognitive skills.
  • DIY Sensory Boards: Create sensory boards with textures like sandpaper, fabric, or bubble wrap for toddlers to explore and problem-solve through tactile stimulation.
  • Building Bridges: Provide materials like blocks, cardboard, and tape for toddlers to construct bridges or ramps for toy cars or animals, encouraging problem-solving and engineering skills.
  • Imaginative Play Prompts: Offer props or costumes for toddlers to engage in imaginary play scenarios, prompting problem-solving and creativity through role-playing.
  • Number Games: Introduce simple number games or counting activities using toys or everyday objects, promoting numeracy skills and problem-solving through counting and sorting.
  • Shape Hunt: Go on a shape hunt around the house or outdoors, challenging toddlers to find and identify different shapes in their environment. This is a really simple activity that doesn’t require toys for young learners.
  • DIY Marble Runs: Create simple marble runs using cardboard tubes, ramps, and tape for toddlers to design and problem-solve as they experiment with gravity and momentum. This is so great for brain development and fine motor skills as well.
  • Building with Recyclables: Provide recyclable materials like cardboard boxes, tubes, and bottles for toddlers to build and problem-solve as they construct imaginative structures.
  • DIY Puzzles: Make homemade puzzles using pictures or drawings mounted on cardboard for toddlers to assemble, promoting problem-solving and visual-spatial skills.

How can problem solving activities benefit toddlers?

Problem solving activities for toddlers are a great way to boost their critical thinking skills while also having fun. These activities help toddlers develop important cognitive and motor skills, as well as enhance their creativity and imagination. By engaging in problem solving activities, toddlers can learn to think logically, make decisions, and develop a growth mindset.

What is the no-stress prep principle for toddler activities?

When it comes to toddler activities, the key is to keep it simple and stress-free. The no-stress prep principle focuses on providing activities that are easy to set up with minimal materials, while still offering maximum fun and learning opportunities for toddlers. These activities promote cognitive development by involving sorting, matching, and simple puzzles. They also help toddlers refine their fine and gross motor skills through activities like pinching and jumping. Additionally, these activities encourage creativity and imagination, allowing toddlers to express themselves through play.

How can I create sticky wall art with my toddler?

Sticky wall art is a simple and mess-free activity that toddlers will love. All you need is painter’s tape and some pieces for your toddler to stick and re-stick on the walls or floors. This activity provides a sensory experience as toddlers explore the stickiness of the tape and work on their fine motor skills by peeling and sticking the pieces. Additionally, it allows toddlers to use their creativity and imagination as they create their own art on the sticky wall.

What is the nature’s paintbrush activity for toddlers?

Nature’s paintbrush is a fun and sensory painting activity for toddlers. Simply step outside, collect some leaves or twigs, and use them as paintbrushes. This activity not only allows toddlers to explore different textures and sensations, but it also promotes creativity as they create unique artwork using natural materials. It’s a great way for toddlers to connect with nature while also engaging in a fun and creative activity.

How can I engage my toddler in mega block jumping?

Mega block jumping is a simple yet engaging activity that helps toddlers burn off energy and develop their gross motor skills. All you need are some large building blocks and a soft surface. Encourage your toddler to jump from one block to another, challenging their coordination and balance. This activity promotes active play and helps toddlers build strength and agility. It’s a great way to keep your little one entertained while also promoting physical development.

What is snowball pick up for toddlers?

Snowball pick up is a festive and engaging indoor activity for toddlers. All you need are some soft balls or crumpled pieces of paper to represent snowballs. Spread them out in a designated area and encourage your toddler to pick them up and put them in a container. This activity is not only a great way to develop fine motor skills but also provides sensory play as toddlers feel the texture of the “snowballs.” It’s a fun and interactive way to bring a touch of winter magic into your home.

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Home • Toddler • Play And Activities

13 Problem-Solving Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

Intriguing ideas to boost their analytical and rational thinking skills.

Elisabeth Daly is a state-certified high school English teacher. Over her two decade career, she has taught students in grades 9-12 at both public and private high schools, and worked as an adjunct professor at her local community college. ... read full bio

Kavita has a diverse background in finance, human resources, and teaching. She did her MBA in Finance and HR at Solapur University, and bachelor in Education at Pune University. After working for thre... read full bio

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Problem-solving preschool activities are an essential part of learning, leading to the development of the most crucial skills for your child. Your child’s journey between realizing a problem and finding a solution involves effort, thinking, and patience. What comes in between realization and solution is important to understand, as it is the key to a lightning-fast intellect. The process is the most beautiful part, which is also the beginning of making a new genius for the world to witness. These little minds could one day become billionaires, philanthropists, or someone far more successful .

Read on to know some of the problem-solving activities for toddlers and preschoolers and how it helps them.

What Is Problem-Solving?

Image: IStock

Problem-solving is the art of realizing a problem and finding an apt solution by a series of interconnected thoughts in the cognitive area of the mind (1) . It requires identifying the problem and pondering over the causes and attempting to chalk out the reason. The next step would be to find a solution out of the many alternatives. Identifying the causes of a problem would involve some deep thinking, which can benefit a child’s growth and aid in their character development.

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills are what every child needs to survive in this world. A few problem-solving skills are analytical thinking, logical reasoning, lateral thinking, creativity, initiative, persistence, negotiation, listening skills, cognitive skills, math skills, and decision-making. Good communication skills are also important as they improve the self-esteem of your child.

Why Is Problem-Solving Important In Preschool?

As parents, you may not want to fill your child’s minds with every problem-solving ability. But you must trust the process, as it is the most important phase of life, and they are learning new things every day.

  • During preschool, they are constantly interacting with friends and surroundings. They come across various problems and learn from them. The best part is that it will be effortless for them to pick up these skills faster as they are in their learning stage.
  • Also, the earlier they learn, the better it is (2)
  • Children in preschool are introduced to the realm of creativity and imagination through storytelling and poems. It will be the perfect time to enhance their creative abilities.
  • Children usually try to ignore things beyond their understanding. But problem-solving skills might help them see things differently.
  • Developing problem-solving abilities can help them take new initiatives.

How To Teach Problem-Solving Skills To Preschoolers?

Making them listen with patience and willingness is a skill that will help them comprehend what you teach them. Here are some steps that you can follow:

  • Teach them how to approach a problem in a practical way. Allow them to explore and find solutions by themselves. Problem-based learning will stick with them forever.
  • Make them do simple household chores in their own way. And, there is no right or wrong style to it. Kitchen experiments are a great way to learn.
  • Every kid is unique and has a different pace of learning. A teacher/ parent will have to be observing to analyze the best way to teach them.
  • Usually, the first step would be to identify the problem.
  • Once they find solutions, tell them to evaluate the pros and cons. And choose the best solution.
  • Teach them to take failure positively.
  • Encourage group activities as children tend to be active when their peers are along.

13 Problem-Solving Activities For Toddlers

You may try several problem-solving activities at home. We have listed some of the best activates here:

1. Simon Says

One of the children becomes Simon and gives commands. The rest have to follow the commands and enact only when they hear ’Simon says’ at the beginning of the command. If anyone acts when the words ‘Simon says’ is not told at the beginning, then that particular child is out. This game will improve listening skills and response time.

2. Tic–tac–toe

The game teaches decision-making and the cost of consequences. This game involves two players. One player has to mark X anywhere on the tic-tac-toe, followed by another player marking O. The idea is to make a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line with either three X’s or O’s. Both players have to stop each other from winning. Sounds fun, right?

3. Treasure hunt

Divide the children into groups and give them clues to find hidden objects. Activities such as treasure hunt evidently improve their problem-solving skills and induce the idea of competition.

Puzzles can make a child think out of the box. They can develop a child’s logical reasoning. Arranging the crumbled pieces will surely improve their level of patience.

5. Hide and seek

Playing in a group can make them less shy and socialize with others. And, with hide and seek activity, children can learn devising strategies, escaping from a troublesome situation, and various other skills.

6. Sorting together

Give them various toys, pieces of clothing, or other random objects at home and some bins. Now ask your child to sort and place everything in the right bin. See how good they are at classifying the objects.

7. Spot the difference

Show them printouts of two similar pictures, with one picture having some differences. Ask them to spot the differences. This helps in actively improving their concentration and attention to detail.

8. Matching animals with sounds

Play sounds of various animals and let the children guess their names. You can also take them to an animal farm where they can observe their behavior. This activity may improve their sound recognition ability over time.

Give your child a blank canvas and some paints or coloring pencils. Let them get creative and produce a masterpiece.

10. Memory games

Memory games can improve a child’s retaining capacity. One such game is to sit in a circle and play “Chinese Whisper.” In this game, kids sit in a circle. Each of them has to whisper a word in their peer’s ear. The same word, along with a new one, is whispered into the next child’s ear. This should be continued till the last child in the circle announces it for all to hear.

11. Fort building

Building forts using toy material, Lego, pillows, or blankets can be fun. During the process of building a fort, children may have to face minor or major difficulties. Overcoming such issues and completing the target successfully helps in the improvement of logical and analytical abilities.

Solving mazes can also help a kid improve their approach towards dealing with problems and dead ends. It will enable lateral thinking and thinking out of the box.

13. Stacking rings

Stacking rings is an effective problem-solving activity for children as it enhances their cognitive skills, spatial awareness, and fine motor abilities. The task requires careful consideration of size, shape, and balance, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Children must strategize the order and orientation of the rings to successfully build a stable tower. This activity encourages creativity as they experiment with different stacking techniques. Give children a set of rings in varying sizes and materials for this activity. Ask the children to construct the tower and be watchful to prevent it from collapsing, as it offers them valuable insights into cause-and-effect relationships. Challenge them to create the tallest tower possible to promote teamwork and perseverance as they refine their approach through trial and error.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the stages of problem-solving?

Problem-solving is a cognitive skill that works through six stages – searching and determining the problem, generating alternative ideas or solutions, evaluating alternatives, selecting the best suitable solution, implementing the solution, and follow-up (3) .

2. At what age do toddlers begin problem-solving?

According to research, children begin problem-solving right after birth. Children learn problem-solving through exploration between zero to two years, whereas, by three years of age, they learn problem-solving through experimenting and trial and error. Four-year-olds learn problem-solving through cooperative activities with peers and friends. By five and six years, kids get enough experience to deal with problems that would need abstract thinking skills (4) .

3. How do toddlers develop critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking skills don’t develop in a day or week. Rather, it takes constant exposure to environments that hone a child’s critical thinking abilities. Indulging toddlers in critical thinking activities by asking open-ended questions or engaging in activities such as block constructing and puzzles and motivating them to think out of the box are simple ways to bolster your child’s critical thinking.

Problem-solving activities for toddlers enhance their thinking abilities and promote early brain development. You may introduce problem-solving activities such as tic-tac-toe, Simon says, hide and seek, treasure hunt, puzzles, etc., to enhance cognitive skills in toddlers. The problem-solving skills in preschoolers help them cope with various situations and mingle with other children. Problem-solving skills help children think differently and take the initiative in making decisions and solving problems. These activities help build the skills without any force or pressure.

Infographic: Hone Your Toddler’s Problem-Solving Skills

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Honing your child’s problem-solving skills during preschool can help them see things differently and enhance their creative abilities.
  • Teach them to find the problem and use their analytical abilities to find a solution.
  • Simon Says, treasure hunt, puzzles, and spot the difference are a few problem-solving activities a toddler can try.

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

  • You Can Do It: Teaching Toddlers Problem-Solving Skills. https://va-itsnetwork.org/you-can-do-it-teaching-toddlers-problem-solving-skills/
  • Developing Problem-Solving Skills At Early Age. https://kennedyglobalschool.edu.in/developing-problem-solving-skills-at-early-age-takes-kids-long-way-as-they-grow/#respond
  • Problem solving. https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Problem-solving
  • Development: Ages & Stages–How Children Learn to Problem-Solve. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ738434
  • Fact-checker

Elisabeth Daly MSEd

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Entertain Your Toddler

Last Updated on 12/17/2019 by Karen

Best Puzzles and Problem-Solving Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles!

We love puzzles and problem-solving toys. My three-year-old is a thinker. She has more fun working on a puzzle or problem-solving than most other toys. And now her younger sister is following a similar trajectory.

Puzzles and problem-solving toys are the last category on our foundational toys list, but by no means the least. Kids need puzzles and problem-solving toys in order to work on critical thinking skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and well, problem-solving!

Stacking type puzzle where balance is needed

In this guide, I’ll walk you through some traditional and non-traditional puzzles, and lots of options for toys that encourage problem-solving and critical thinking.

I had a really hard time deciding what to put in this list because there are so many good options out there. I hope this guide can help you narrow down all those options and find the perfect gift!

As always, you need to be the judge of whether a toy is appropriate for your young child’s abilities and interests. I find it’s best to pick a puzzle that challenges but does not frustrate your child. This makes for us and our kids much happier.

After browsing our top puzzle and problem-solving toys, be sure to read my tips for extending puzzle play.

Disclosure: We use sponsored, or affiliate, links, which means that we could earn a small commission that helps fund our blog (at no extra cost to you!). All opinions are our own and we only recommend products we love. Thank you for your support and happy shopping!

Our favorite board puzzles with removable pieces

Sea Life Puzzle   //   Safari Animals Puzzle   //   Farm Animals Puzzle   //   Dinosaur Puzzle   //   Things That Go Puzzle   //   Construction Vehicles Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chunky Puzzle 

We have just started collecting puzzles ever since we first played with the massive collection at our local library. She loves these Melissa & Doug wooden chunky puzzles, and I do too! 

Not only are they solid wood, durable, and hardwearing, the chunky pieces are easy to grab and can be played with as stand-alone figurines. 

These Melissa & Doug puzzles are perfect for young toddlers because under the puzzle piece is a picture of the piece that goes there to help little ones put the right shape in more easily.

First puzzle with picture displayed below where each piece goes

We started with the sea life puzzle, but I’ve got a few more I want to get this year and put links below in the order I’m planning to get them in. (Yes, these toy guides are just a glorified shopping list so that when birthdays and Christmases roll around, I’ve got my next thing ready to buy.)

If you are looking for more on your own, make sure to check that they are not the peg kind as some types with the peg in the middle have thin pieces that can’t stand up like these chunky pieces can.

Sea Life and Safari Animals puzzles

 1.  Sea Life Puzzle    

2. Safari Animals puzzle

Farm and Dinosaur puzzles

3.   Farm Animals Puzzle

4.  Dinosaur Puzzle

Things that go and Construction vehicles puzzle

5.  Things That Go Puzzle

6.  Construction Vehicles Puzzle

I would recommend getting two animal sets. That way you can mix up the pieces and sort them as you talk about animal habitats for yet another way to play!

Our library has this puzzle rack for storing their puzzles. Fits up to 12 puzzles (both the chunky puzzle size and larger).

Farm balancing block puzzle toy

Wooden Wonders Balancing Block Play Set  by Imagination Generation

I wrote about this game in my complete toy buying guide . These are cute little animal pieces that you can stack on a hard surface, or on the wobbly farm block.

This one was challenging for Elena at 18 months, so she mostly played with them as individual pieces . She was disappointed that she couldn’t put them in the barn, though.

Kids will work on fine motor skills, critical thinking, and (the reason for this post!) problem-solving.

Pile of colorful wooden balancing animal problem-solving puzzle toys

Here’s a few other options:   “Blockbeard” pirate set (though more difficult to play with individual pieces, like what do you do with the pirate heads? hmm….) Noah’s ark (2 of each animal, of course!) Lewo animal set (which we own and love!)

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs

Someone gifted us these ADORABLE little Hide and Squeak eggs and Elena loves playing with them. There is so much to learn and play with in this little half dozen egg set.

The eggs have different shapes on the bottom that fit into the matching shapes in the carton.

Each little chick inside is a different color and matches with the colored faces on the outer shell.

Plus, when you push down on the chick, it squeaks! Squeak, squeak! 

Toddler plays with TOMY colorful toy egg shape sorting and color sorting

It was a challenge at first for Elena to even open the carton. Then she discovered the different shapes on the bottom. And finally, she played by matching the colors. Sometimes Elenawill play with these as actual eggs for pretend cooking. 

Elena was two when we got these, but I could see a one-year-old or younger wanting to play with this set as well.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Fisher-Price Stack and Roll Cups

This toy doesn’t look like much at first… just your standard nesting cups set right? WRONG!

These bad boys can be nested, stacked, or snapped together to make 5 different sized balls! The little smiley at the top has a bell inside and can be hidden inside one of the balls.

Get these for a baby and he will keep playing with them in new ways as a toddler.

I can already think of several different ways to play with these cups, especially in combination with other toys. Color sorting, pretend cooking and eating, matching games, rainbow drums, hide-and-seek games, um, yeah, I think these are a great foundational toy !

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Alex Discover Button Art

Fine motor skills will get a workout in this button art set. Toddlers will enjoy putting the buttons in the holes. As they become more interested, they can create the art by matching the colored buttons to the colors on the cards.

The pegs are more vibrantly colored than they appear here. They kind of remind of those food pouch lids that I like to save for color matching games and water play, so already there is another use for the pieces in this set!

It is under $10 right now, so although the cards are more flimsy than I would like, it still may be worth it even for just the buttons to be used as manipulatives in a variety of counting, patterning, and sorting activities.

Russian nesting dolls must be arranged by size for all pieces to fit making it a challenging problem to solve and rewarding puzzle for toddlers

Russian Nesting Dolls

Yes, there are tiny pieces once you get past the fifth or sixth doll, but Elena just loves our two sets so much and we’ve gotten several hours of play out of them , so I had to put the idea out here!

I know matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) are not the first thing you think of when I say “puzzle” or “problem-solving toy,” but they really are.

The dolls need to be nested in the proper order for them all to fit together. The tops and bottoms need to be matched correctly, and you have to match up the designs so they look like one piece. There’s a lot of problem-solving going on!

Additionally, they can be played with as standalone dolls. Elena has also stacked these in numerous ways (like just tops in pyramid style, or just bottoms like nesting cups), so I believe these would make a lovely heirloom gift for a child.

This particular set from Amazon had good reviews and a lot of people mentioned how large they were (tallest doll is 8″ high), so I think this would be a good set for a child to play with.

I do like the bit of culture these matryoshka dolls bring. Russian nesting dolls were originally meant to be played with but have evolved into an art form. There are some very elaborate ones out there!

I also looked for a less delicate plastic set and found these little nesting penguins  and these fun little robots . Check them out if your child is not into dolls.

Shape sorters are classic problem solving toys

Top Bright Wooden Shape Sorter

How cute is this! It’s a cement truck shape sorter! Plus it comes with a little truck driver!

A shape sorter is for sure a good foundational toy , as you can obviously teach shapes, but you can also teach colors if you have brightly colored set, and do some stacking with the shape blocks.

This sorter has the added bonus of imaginative play and can be pulled around on the string. You can spin the barrel and tip it to dump out the blocks. All in all, a fun, educational toy!

**Note: The blocks are wooden, but the truck is a mix of plastic and wood.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Melissa & Doug Keys & Cars Wooden Rescue Vehicle & Garage Toy

One of my nephews is obsessed with firefighters and police officers, so I’m considering getting him this for Christmas.

It’s a wooden fire truck, ambulance, and police car that can be sorted in the color matching garage. What makes this a unique problem-solving toy is the addition of keys to lock and unlock the garage doors!

The keys will keep little toddler hands busy and working on their hand-eye coordination and color matching. When they tire of that, there is always the rescue vehicles to play with.

Woo-ooh-woo-ooh-woo-ooh! (I’m 99% positive that’s how you spell the sound a siren makes.)

A similar toy is this M&D Wooden Doorbell Dollhouse .

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Eric Carle Matching Game  by The Wonder Forge

Does your child like The Very Hungry Caterpillar ? This is one of Elena’s favorite books. We have also just discovered matching and memory games, so this would be game I think she would love.

The cards/tiles are a sturdy chipboard and feature art by Eric Carle (author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The Tiny Seed, and more!). There are 72 tiles, so you’ll want to play with only 4 or 5 pairs to start with.

If you’ve never played Memory, basically, you mix up the cards and turn them all over. Then you take turns choosing two cards at a time with the goal of finding a matching pair.

For a young one, you could have the whole set face up and challenge them to find matching pairs or play I Spy .

You could also play Go Fish with these, though the chipboard could be tough to hold in one hand.

Afterwards, you can read an Eric Carle book and do a matching puzzle.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and jumbo puzzle
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book and simple puzzle pairs

I think these in combination with the matching game would make a perfect gift basket for an Eric Carle lover.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Grimm’s Water Wave Stacker

Grimm’s rainbow is a favorite among the Montessori/Waldorf people, but did you know there are other nesting sets in the “Elements of Nature” collection which are equally beautiful?

I decided to feature the water wave stacker because the shades of blue are so pretty and I like the ocean 🙂

These open-ended puzzle toys enhance a child’s creativity and imagination. The pieces can be laid on their side to make pretty patterns or stacked in different ways to create bridges or houses or fences for play with animal or doll figurines. It’s pretty amazing to watch a child play with these and get a glimpse into their creative brain.

I love how beautiful the Grimm’s sets are. They look like art pieces that I could display on a bookshelf in the living room. They are wooden and painted with child-safe non-toxic water-based paint and dyes.

Be sure to check out the fire flames nesting set  as well.

Grimm’s can be pricey, but Lewo makes a similar concept, but different style, colorful wooden puzzle set for less. Take a look if you’re interested.

Other Puzzles to Love

Here are a few  jigsaw puzzles that are adorable and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

The Petit Collage Beginner Puzzles are lovely, unconfined animal-shaped jigsaw puzzles. I love this forest babies set of four puzzles.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Crocodile Creek Birthday Bear is a traditional rectangle jigsaw puzzle with 24 pieces and a whimsical illustration. Below are more floor puzzles from Crocodile Creek.

OK, here’s my favorite. I like these Mudpuppy Pouch Puzzles because they store neatly away in a zipper POUCH! Such a great idea for puzzle storage. You could easily toss one in your purse for play at the restaurant when you need to keep kids busy and quiet. Each pouch has 12 extra thick chunky pieces. 

One Last Tip for Extending Puzzle Playtime

Sensory bin!

Almost anything can be turned into a sensory bin, right? Fill a container with your favorite sensory bin filler (dry beans, rice, popcorn kernels, nothing wet of course) and hide the pieces of a puzzle in it . Let your child dig and scoop to find the pieces and then put it together.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

If you’ve got an older child who needs a challenge, why not mix up a few different smaller sets of puzzles and have them sort the sets!

Do you have any other tips for new ways to play with puzzles?

Building toys are also great for building critical thinking skills and hand-eye coordination. Check out our favorite classic building toys  and our favorite building toys for little ones.

I hope these toy guides and gift ideas help you find the perfect gift for any kid on your list!

For more on building a toybox of only toys your child will play with and love, read this complete toy buying guide .

The best puzzles and problem solving toys

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8 Engaging Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

Learning to problem solve is an important life skill that is learned through years of practice and patience. These 8 problem solving activities for toddlers and preschoolers are proven ways to help give your child a head start with this skill.

We can not always be there to help our little ones solve their problems. We CAN, however, provide them with the right tools and resources to help them learn to solve problems independently.

What is Problem Solving?

Problem solving is essentially the process of finding a solution to a problem. To successfully problem solve, children first have to analyze the problem in detail, think about it critically, figure out what needs to be done, brainstorm different strategies to remediate the issue, and then evaluate if the solution was successful.

For children, this can be a very complex and difficult process simply because of their lack of experience.

Since we draw on our knowledge and experience when faced with obstacles, it is important we expose our children to activities that will help give them both the knowledge and experience they need to help face these challenges.

construction play as a problem solving activity for toddlers

Why Problem-Solving is Important for Young Children

Learning to problem solve is incredibly important during early childhood. Not only does it play a major role in a child’s cognitive development , but it is also a critical component of their academic success and ability to maintain healthy relationships.

When children can effectively solve a problem, it drastically improves their self-esteem and self-confidence. This is especially important when it comes to academics.

Children who can not effectively problem solve tend to get frustrated easily and they may begin showing signs of avoidant behaviors. This can cause children to feel incompetent in school and with relationships which can ultimately lead them to falling behind academically.

Luckily, children learn at an incredible rate, especially during those first couple of years. As you expose your child to different problem-solving activities they will gain the confidence needed to face any challenge they may encounter.

Problem Solving Skills in Early Childhood

Problem-solving skills require the cognitive capabilities to think through a problem and take appropriate action. Some problems may need a simple fix while others may require the use of many of these skills.

Examples of Problem Solving Skills:

  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Analytical thinking (being able to break a complex problem down into more manageable parts)
  • Communication
  • Creativity and innovative
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Negotiation

How to Teach Problem Solving Skills (+ Strategies)

The best way to teach this skill is to expose your child to various activities that will require a bit of critical thinking and problem-solving.

The problem solving activities for toddlers listed below is a great place to start!

While this skill can be learned during free play , children will develop even stronger problem-solving skills if you encourage this type of thinking and reasoning during certain activities.

Strategies For Parents, Caregivers, or Teachers:

1. Model problem solving by talking out loud in front of your child

Since children lack the experience, they may find it difficult to problem solve. Try modeling this skill when you run into daily problems.

For example: ”I ran out of sugar to make my coffee sweet. Since I do not have any more sugar, what can I put in my coffee to make it sweet? I will put some honey because honey is naturally very sweet!”.

2. Ask open-ended questions

When children approach you with a problem, try asking open-ended questions to help them solve the issue on their own.

Here are some example questions:

  • Why did your blocks fall over? What can we do next time to make it stronger?
  • What other games you can play with your ball?
  • What are some other things can you use to make the fort bigger?

Sometimes children just need a little push to help them find creative solutions.

3. Avoid fixing every problem for your child

One of the best things you can do for your child is to avoid fixing every problem for them.

Whether it is a toy-related issue, a difficult math equation, or a social conflict with a friend or sibling. Try to encourage your child to solve some of these issues with as much independence as possible.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

8 Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are 8 simple problem solving activities for toddlers and preschoolers. While these activities may seem to be very simple and basic, do not let that fool you. Learning through play is the best way to ”teach” our children the skill of problem solving.

Puzzles are a great activity to encourage skills like trial and error, persistence, and patience. Each new puzzle presents a new set of challenges that the children have to work through.

When children are around 2 years of age you can start with plastic or wooden shape sorters. As they get older and their skills develop, you can give them more complex puzzles to complete like 9 or 12-piece puzzle sets.

2. Sorting Activities

This activity is so simple because you can sort anything including toys, clothes, and even fruits and veggies.

Children learn to compare, contrast, and classify based on what they are observing. This helps with logical thinking, analytical thinking, and it gives children a sense of order. This type of systematic thinking is very helpful for problem solving because it teaches children to perform tasks in a structured manner, much like the steps to solve a problem.

3. Board Games

Board games are a great problem solving activity for toddlers and preschoolers! I love that it can be interactive with young children and adults!

When children are younger, it is best to start with simple games like Zimboos . This is a stacking game that requires children to analyze, critically think, and collaborate with others to make sure the pyramid stays balanced.

As children get older you can advance to more complex games like Quirkle . This game includes a puzzle-like component that allows children to develop their spatial recognition, planning, and problem solving skills. 

construction play as a problem solving activity for toddlers

4. Construction Play

Construction play using mega blocks, wooden blocks, or even train track sets is an amazing way to help support your child’s brain and cognitive development.

Everything from planning what they want to build to figuring out what to do when certain pieces don’t fit together helps children learn the foundational skills for problem solving.

These are the types of toys I would encourage all parents to have readily available for their children.

5. Story Time Questions

There are so many amazing benefits of reading to your child and it is one of the best listening activities for kids !

As you read to your child, try making it an engaging experience. You can start by asking them open-ended questions to really help them think through certain problems and scenarios.

Here are some examples of the types of problem-solving questions that can be asked during a read-aloud:

  • What healthy foods should the caterpillar have eaten to not get a stomach ache?
  • The Duck and Penguin don’t like each other, what can do they to work it out and become friends?
  • If you lost your shoe, how would you try and find it?
  • If your kite got stuck in the tree, how would you try and get it down?

6. Fort Building

I remember always building forts as a child and constantly running into problems. The blankets were always too small, or I couldn’t get them to stay in place!

This is why it is such a great activity for problem-solving! Children have to plan, make decisions, analyze, evaluate, and solve problems. The best part is that most kids will persevere through despite all these challenges because the end result is so much fun!

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

7. Simple House Chores

If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mom is that kids love to help! I really enjoy involving my toddler when I am doing work around the house.

To encourage practice with problem-solving, ask your child questions so they can think of solutions to your problems. If your child is still young, this is a great opportunity to model problem solving by simply talking out loud.

Here are some examples:

  • These clothes are really dirty, what should we do?
  • How can we make our clean-up time faster?
  • There are so many toys on the floor, how can we sort and organize them?

8. Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are an incredible learning activity for kids. Since kids learn best through play , it is important to make learning an enjoyable experience for them.

I love scavenger hunts because of how many different skills are involved. Children have to use their observational skills, critical thinking skills, and imagination to solve the problem and complete the tasks.

These are also very customizable. You can use words, pictures, or even descriptions depending on your child’s skill level.

I hope can incorporate some of these problem solving activities for toddlers into your daily routine to help your child become a master problem solver!

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This Homeschool House

17 Valuable Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

Posted on February 24, 2023

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Problem solving activities for toddlers don’t need to be overly complicated.

I would sit there watching my toddler as he was playing with his toys during his playtime . He would be trying to fit a block into one of those circular toys with the shapes cut out.

He was trying to put a square into a circle cutout.  After a couple of attempts, he clearly couldn’t get it to work and he absolutely lost his cool.

There is yelling and screaming and the toy was eventually thrown some distance across the room. This was not a one-off event.

My second child didn’t seem to have such a lot of trouble with these kinds of situations but my third child is very much the same as her older brother.

Problem-solving skills come easier to some people than they do two others.

However problem-solving skills are an important asset to have no matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in.

Life can be complicated and challenging and we often come across situations that we’re not comfortable in and we’re not sure how to handle.

But is it really that important to start working on problem-solving skills when our kids are still just toddlers?

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Why are Problem-Solving Activities for Toddlers Important?

Layers. Let’s think about problem-solving skills in layers.

You may feel as though it’s not very important for your toddler to be working on problem-solving skills but that is the furthest thing from the truth.

The toddler years build-up to the childhood years build-up to teenage years and the teenage years built up to adulthood.

Each stage contains its own unique set of problem-solving that needs to happen and problem-solving skills are a crucial part of toddler cognitive development.

The problem-solving skills that a toddler must learn are not going to be the same as what a teenager is going to need to learn.

However, the skills that a toddler learns are going to directly impact the skills that a teenager is going to be able to learn and how easily they’re able to learn them.

What your toddler learns now is going to make their problem-solving so much easier when they are a teenager.

To put it frankly you want to allow your toddler to be learning problem-solving skills now in order to make their future that much easier. 

Important Skills that Problem-Solving Offers

dad helping son with problem solving activities for toddlers

Let’s just take a moment to really consider everything that your child will gain from having some problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is great but it isn’t the only thing that your child is going to gain.

They will gain the ability to be more creative, have more flexibility, patience, and lateral thinking. 

Your toddler will gain skills such as resilience, level-headedness, and persistence. These may be basic skills, to begin with, but over time they will grow and get stronger and hugely benefit them in the long run.

Your child’s ability to increase their critical thinking skills and work out their own problems is made much easier if they’re given the opportunity to practice these skills as young children.

A List of Problem-Solving Games and Activities for Toddlers

toddler stacking blocks

As parents, we can sometimes overthink how our children are going to learn specific skills. An important thing to remember is that a child’s work is play. Play is a child’s work. Children need very little to learn important skills.

However, you can definitely help set up certain scenarios where your toddler can practice the art of problem-solving.

Because children learn through play I am listing a lot of games and activities for toddlers that are meant for building up problem-solving skills. 

I have also included at least one general life activity that takes place in the home. Children do learn through play but there are also just daily activities that are going to help hone their problem-solving skills. Sometimes we just need them to be pointed out.

We often just need some new ways suggested to us when we’re at a dead end for what the best way and most fun way is to teach these kinds of cognitive skills.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

This seems like a really obvious answer but it is sometimes the simplest things that make the most difference.

There are there is an abundance of puzzles out there that are perfect for toddlers to home their problem-solving skills with.

My one piece of advice would be to make sure that it is age appropriate. If you pick one that is too advanced you’re only going to end up with a very frustrated toddler. 

#2 Asking Open-Ended Questions (Imaginary Games)

mom paying with toddler son

This is something that can be a really fun activity to do with your toddler and there are different ways to do it. You could set up a storytime where they are going to be telling the story themselves. To help them with this you simply ask them open-ended questions. In my experience kids absolutely love this.

You can also make this in an imaginary game. We all know how much our children love for us to play with them and to play imaginary games specifically.

Let them run the narrative by asking them questions. Young toddlers very often come up with the most hilarious storylines.

#3 Scavenger Hunts

toddler looking through grass

This is an activity that all of my children love even my kids who are well out of the toddler stage. For that reason, it can be a really great family activity to do together.

 Create your own scavenger hunts or find one on Pinterest or Google. Make it into a treasure hunt if you really want to up the excitement level. Your older children will love this too.

 Your toddler will have so much fun hunting for things around your house or your yard. It’s a great way of developing their problem-solving skills as they have to think about where certain things would be.

You could even have them create a scavenger hunt for their siblings are friends to do. This is one of those fun activities that can be rehashed many times over.

#4 Creative Play

toddler playing with pretend make up

Creative play isn’t necessarily a toddler activity that you have to set up because they naturally fall into it all on their own. However, it is important to acknowledge how wonderful creative play is for helping to develop problem-solving skills.

Have you ever had a child come to you and complain that their sibling or friend is not playing by the rules of the game that they themselves created?

This is a perfect example of how they are developing their problem-solving skills.

Children naturally create scenarios and situations that are promoted by their life experiences and the things that they see around them.

Creative play gives them the opportunity to role model the examples that they have been exposed to and to work out different scenarios. This is a vital skill for them to develop at a young age.

Most kids can come up with all sorts of games without any toys at all however if you do want to provide toys for the specific kind of play look under toys listed as role play or creative play.

Consider a toy kitchen dress-up clothes play money. All of these things can have open-ended uses for play and learning vital skills. 

When they practice this kind of creative free play with other children, they’re also practicing their language development and working on solving difficult situations. It’s a really good way to overhear what they really are learning.

#5 Creating Patterns

toddler making patterns

I homeschool my children and one of the things that they all really in have enjoyed doing is learning about patterns. However, this is not something that you have to wait to teach your child until they are school-aged.

Toddlers are more than capable of recognizing patterns around them.

You can get free printables or printables that are very affordable that are specifically made to use with toddlers.

You can get them to continue the pattern or create their own pattern using flashcards.

This is an excellent way of developing problem-solving skills using simple games and even small objects. Use chocolate chips and cheerios to create a pattern. It’ll be great for their fine motor skills and they’ll love the treat when you’re finished the game!

Toddler girl dusting

Now, this is obviously not a game or specific activity for toddlers however chores are a normal part of life. In our home, everyone does their bit to help the home run smoothly.

You can totally give your toddler some basic chores that they are responsible for. Simple things like taking a rag and dusting the baseboards. My toddlers have always loved to be helpful in this way. It’s a great way to teach them problem-solving skills. They will learn about the tools they need to use the job to complete the job and how to get the job done well.

As they get older their skills will also get better. 

#7 Stacking Blocks

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Stacking blocks are a pretty staple part of many toddlers’ toy chests. It’s an open-ended imaginative toy that your toddler can learn great problem-solving skills from.

The simple act of having to balance blocks on top of one another without them falling over is a skill in and of itself. These were a favorite toy in our home when I had really little kids.

Using building materials such as wooden blocks helps them to problem solve and learn important concepts such as balance, spatial reasoning, and many other great skills.

Little minds can be seen working through the thought process of all the possible solutions for what they want to build.

This was a toy that I often had set aside for independent play (a great tool to have during the early years!).

#8 Magnatiles

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Magatiles are another great toy option for open-ended imaginative play. Again your toddler will have to make sure that they understand how to get the tiles to fit together and create the shapes that they’re trying to achieve.

#9 Hide n Seek

toddler playing hide n seek

Playing hide n’ seek honestly holds some of the fondest memories I have of my kids. There is just something about hearing their little giggles as they are trying their best to hide from me that just melts my heart. Ultimately I end up in fits of vehicles myself.

In all seriousness, your toddler can learn some great problem-solving skills by playing this game with you their siblings or friends.

#10 Grouping Activities

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Another simple activity that teaches great problem-solving skills is having your toddler practice grouping specific items based on either their shape color or other identifying thing.

#11 Playing Playdough

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Play-Doh is one of the cheapest and most accessible open-ended play items that you can give to your child. You can either just leave them to play with it or you can give them playdough mats where they can create specific shapes with their player.

This is a great activity for developing hand dexterity and also problem-solving skills amongst other things. 

#12 Reading Together

mom reading to toddler

You might not consider reading together an activity that would develop problem-solving skills. However, as your child goes through the story with you and the character that you are reading about is struggling with specific issues your toddler is also going to be thinking about how those issues might be resolved.

A way to make this activity even better is to have a discussion with your toddler as you’re reading a story or after you’ve finished it. 

#13 Gardening

little boy gardening

Gardening is a really wonderful activity for your toddler to be involved in.

Not only are they going to learn about plants how they grow and what they can produce for us but they can also learn some valuable problem-solving skills as they help alongside you in the garden. 

#14 Shape Insert Toys

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Remember that toy that my son was really struggling with at the beginning of this article? Well despite his frustration it is actually a really fantastic toy for teaching toddlers problem-solving skills. 

#15 Games (Think, Fun, Roll)

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

There are different games that you can play with your toddler that can also help with problem-solving skills. One that we really love in our home is Think, Fun, Roll .

But there are also board games such as Candyland that toddlers really love and will teach them great skills. 

#16 Playing Memory

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Some toddlers may find it a little frustrating playing the game memory . However, if you’re smart and modify it and make it a little easier then this can be a really really wonderful game for toddlers to build up their problem-solving skills.

They’ll learn the process of elimination. They also work on extending their concentration and obviously they’ll be working on their memory skills too.

#17 Daily Activities

little boy brushing teeth

Finally, I just want to address one of the most obvious things and that is daily activities. Your child will be doing things like getting dressed brushing their teeth picking up their clothes taking their plate to the kitchen and many other simple tasks like this every single day.

Do not fail to see the wonderful skillset that they will gain from doing these basic tasks.

Toddlers can learn great problem-solving skills simply by getting dressed in the morning.

We really don’t need to overcomplicate things.

Problem-solving is such a vital skill to have especially in adulthood but the things that we provide for our children now will make a big difference in the future.

It can take patience on our behalf and a lot of grace at times to give them the space to really practice their problem-solving skills.

It’s not fun having to listen to your toddler frustrated and whining as I try to learn something new and not step in to fix it for them.

However, you have to see how good is for them to learn these skills. There will be times when you will need to step in and help but a lot of the time it will be great for them to figure it out on their own.

I hope these toddler activity ideas give you a great jumping-off point for a way to teach a child really great problem-solving skills. 

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Hi! I’m Christine – a homeschooling mom of three. I see homeschooling simply as another facet of parenting. Just as you teach your child to tie their shoes, you can also teach them how to read and do arithmetic. As a second-generation homeschooler, I know the endless benefits that homeschooling offers. I went on to complete a Bachelor of Nursing and have now chosen to stay at home with my children (while also running an online business).

I have a heart for mothers that feel as though they are just existing from day to day and are longing for more. You can find out more about me and my family over on my ‘ About Me ‘ page.

As well as the abundance of posts you’ll find on my blog, you can also find me over at iHomeschool Network and Today Parenting .

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Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

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7 Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

If you have a toddler, challenges like tough homework problems or social dilemmas are still a long way off. But their brains are already working to build the cognitive skills they’ll need to solve life’s “big” problems later on. For now, problem-solving activities – even ones that seem simple to us – can help them boost their cognition, resilience, and creativity. Best of all? These “problems” are actually fun! Here are seven simple problem-solving activities for toddlers and preschoolers you can start trying right away!

Memory Games

Those little memory card games with matching pictures are great for building concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills in your toddler! Many sets might come with a few too many pairs for a toddler to handle without help, so start with just three to four pairs and see if they can match them up! As they begin to master that, you can add in more and more pairs until they’re working with the entire deck. If you don’t have a deck, you can easily DIY your own with online printables or your own drawings.

Shape Sorters

Shape sorters are a classic problem-solving toy for young toddlers. In addition to matching the shapes to the correct holes, they’ll also need to figure out why the shapes don’t always fit into the hole, requiring them to rotate the shape or make subtle adjustments to their grip.

Sorting/ Grouping by Category

Sorting activities are excellent for toddlers’ problem solving and cognitive development, so there’s no need to stop with shape sorters! Set up simple activities that allow them to sort by a variety of categories. This can be as simple as letting them unload the dishwasher silverware tray into the silverware organizer. Or ask them to gather up all the yellow items they see in a room.

Rotating puzzles is a great way to keep the problem-solving challenge fresh for your toddler. Even a familiar puzzle can present a fun, “new” challenge for your toddler if they haven’t seen it in weeks.

Hide the Teddy Bear

One cognitive milestone for two-year-olds is the ability to find an object that’s been hidden under two or more layers. Once they’ve mastered that, they’ll be ready for more advanced hiding games. Try hiding a teddy bear or other toy when they aren’t looking and then give them clues to find it. You can start off with basic directions and then progress to tougher clues or games of warmer/ colder.

Help Mommy/ Daddy

Toddlers love to help, and helping Mommy or Daddy with a problem can be a lot less frustrating than solving their own. For example, if your little one has been determined to put on their own socks lately but always ends up super frustrated, try mimicking the same problem yourself and asking for their help. You can coach them through the process (“Now we need to stretch out the opening of the sock!”), and because their emotions aren’t already running high, they’ll be more likely to actually absorb your tips. You can model how to stay calm through frustrating situations and help them build confidence in their ability to tackle the same problem later.

Constructive Play Toys

The ability to build a block tower of four or more blocks is actually considered a cognitive milestone for two-year-olds. For three-year-olds, a tower of six or more blocks is the expected milestone. That’s because building anything, even a simple block tower, is a true problem-solving challenge for toddlers. Blocks, train sets, and other building toys let your child work out how to balance, fit pieces together, and deal with frustration as they learn to master the challenge.

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

  • Baby Products

15 Fun and Educational Puzzles for Toddlers

profile picture of Emma O'Regan-Reidy

High-tech gadgets and interactive toys are great and all—but when it comes to educational play, puzzles are hard to beat. Why? A humble wooden puzzle helps develop children’s fine-motor skills, while encouraging them to problem-solve and think creatively.

Ready to start your search for the best options? Here, you’ll find the best brain-boosting puzzles for toddlers, from simple wooden shapes to animal-themed activities and more.

Benefits of Puzzles for Toddlers

“The learning benefits of puzzles are seemingly endless, as they touch on many developmental skills,” says Jana Sarno , BCBA, a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers . If you’re looking for educational toys that encourage concentration, problem-solving and tactile learning, you can’t go wrong with a puzzle. But that’s not all they offer—toddler and baby puzzles can introduce your little one to colors, shapes, numbers and everyday vocabulary, preparing them for preschool down the line. What’s more, they can help kids advance hand-eye coordination and other fine motor skills, Sarno adds. They also make for a fantastic rainy-day activity for the whole family, but don’t be tempted to intervene too much—kids will get a greater sense of accomplishment from solving a puzzle solo.

What To Look For in Puzzles for Toddlers

The best puzzles for toddlers are age-appropriate, educational and, most importantly, fun! Look for colorful picks that introduce your child to early learning STEM concepts like numbers, letters and shapes. While shopping, consider your child’s developmental level to find a puzzle that’ll stimulate their growing mind and motor skills, advises Sarno. She suggests beginning with puzzles with pieces that are chunky and easy to grasp; some may even have pegs to help little hands hold onto them. If that’s the case, start your child off with jumbo pegs before advancing to small peg puzzles.

Has your tot mastered baby puzzles? Move on to beginner jigsaw puzzles. As your kiddo’s skills progress, graduate to options with more pieces. “By increasing the number of pieces per puzzle, a child is able to achieve success before challenging them again,” explains Sarno. Remember, babies and toddlers have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths, so always choose puzzles with large pieces to reduce the risk of choking .

Best Puzzles for Toddlers To Shop

Whether you’re looking for a big out-of-this-world floor puzzle, a chic personalized wooden design or something in between, we’ve got you covered. Below, shop our favorite puzzles for toddlers at any developmental level.

Overall best toddler puzzle

Mudpuppy Level Up! Puzzle Set

  • Four puzzles in one set
  • Different levels of difficulty
  • Inexpensive
  • Best for beginners

This adorable puzzle was highlighted in our Best of The Bump roundup of the best toddler toys , where our parent product tester praised its affordability and durability, as well as the way it engaged and challenged her daughter. The set includes four puzzles with various levels of difficulty, allowing kids to start small (one puzzle has just 16 pieces) and progress as they feel more comfortable. The puzzles are made from large cardboard pieces that are easy to hold, and each features a sweet cartoon theme.

Age rating: 3+ years | Number of pieces: 16 to 28

“Your kids will love these—and it will challenge them, which is great.”

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Best puzzle for one-year-olds

Skip Hop Zoo Park Pals Puzzle

  • Pieces double as toys
  • Sturdy pieces
  • Colors may fade over time

Puzzles for toddlers should have chunky pieces that are easy for little hands to manage. Case in point: the Zoo Park Pals puzzle for babies 12 months and up. It has eight grabbable pieces that stand upright to encourage imaginative play. The colorful park scene features an array of animals that’ll excite and delight your tot. Plus, drawings etched on the board help kids in need of some extra clues.

Age rating: 1+ years | Number of pieces: 8

Best puzzle for 2-year-olds

Wee Gallery Pets Beginner Puzzles

  • Easy to use
  • Pieces may bend over time

Next up is one of the most whimsical puzzles for 2-year-olds by Wee Gallery. The cute set includes six characters inspired by pets of all shapes and sizes. Each critter is made up of two large jigsaw pieces, so your little one can complete the puzzles with confidence.

Age rating: 2 to 4 years | Number of pieces: 12

Best puzzle for 3-year-olds

Melissa & Doug Dinosaurs 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

  • Included storage
  • Four puzzles in one kit
  • Puzzles can be assembled on storage box
  • Pieces may get mixed up

The best puzzles for 3-year-olds are those that allow them to build on their blossoming cognitive and motor skills. Take this set, for instance. It comes with four colorful dino-themed puzzles, each made up of 12 pieces. Better yet, the wooden storage box makes cleanup a breeze, and even doubles as a tray where your tot can lay pieces as they put pictures together.

Age rating: 3+ years | Number of pieces: 12

Best wooden puzzle for toddlers

Cucos Wooden Cutting Puzzle

  • Multi-purpose toys
  • Kids can “cut” each piece of fruit
  • Too small for some

This wooden fruit-themed puzzle from Cucos has a fun twist: Toddlers can use the included wooden knife to “cut” each item. The puzzle features four pieces of fruit—a kiwi, strawberry, orange and apple, that stick together with the help of velcro. The pieces can be assembled in the wooden puzzle or pulled out and played with as-is, giving you plenty of mileage out of one toy. At about 7 x 7 inches, the puzzle is that just-right size for little hands.

Age rating: 1 to 5 years | Number of pieces: 9

Best personalized puzzle for toddlers

BusyPuzzle Personalized Name Puzzle with Animals

  • Highly customizable
  • Helps children learn to spell their name
  • Cute animal theme
  • Longer names can get pricey

Gifting for little ones isn’t always a piece of cake, but name puzzles for toddlers are surefire winners. This sweet design from Etsy features several smiling animals and can be customized with your kiddo’s name. Not only will this toy improve their motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but it will also help them learn the letters of their name!

Age rating: 1+ years | Number of pieces: Varies

Best floor puzzle for toddlers

Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

  • Educational
  • Challenging—but not too tough
  • May be too hard for younger toddlers

Older toddlers will love this large floor puzzle. Made up of 48 pieces, it will offer an age-appropriate challenge that further nurtures problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. When put together, the thick, sturdy pieces will reveal an out-of-this-world image of the solar system. Watch your kiddo’s face light up as they show you what they’ve accomplished!

Age rating: 3 to 6 years | Number of pieces: 48

Best wooden alphabet puzzle for toddlers

B. toys Wooden Alphabet Puzzle

  • Helps toddlers learn letters
  • Pieces are easy to grasp
  • Sturdy design
  • Letters can fall off board

It’s never too early to practice your ABCs! This top-rated wooden puzzle for toddlers has colorful, easy-to-grab letters that fit into grooves illustrated with friendly characters. Call out each letter as they play to help them grow familiar with the alphabet. Your little scholar can use this puzzle from 18 months on.

Age rating: 18+ months | Number of pieces: 27

Best shape puzzle for toddlers

Lovevery Friends of All Shapes Puzzle

  • Sturdy construction
  • Free play guide
  • May not be exciting enough for older toddlers

We’re big fans of Lovevery —a play company that creates thoughtful toys for every stage of baby’s development. Designed for littles 16 months and up, this wooden puzzle appeals to a child’s love of repetition. Pictures of real people hidden behind each piece will help your kiddo recognize faces, while matching the correct shape to each slot on the board. Plus, you can download a free play guide to get the most fun from this toy.

Age rating: 16+ months | Number of pieces: 6

Best counting puzzle for toddlers

Tender Leaf Toys How Many Acorns Puzzle

  • Promotes counting skills
  • May not challenge older toddlers

Made from sustainable rubberwood, this cute puzzle offers a fun way to build math skills. Help the squirrel count his acorns by matching the correct piece to each segment of the board. The corresponding colors and dots will help kids crack the code. If you’re searching for a gift for an 18-month-old , this option is a surefire winner.

Age rating: 18+ months | Number of pieces: 11

Best animal puzzle for toddlers

BeginAgain Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle

  • Uses non-toxic stains
  • Unusual design
  • Puzzle isn’t intuitive for younger kids

There are plenty of animal-themed puzzles for toddlers on the market, but this option takes the cake. The unique design doubles as an alphabet puzzle, and is made up of 25 vibrant wooden animals which can be played with individually, stacked into a tower or connected together—the opportunities for open-ended play are limitless! Parents will also love how each is made from all-natural rubberwood and finished with non-toxic water-based stains.

Age rating: 2+ years | Number of pieces: 25

Best STEM puzzle for toddlers

Fat Brain Toys Bugzzle

  • Involves matching
  • Different ways to play
  • Adorable design
  • May be too challenging for younger toddlers

Get their gears turning with this STEM puzzle toy. Just choose one of the 40 picture cards provided to solve. It's then up to your mini-engineer to fit the right pieces into the smiling bug-shaped board to create a matching pattern. Your little one may find it challenging at first, but with a little help along the way it’s sure to delight them in no time.

Age rating: 3+ years | Number of pieces: 18

Best sensory puzzle for toddlers

Melissa & Doug First Play Wooden Touch and Feel Puzzle

  • Multiple ways to interact
  • Different textures to explore
  • Pieces are easy to hold
  • Fuzzy parts may shed

Designed with newly minted tots in mind, this touch-and-feel wooden puzzle features several sensory elements for little ones to explore. It’s made up of four easy-to-grasp, animal-shaped pieces and a brightly colored board. Watch your kiddo smile as they discover the different textures, engage in pretend play and recognize themselves in the center mirror.

Age rating: 1+ year | Number of pieces: 5

Best musical puzzle for toddlers

Melissa & Doug Sing-Along Nursery Rhymes Sound Puzzle

  • Plays nursery rhymes
  • Lyrics attached to pieces
  • Volume can’t be adjusted

This musical puzzle for toddlers is inspired by classic nursery rhymes. Sing along as your tot lifts each piece to trigger the music and reveal the pictures underneath. If you need a refresher—flip over the board and read the lyrics on the reverse side. Each wooden piece also has a plastic peg that’s easy for 2-year-olds to grasp as they play.

Age rating: 2+ years | Number of pieces: 7

Best Montessori puzzle for toddlers

Chuckle & Roar 4-in-1 Montessori Learning Puzzle

  • Four-in-one puzzle
  • Bright colors
  • High interactivity
  • Lots of pieces to keep track of

Last but not least is a Montessori toy that’s designed to teach children in several areas while being fun to use. This 75-piece puzzle focuses on counting, colors, shapes and numbers to give children plenty to do, and built-in storage to boot.

Age rating: 3+ years | Number of pieces: 75

How We Chose the Best Puzzles for Toddlers

To help you find the best toddler puzzles for your kiddo, we browsed options from an array of trusted retailers and chose our top picks for every chosen category. When sourcing items, we kept several aspects in mind, including quality and durability, age-appropriateness, style and, of course, safety. We read user reviews to understand what parents loved (and didn’t love) about each puzzle, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. To make sure we highlighted products that are safe, educational and fun, we chatted with a behavior analyst to understand essential features for parents to keep top of mind.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here .

Plus, more from The Bump:

40 Best Gifts for 1-Year-Old Kiddos of 2023

Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds to Take Playtime to the Next Level

The Best Gifts and Toys for 3-Year-Olds

Jana Sarno , BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers . She has worked as the vice president of applied behavior analysis at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and as an infant development program administrator at Coyne & Associates Education Corp.

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25+ Puzzle Game Ideas Fun for Toddler Development

Toddlers love exploring, and puzzles are a fun way to develop problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness skills. We’ve got 25 awesome obstacle course ideas incorporating puzzles designed for toddlers.

When choosing puzzles, make sure they’re age-appropriate, have large pieces, are made of durable materials, have bright colors, have interactive elements, have multiple pieces, and are safe.

Let’s create wild and wacky obstacle courses to engage and entertain your little ones while improving their essential skills. Let the fun begin!

Table of Contents

How to Choose the Right Puzzle

Age-appropriate:.

Look for puzzles designed for toddlers and appropriate for their age and developmental stage.

Choose puzzles with larger pieces that are easy for little hands to grasp and manipulate.

Opt for puzzles made of durable materials like wood or plastic that can withstand the wear and tear of toddler play.

Visual Appeal:

Look for puzzles that have bright and colorful designs that will capture your toddler’s attention and keep them engaged.

Interactivity:

Consider puzzles with interactive elements, like knobs, buttons, or flaps, making the puzzle more engaging for your toddler.

Multiple Pieces:

Look for multiple-piece puzzles to help your toddler develop problem-solving and spatial awareness skills.

Make sure the puzzle you choose has no small parts that could be a choking hazard and that the materials are non-toxic and safe for your toddler to handle.

Puzzle Game Ideas for Toddlers:

Old macdonald’s puzzle farm .

Have your little one struggle through an obstacle course filled with farm animals like mooing cows, oinking pigs, and clucking chickens.

Then, finish the adventure with an animal-themed puzzle to complete the farm-tasting experience!

Shape-tastic Obstacle Course 

Get ready for a wild ride through a course full of shape-sorting fun! Your toddler will navigate tunnels and bridges to find the perfect shape match. Then, wrap up the fun with a shape-sorting puzzle that’ll have them giggling with glee.

The Color Matching Maze of Madness 

Watch your kiddo’s eyes light up as they explore a colorful maze of cardboard or tape filled with various objects of different colors.

They’ll match each item to the corresponding color path, then complete the experience with a color-tastic puzzle that leaves them feeling like a puzzle master!

The Alphabet Adventure 

Let your little one be the star of their alphabet book by exploring an obstacle course with alphabet letters at every turn.

When they’re done, celebrate with an alphabet-themed puzzle to help reinforce their letter recognition skills in the goofiest way possible.

Counting Craziness Obstacle Course 

Jump, hop, and skip through an obstacle course with counting games. From hopping on one foot to doing jumping jacks, your little one will be counting to the finish line.

Then, cap off the adventure with a counting puzzle that’ll have them smiling from ear to ear.

The Animal Sound Safari 

It’s a wild ride through an obstacle course filled with animal sounds! Your toddler will hear everything from roaring lions to trumpeting elephants as they make their way to the finish line.

Then, complete the adventure with an animal sound puzzle that’ll have them laughing and learning simultaneously!

Memory Lane Course 

Create an obstacle course featuring memory games like remembering where to step or what objects to touch. Finish with a memory puzzle.

Transport Maze 

Create a maze featuring different modes of transportation like cars, trains, and airplanes. Finish with a transportation puzzle.

Nature Trail Course 

Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring nature objects like leaves, flowers, and rocks. Finish with a nature puzzle.

Music Time Course 

It’s time to rock and roll! Create an obstacle course featuring musical instruments like drums, guitars, and tambourines.

Make sure to include some air guitar moves, too! Finish with a music puzzle that will have your toddler sing a tune all day.

Building Block Course 

Let’s get building! Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring building blocks. Add some challenges like building towers and bridges, including silly shapes. Finish with a block puzzle that will have your little architect building masterpieces quickly.

Number Hunt Course 

It’s a numbers game! Create an obstacle course featuring number recognition games like finding numbers hidden around the course.

Make it a scavenger hunt, and watch your toddler’s eyes light up with each discovery. Finish with a number puzzle with them counting to the moon and back.

Circus Obstacle Course 

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the circus! Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring circus objects like clowns, balls, and hoops.

Make sure to add some tightrope walking (or maybe just walking along a piece of tape on the ground). Finish with a circus puzzle with your little ringmaster putting on a show for you.

Fairy Tale Course 

Once upon a time…create an obstacle course featuring fairy tale objects like princesses, castles, and dragons.

Let your toddler’s imagination run wild as they slay the dragon and rescue the princess from the castle. Finish with a fairy tale puzzle that will have them living happily ever after.

Color Mixing Course 

Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring color-mixing games like combining colors to create new ones. Finish with a color-mixing puzzle.

Construction Site Course 

Create an obstacle course featuring construction objects like bulldozers, cranes, and dump trucks. Finish with a construction puzzle.

Space Adventure Course 

Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring space objects like planets, stars, and rockets. Finish with a space puzzle.

Jungle Safari Course 

Create an obstacle course featuring jungle animals like monkeys, tigers, and zebras. Finish with a jungle animal puzzle.

Ice Cream Shop Course 

Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring ice cream shop objects like cones, scoops, and toppings. Finish with an ice cream puzzle.

Dinosaur Adventure Course 

Get ready for a prehistoric adventure with this obstacle course featuring some of the biggest and baddest dinosaurs like T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Trex! Roar to the finish line and complete the course with a dinosaur puzzle.

Rainbow Obstacle Course 

Let your little one discover the beauty of colors with this rainbow-themed obstacle course. Hop, skip, jump through the obstacles, and finish with a puzzle to reinforce their color recognition skills. Who knows, maybe they’ll find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow too!

Beach Day Course 

It’s time to hit the beach, baby! This obstacle course is filled with sand, shells, and buckets. Navigate your way through the course and finish with a beach-themed puzzle. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a cool drink!

Fruit Salad Course 

Get ready for a fruity adventure with this obstacle course featuring different types of fruits. Jump over the watermelon hurdle, slide down the banana slide, and finish with a fruit-themed puzzle to reinforce your little one’s fruit recognition skills. Time to make a fruit salad party!

Weather Watch Course 

Let’s check out the weather, shall we? This obstacle course features weather conditions like rain, sun, and clouds. Jump over the thunderstorm hurdle, dodge the snowflakes, and finish with a weather-themed puzzle. Maybe your little one will become a meteorologist after this course!

Ocean Adventure Course 

Dive into the deep blue sea with this obstacle course featuring ocean creatures like fish, octopuses, and crabs.

Swim through the waves, avoid the seaweed traps, and finish with an ocean-themed puzzle. Don’t forget to wave to the dolphins on the way!

Bug Hunt Course 

Create an obstacle course featuring different types of bugs. Finish with a bug-themed puzzle to reinforce their insect recognition skills.

Under the Sea Course 

Have your toddler navigate an obstacle course featuring underwater objects like coral, seaweed, and shells. Finish with an under-the-sea puzzle.

The benefits of these puzzles for toddlers

Developing problem-solving skills: .

Puzzles require toddlers to use problem-solving skills to determine how the pieces fit together.

Improving hand-eye coordination: 

Manipulating puzzle pieces helps toddlers develop hand-eye coordination .

Enhancing spatial awareness: 

Puzzles help toddlers learn about spatial relationships and how things fit together.

Fostering creativity: 

Puzzles allow toddlers to explore and experiment with different shapes, colors, and patterns.

Encouraging perseverance: 

Completing a puzzle requires focus and perseverance, helping toddlers develop these important skills.

Incorporating puzzles into obstacle courses is a fun and engaging way to help toddlers develop important skills. Parents can provide their toddlers with a fun and educational activity by choosing age-appropriate puzzles and incorporating them into obstacle courses.

So, go ahead and try out these 25 puzzle game ideas for your toddlers and watch them have a blast while learning simultaneously!”

I’m a former teacher (and mother of Two Childs) with a background in child development. Here to help you with play-based learning activities for kids. ( Check my  Next startup  Cledemy.Com )

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13 Problem-Solving Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

problem solving activities

Problem-Solving Activities

Problem-solving skills are vital for a child’s cognitive development. They help kids think critically, make decisions, and become more independent. As a parent or caregiver, you can nurture these skills in toddlers and preschoolers through a variety of engaging activities. Let’s explore 13 problem-solving activities that will not only entertain but also educate your little ones.

1. Building with Blocks

Age Group: Toddlers and Preschoolers

Description: Encourage your child to build structures with blocks. Start with simple designs and gradually increase complexity. This activity enhances spatial reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

Playing with building blocks is a timeless and versatile activity that promotes problem-solving skills in young children. As they stack blocks to create structures, kids learn about balance, stability, and the concept of cause and effect. They discover that if they place a block in a certain way, the structure becomes more stable. This understanding is fundamental to problem-solving.

2. Shape Sorters

Age Group: Toddlers

Description: Shape sorters teach toddlers about shapes, sizes, and how objects fit together. It’s a fun way to introduce problem-solving concepts.

Shape sorters are classic toys that introduce toddlers to basic problem-solving. The child must figure out which shape corresponds to each slot in the sorter. This activity enhances their ability to categorize and match objects based on their attributes. It’s a simple yet effective way to lay the foundation for more complex problem-solving skills.

Age Group: Preschoolers

Description: Jigsaw puzzles challenge preschoolers to solve problems by finding the right fit for each piece. They improve spatial awareness and patience.

Puzzles are excellent tools for enhancing problem-solving skills in preschoolers. When kids work on jigsaw puzzles, they learn to analyze the shape, color, and pattern of each piece. They must figure out where each piece fits in the overall picture. This process involves trial and error, spatial reasoning, and the development of patience—an essential component of problem-solving.

4. Sorting Games

Description: Sorting games with colored objects or shapes help kids categorize and organize, promoting logical thinking.

Sorting games engage children’s problem-solving abilities by encouraging them to categorize and organize objects based on specific criteria. For instance, you can provide a mix of colored objects and ask your child to sort them by color. This activity promotes logical thinking as they identify patterns and make decisions about where each item belongs.

5. Scavenger Hunts

Description: Create scavenger hunts at home or in your backyard. Give clues to find hidden treasures, stimulating critical thinking and problem-solving.

Scavenger hunts are not only thrilling but also fantastic for developing problem-solving skills. You can organize indoor or outdoor hunts with clues that require critical thinking and problem-solving to decipher. Children must follow clues, make connections, and strategize to locate hidden treasures, fostering their problem-solving abilities.

6. Building Simple Machines

Description: Use everyday materials like cardboard, string, and pulleys to create simple machines. Children can experiment and learn about cause and effect.

Engaging in hands-on activities like building simple machines is a fantastic way to introduce problem-solving concepts. Children can use everyday materials to create pulleys, levers, or ramps. As they experiment with these simple machines, they observe cause-and-effect relationships, encouraging them to think critically and find solutions to challenges they encounter during the construction process.

7. Storytelling

Description: Encourage imaginative problem-solving by asking your child to come up with solutions to challenges in their stories.

Storytelling not only stimulates creativity but also encourages problem-solving in young children. When kids invent stories, they often encounter dilemmas that require resolution. By asking your child how the characters in their stories overcome challenges, you prompt them to think creatively and find solutions—an invaluable problem-solving skill.

8. Cooking Together

Description: Involve your child in age-appropriate cooking activities. They’ll have to follow instructions and make choices, enhancing decision-making skills.

Cooking together is a delightful way to introduce problem-solving to children. It involves following recipes, making choices about ingredients, and adapting to unexpected situations (like a spill). These activities encourage decision-making and critical thinking as children participate in the cooking process.

9. Obstacle Courses

Description: Set up indoor or outdoor obstacle courses with challenges that require problem-solving and decision-making.

Creating obstacle courses at home or in the yard provides opportunities for preschoolers to engage in problem-solving and decision-making. Children must figure out how to navigate the course, overcome obstacles, and make choices along the way. This physical activity complements cognitive development by promoting quick thinking and strategizing.

10. Pattern Recognition

Description: Use everyday objects or cards to create simple patterns. Ask your child to continue the pattern or identify what comes next.

Pattern recognition is a fundamental problem-solving skill that can be introduced through simple activities. You can use everyday objects like buttons or cards with patterns to engage your child. Encourage them to identify and extend patterns, which enhances their ability to recognize sequences and make predictions—a critical component of problem-solving.

11. Planting and Gardening

Description: Gardening teaches children about cause and effect as they care for plants and watch them grow.

Gardening is a hands-on activity that teaches children about cause and effect—a crucial aspect of problem-solving. When kids care for plants and witness their growth, they learn how their actions impact the world around them. Gardening fosters a sense of responsibility and encourages children to think about the consequences of their actions.

12. Role-Playing

Description: Role-playing scenarios where your child has to solve problems, like playing doctor or chef, fosters creativity and critical thinking.

Role-playing scenarios, such as playing doctor or chef, provide opportunities for children to engage in imaginative problem-solving. These activities encourage creativity as children devise solutions to various role-playing challenges. Whether they’re diagnosing a stuffed animal or creating a pretend meal, kids develop problem-solving skills through these scenarios.

13. Science Experiments

Description: Conduct age-appropriate science experiments that encourage hypothesis testing and problem-solving.

Age-appropriate science experiments are perfect for fostering problem-solving skills in preschoolers. These experiments often involve forming hypotheses, conducting tests, and analyzing results—key elements of problem-solving. Encourage your child’s curiosity by engaging in safe and enjoyable science experiments together.

These problem-solving preschool activities for toddlers and preschoolers not only promote cognitive development but also provide hours of fun and quality time together. Remember to adapt activities to your child’s age and developmental stage, allowing them to explore, learn, and grow at their own pace.

In conclusion, nurturing problem-solving skills in young children is essential for their overall development. These activities offer a balance between education and enjoyment, helping your child build critical thinking skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the problems in joining my kid in a Preschool?

Joining your child in a preschool can have several challenges, including separation anxiety, adjustment to a new routine, socialization issues, and concerns about the quality of education and care provided. It’s essential to communicate with the preschool staff, address your child’s needs, and gradually ease the transition to make the process smoother.

2. How to teach problem-solving skills to children and preteens?

To teach problem-solving skills to children and preteens, encourage them to:

Identify the problem.

Brainstorm possible solutions.

Evaluate the pros and cons of each solution.

Make a decision and implement it.

Reflect on the results and learn from the experience.

3. How to keep children busy during their pre-school time?

To keep children engaged during their preschool time, consider activities like art and craft, storytelling, outdoor play, educational games, music, and group activities. Preschools often offer a variety of structured and creative activities to stimulate children’s minds and bodies.

4. What are some preschool programs for kids?

Preschool programs for kids often include activities like early literacy and numeracy, creative arts, physical play, socialization, and learning through play. Many preschools also follow specific educational approaches like Montessori, Waldorf, or play-based programs to cater to different learning styles.

5. How preschool activities impact a child’s learning pace?

Preschool activities play a significant role in a child’s learning pace. They help children develop cognitive, social, and emotional skills, which are essential for academic success. Engaging in age-appropriate activities can foster a love for learning, improve attention span, and enhance problem-solving abilities.

6. What are problem-solving activities that kids can do at home?

There are various problem-solving activities kids can do at home, such as puzzles, board games, scavenger hunts, building challenges with blocks or LEGO, cooking and following recipes, and science experiments. These activities promote critical thinking and decision-making while having fun.

Also Check: Preschools in India

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10 Best Problem-Solving Puzzles for Kids

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10 Best Problem-Solving Puzzles for Kids

The power of puzzle play.

Puzzles are a great way to keep kids entertained, but they're also a fun way to encourage logical thinking, goal setting, and patience! When a child engages in puzzle play, they're not only building a puzzle—they're building strong problem-solving skills. Puzzles teach children that if at first, they don't succeed, they should "try, try again." While engaging in puzzle play, supporting your child helps them develop innovative solutions, like rotating a piece they're stuck on or looking for similar colors or patterns.

Problem solving through play with the ‘traditional favorites,’ such as blocks and puzzles, can support fine motor skills and language and cognitive development and predicts both spatial and early mathematics skills. —The American Academy of Pediatrics

Our 10 Best Problem-Solving Puzzles for Kids

These great problem-solving puzzles can help build fundamental developmental skills. We’ve included extra play ideas for each to keep the educational play going!

Melissa & Doug Best Problem Solving Puzzles Blog Post

Solar System Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Best Problem Solving Puzzles Blog Post

Why it’s great:  A total of 2 feet by 3 feet when assembled, you’ll need lots of “space” for this out-of-this-world puzzle! Plus, the extra-thick cardboard jigsaw pieces are built to last, and their easy-clean surface keeps this beautifully illustrated puzzle looking new.

Sweet detail:  Each planet (and the sun) is labeled, helping kids to learn our solar system as they complete the puzzle.

Skills:  Fine motor, hand-eye coordination, problem solving

Countless Ways to Play:  Place the finished puzzle on a flat surface and use tracing paper to create your own solar system drawing!

Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box

Why it’s great:  Your child will have a DINO-mite time with this set of four puzzles — a triceratops, an apatosaurus, a stegosaurus, and a T-Rex. Each set comes in a sturdy wooden box that’s great for travel, and each piece is shape-coded on the back for easy sorting.

Sweet detail:  The slide-on box lid doubles as a convenient puzzle board

Countless Ways to Play:  Since each set comes with four puzzles, make it a friendly competition and see who can assemble the puzzle first!

Farm Chunky Puzzle - 8 Pieces

Melissa & Doug Best Problem Solving Puzzles for Kids Blog Post

Why it’s great:  This extra-thick wooden puzzle is great for toddlers! It includes eight easy-grasp, chunky farm animals and a barn with brightly colored pictures below to encourage matching skills.

Sweet detail:  The pieces stand upright, doubling as fun-on-the-farm play pieces!

Countless Ways to Play:  Teach animal sounds to your child as they complete the puzzle, asking them to make the sound of the animal they just placed.

Farm Cube Puzzle

Why it’s great:  It’s six puzzles in one! This beautifully crafted wooden 16-piece cube puzzle can be put together by rotating the solid cubes to create six different scenes with six friendly farm friends (cow, sheep, pig, chicken, ducks, and horse).

Sweet detail:  The border design of each puzzle provides a helpful hint!

Countless Ways to Play:  Have your child build the puzzle by stacking the blocks vertically. Then use the farm scene as the backdrop for imaginative play.

Fishing Magnetic Puzzle Game

Melissa & Doug Best Problem Solving Puzzles for Kids Blog Post

Why it’s great:  This puzzle is the ultimate problem-solving catch! Assemble the puzzle and then use the magnetic fishing pole to "catch" the 10 colorful sea friends.

Sweet detail:  Matching pictures under each piece encourages matching skills

Countless Ways to Play:  Play a game of catch & release! Point or call out the name of the piece and then have your child “catch” it.

First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Why it’s great:  The jumbo knobs are great for little hands! This charming cottage features five big puzzle pieces with full-color matching pictures underneath each piece to encourage matching.

Sweet detail:  Each piece features a different shape — circle, triangle, rectangle, square, and oval.

Countless Ways to Play:  Have your child find shapes around the house, just like the shapes in the puzzle!

The Wheels on the Bus Sound Puzzle

Why it’s great:  Sound puzzles are a great way to amplify learning — and  The Wheels on the Bus  is a timeless classic! Kids sing along as the wipers go, "swish, swish, swish," the horn goes, “beep, beep, beep,” and more!

Sweet detail:  The lyrics are on the back of the board to help kids learn the words.

Countless Ways to Play:  After you complete the puzzle, celebrate with the whole song. Put on  The Wheels on the Bus  and let loose with a dance party!

See Inside Numbers Peg Puzzle - 10 Pieces

Why it’s great:  This 10-piece peg puzzle helps teach kids numbers zero through nine. Colorful pictures beneath each piece feature the same number of items as the numeral on top to help guide them.

Sweet detail:  Each piece comes with an easy-grasp peg.

Countless Ways to Play:  Create a number-themed scavenger hunt! For example, hold up the number two puzzle piece and then have them bring back two items of the same thing (like two teddy bears or two apples).

Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle

Why it’s great:  This beautiful wooden set contains 45 mix-and-match pieces to assemble Mama, Papa, and Baby Bear. Your child will have so much fun changing their expressions and their clothing to express their every mood.

Sweet detail:  The wooden box has compartments for easy storage, and the lid conveniently serves as a puzzle board.

Countless Ways to Play:  Get Mama, Papa, and Baby bear all dressed up for an adventure and then have your child tell you about where they’re going!

African Plains Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle - 24 Pieces

Why it’s great:  This beautifully illustrated jigsaw puzzle brings Africa to life with every piece. Assemble to reveal a hippo in the watering hole, a flamingo in flight, and more!

Sweet detail:  The wooden frame is perfect for storage and for learning where the corner pieces go.

Countless Ways to Play:  Get kids moving by setting up a puzzle hunt! Hide the pieces around the room, and don’t let them start until they find all 24 pieces.

In its “Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era” study, the AAP noted that “High-quality toys in each of these categories can facilitate caregiver-child interactions, peer play, and the growth of imagination”:

Pretend Play   Activity centers, dolls, play food, cooking toys, role play sets, puppets, vehicles

Developmental Play   Fine motor manipulatives, activity stations, sorters & stackers

Problem Solving   Blocks, construction play, puzzles

Creativity   Craft kits, coloring activities, painting & drawing

Language & Concepts   Alphabet activities, number activities, games

Physical Activity   Balls, tunnel, gardening & nature

Here are our product picks for the best toys in some of these pediatrician-recommended categories! More to come:

Read The Power of Pretend Play >

Read The Power of Developmental Play >

Read The Power of Problem Solving Play >

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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30 Free Printable Puzzles For Kids (Toddlers and Preschoolers)

Hey there! We’re excited to introduce the latest addition to our offerings at Justfamilyfun.com.

We’ve created a fantastic set of free printable puzzles for kids, now available in easy-to-download PDFs. Our team has been hard at work designing a collection of 30 delightful puzzles that we think you and your little ones will absolutely love.

Our youngest audience – preschoolers and toddlers – are always at the forefront of our mind when designing our puzzles. We want to make sure there’s something for everyone, so the puzzles range in complexity from 2-piece sets for beginners to more intricate 16-piece puzzles for those seeking a bit more of a challenge. Better yet, these puzzles come in a variety of themes, so there’s a puzzle to match every child’s interest.

Whether you’re looking for activities to suit a quiet afternoon indoors or a fun-filled playdate, our free printable puzzles will add an extra dose of enjoyment to your little one’s day. Simply download the PDFs, print them out, and let the puzzling adventures begin! We hope these puzzles bring smiles, laughter and lots of quality family time.

free printable puzzles for kids

What’s Included In Our Free Printable Puzzles For Kids Collection

Dive into a world of colour and creativity with our vibrant collection, perfect for your little explorers. They’re more than just pieces – they’re captivating adventures waiting to be unravelled.

For beginners, we’ve got adorable 2-piece puzzles featuring the cutest animals, bringing a smile to your child’s face with every match they make. And if they’re up for something a bit more tricky, they’ll love our 4-piece puzzles. These feature a variety of fun character designs from spacemen and mermaids to unicorns and dinosaurs, which are sure to keep them engaged and entertained.

Stepping it up a notch, our 6-piece puzzles offer even more excitement. With themes ranging from picturesque landscapes to quirky characters, they’ll provide an immersive experience that sparks curiosity and creativity.

And the adventure doesn’t stop there. Our 9-piece puzzles highlight the essential work of emergency services, featuring police, doctors and firefighters. It’s a wonderful way to introduce your child to some of the heroes who keep us safe every day.

And finally, if they’re ready for the next step, we have mesmerising 16-piece rainbow-themed puzzles. These intricate designs not only challenge young minds but also celebrate the beauty of colour.

There really is something special for every little puzzle enthusiast out there. We’ve carefully curated these themes to ensure that each puzzle tells a unique story and provides hours of delightful exploration and learning.

How To Use Our Free Printable Puzzles

Using our puzzles is a breeze! Just follow these simple steps:

– Scroll down the page until you find a puzzle that catches your eye.

– Click the “Download” button under your chosen puzzle. This will open the design in a PDF file format.

– With the puzzle in PDF format, you’re all set to print it. Simply click on the “ Print ” option in the top right corner of the PDF viewer.

– To make sure you can use your puzzles again and again, we recommend laminating them. This will allow them to withstand the test of time, and ensure countless hours of fun.

– Once your puzzle is laminated, grab a pair of scissors and carefully cut out the puzzle pieces. Remember, if you’re a young puzzler, it’s a good idea to have an adult assist you during this step.

– And there you have it! Your puzzle is ready to be enjoyed.

Have a blast putting together your newly printed and laminated puzzle. Happy puzzling!

2 Piece Printable Puzzles For Toddlers And Preschoolers

The first set in our collection is our delightful 2-piece puzzles. We’ve got a total of 9 charming puzzles available to download. Each puzzle features an adorable and colourful animal design that’s sure to capture your little one’s attention. From playful dogs to curious cats, majestic lions to quirky chickens, and even more to explore – there’s a whole menagerie of animals waiting to be discovered.

These puzzles are specially designed with preschoolers in mind, perfect for when they’re just beginning to explore the world of matching pictures. It’s a fantastic way to introduce them to the joy of piecing things together and recognising shapes and patterns. Whether it’s a rainy afternoon or a quiet moment at home, these puzzles offer a wonderful opportunity for learning and fun. So go ahead and download your favourite ones, and let the animal adventures begin!

printable cow puzzle

Printable 4 Piece Puzzles

The next step for your young explorers is our collection of 4-piece puzzles. These are perfect if your toddler has mastered the 2-piece puzzles and is ready to try something new. We’ve created a set of 9 puzzles, each carefully designed to take your little one’s puzzling skills to the next level.

With each puzzle having its own unique theme and character, the excitement never ends. From enchanting unicorns to roaring dinosaurs, and mystical mermaids to other captivating characters, there’s a whole world of imagination waiting to be explored. These puzzles provide an engaging and enjoyable way for toddlers to further develop their cognitive skills and creativity.

So, if you’re seeking a new adventure for your young puzzler, our 4-piece puzzles offer just the right balance of challenge and fun. Download them today and embark on a journey of discovery together!

printable superhero puzzle

Printable 6 Piece Puzzles

Next up is our range of 6-piece puzzles. These offer a bit more of a challenge, making them a great choice if your little one is finding the 4-piece puzzles a tad too easy. We’ve put together a collection of 6 designs for you to explore, which will provide that satisfying mix of difficulty and enjoyment.

With themes that range from trains to monsters, and even a sandcastle scene, there’s a diverse array of options to capture your child’s imagination. These puzzles offer a fantastic opportunity for kids to enhance their problem-solving skills and spatial awareness, all while having a blast.

So, if your youngster is up for a puzzle challenge that’s just right, look no further than our 6-piece puzzles. With creativity and fun at the forefront, these puzzles promise a rewarding experience that will keep your child engaged and entertained. Don’t wait – download them now and dive into the excitement!

puzzles for kids printable

Printable 9 Piece Puzzles

Take things to the next level with our 9-piece puzzles – a real step up for your young adventurers. In this collection, we offer three intriguing 9-piece designs that promise a world of fun and learning for your little ones.

The theme for these puzzles revolves around the essential emergency services that play such a crucial role in our lives. Your child will have the chance to explore the worlds of police, firefighting and medical services through these captivating puzzles. Each piece of the puzzle contributes to a bigger picture, offering an engaging way for kids to build their problem-solving skills, patience and attention to detail.

So, if your youngsters are ready to tackle a puzzle challenge that’s a bit more of a thinker, our 9-piece puzzles are a perfect choice. With the joy of discovery and the thrill of piecing together these exciting scenes, your child’s journey of exploration and growth continues. Don’t hesitate – jump into the adventure and download these puzzles now!

printable puzzles for preschoolers

Printable 16 Piece Puzzles

Wrapping up our collection, we present the ultimate adventure: our 16-piece puzzles. These are designed to really test your kids’ puzzle-solving skills and provide an engaging experience. In this set, you’ll find three beautiful 16-piece designs that are sure to captivate and excite.

These puzzles are a burst of vivid rainbow colours, each one showcasing a different form of travel – a plane, a train and a car. As your child assembles these intricate puzzles, they’ll not only enjoy the fun of the puzzle-solving process but also explore the world of transportation in a playful and interactive way.

Kids will not only be entertained but also experience a sense of accomplishment as they conquer these tricky puzzles piece by piece. So, if your little adventurers are ready for a fun puzzle experience that pushes their limits and encourages their creativity, our 16-piece puzzles are ready and waiting. Download them now and embark on this exciting puzzle journey together!

free printable for 2 year olds

We sincerely hope that your little ones have had a blast with our free printable puzzles for kids collection. And fear not, the fun doesn’t have to end here! There are even more activities beyond these creations. We’ve curated an entire collection of other enjoyable puzzles that are sure to keep the excitement going. From engaging kids’ crosswords that encourage learning through play, to captivating word searches that challenge their vocabulary skills – there’s something here to amuse and entertain every child.

So, whether your kids are eager to explore new challenges or simply want to continue the puzzle-filled adventure, our diverse selection is ready and waiting. Keep the curiosity and enjoyment alive by diving into this range of puzzle options. After all, there’s no shortage of ways to make learning and play an exciting and interactive journey! Click Here

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Speech & Language Activities

playing with puzzles for toddlers development

10 Puzzle Activities for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Babies that Promote Learning

One of the best toys for language development is the PUZZLE! Puzzles are inexpensive, don’t take up too much space, and are so versatile. Puzzles seem simple, but there are a lot of puzzle activities you can do with your child!

In this article, I’ll cover how to use puzzle activities for toddlers, babies, and preschoolers – as well as with older, special needs children (just look for the communication-level that matches your child’s ability).

I’ve found that some children who are late to speak have more developed skills in visual problem solving, so puzzles tend to be a preferred activity to encourage talking or communication via interactive play. (Of course this is not true for all late talkers!)

RELATED: Check out this Printable Sorting Activity in my Etsy Shop!

This post contains affiliate links, which means we could receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.

What Are Benefits of Puzzles?

Puzzles are great for developing:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visual-Spatial skills
  • Problem solving
  • Receptive and Expressive Language
  • Categorizing
  • Learning location words
  • Combining words into phrases and sentences

Puzzle Activities for Babies’ Development (And Pre-Talkers of Any Age)

Large wooden puzzles with knobs or chunky wooden puzzles are usually best for this age!

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

1. Take Pieces Out

At around 6 months, babies can take puzzle pieces out when using a knob puzzle . This is also appropriate for older children with limited motor skills. Model language in a simple way such as narrating your child’s actions: “Take out.” And by naming the pictures on the puzzle as your child’s attention is focused on that piece.

2. Matching

Many knob puzzles and chunky wooden puzzles have the same pictures on the piece and under the piece to help younger children via matching rather than having to rely on the shape only.

Help teach your baby to match by drawing his attention to the picture on the piece he picks up (by pointing as you say the name of the piece) then by pointing to the matching picture on the picture board.

3. Manipulating Puzzle Pieces to Fit

One way to help your child learn to put in pieces is to lay the piece on the board right next to where it belongs with the orientation/alignment correct so that he can just slide the piece over to get it in!

Once he’s mastered that, you can help by telling him to “turn it around” as you guide his hands to turn the piece the correct way.

4. Build Receptive Vocabulary Skills

Wooden chunky puzzles can target many different basic categories of vocabulary such as animals, transportation, shapes, colors, etc.

After your child takes the pieces out, collect the pieces so that you are “in control” of them. Then present two pieces (let’s say they are a horse and chicken) and ask, “Where’s the horse?” or say, “Point to the horse.”

If your child isn’t sure, give him a clue by wiggling the correct one as you repeat the word “horse” – remember it’s supposed to be fun not frustrating!

RELATED: Get Baby to Talk with These 5-Minute, No-Prep Activities

Puzzle Activities for Toddlers’ Development (And Early-Talkers of Any Age)

Early toddlers can still benefit from using chunky wooden puzzles and then they will begin to move toward peg puzzles and thinner wooden puzzles, which continue to work on increasing fine motor skills. Depending on the child, you can start to introduce some larger cardboard puzzles too (specific puzzles for toddlers’ development suggested below).

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

5. Building Vocabulary by Requesting

For early talkers, puzzles are a great way to increase vocabulary. Usually a puzzle will target a specific category such as zoo animals, water animals, transportation, etc.

Start out by modeling the name of the piece and then give your child an opportunity to repeat the name before you hand over the next piece.

Then you can move on to letting your child request the piece he wants. Try holding up a piece and waiting a few seconds to see if he can remember the name. If not, that’s okay – tell him what it is so he can repeat after you!

6. Answering Basic WH- Questions

Let’s say you have a farm animal puzzle, try holding up an animal and asking, “What does the pig say?” Or if that is challenging, hold up two animals and ask, “What says oink?”

A bit harder would be asking a “where” question, such as “Where does the boat go?” He might point to the spot or tell you that it goes “in the water.”

RELATED: Check out these WH- Questions Cards  in my Etsy Shop!

7. Puzzle Activity for Toddlers: Teaching Opposites

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

You can help with the physical side of things by aligning the pair of pieces and just let her put them together. It will take her a bit of practice to understand that she needs to lift one side up a little to pop the pices together.

This opposites puzzle is a great way to talk about descriptive words (full, empty, big, small, etc.) and to combine two words into phrases such as “empty cup” or “fat cat.”

RELATED: Here’s a Peek at Our Toddler Weekly Schedule

Puzzle Activities for Preschoolers and Beyond

Many preschoolers (age 3+) are ready for 2-3 piece sequencing puzzles or very early jigsaw puzzles made from thin wood or durable cardboard. More complex wooden peg puzzles such as number and letter puzzles are perfect for this age group too!

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

8. Teach Alphabet and Phonics

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

Once your child has mastered the letter sounds and pictures from the puzzle, start to name other words that start with that sound. You can make it a game to name three things with each sound before you put in that letter.

RELATED READ: Choosing a Homeschool Preschool Curriculum

9. Sequencing

This sequencing puzzle is great for learning to put things in order (first, second, last) and expanding language. Each set of three puzzle pieces that go together can be used to tell a very early narrative that uses “first, then, last.” For example, “First the car is dirty. Then she washes the car. Last the car is clean!”

This puzzle is also great for asking “why” questions such as “Why is she cleaning the car?”

There are a lot of pieces in the box, so it might be a good idea to put a few sets together in a baggie so that your child doesn’t get distracted looking through ALL the pieces!

10. Early Jigsaw Puzzles

problem solving puzzles for toddlers

  • Count the pieces (make sure you’re not missing any before you start!)
  • Parts of a whole (e.g. “here’s the tail”)
  • Location words (e.g. “Here is the top corner” or “This piece goes under the eye”)

I hope your little one enjoys learning with puzzles too!

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14 comments.

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I love your blog. I wasn’t aware of post status. looks good. Thanks for the good post.

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Love this! All of the benefits puzzles have for development is just plain awesome! Awesome read.

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childcare Springfield

Some activities are really helpful for kids undergoing preschool.

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Franca Whyte

There are really some activities made perfectly for babies. Thank you for sharing this us.

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It was very interesting to read that puzzle pieces that have knobs can be used with babies at around 6 months since they can take out the pieces. I also like how they’re appropriate for older children with limited motor skills. My sister is set to have a baby in a few months and I’d love to get her some type of sturdy puzzle that can be used in the nursery and help her child learn.

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Margaret Feldmann, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sam – Congrats on your sister having a baby! I just posted an article today about other toys for babies including toys that are great for baby showers and 1st birthday gifts!

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Rashedul Momine

Toys can play a great role as a tool for children’s elementary education, as children spend most of their time playing with toys. Kids will learn something new by playing with each of the toys you put in your backyard. This is really awesome. Actually, working with kids is a lot of fun, just like playing with kids. So I love working with kids products and will live my life. We have started a site with kids toys. I hope you enjoy and would like to write about this site. https://kiddiesproduct.com/good-baby-toys/

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Keep Toddlers Busy

Aww we love puzzles at home. I knew that they were beneficial, but had no idea they were THAT beneficial! I will definitely be looking into some of the puzzles ideas you talked about. Thanks!

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Pre Primary School in Kalyan

These are incredibly good ideas. Have tried out a couple with my son and they are fun. Thank you for sharing.

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Shannon Colclough

Sequencing puzzles are really great and I use them a lot in my resource room at work. I also have students create their own sequencing stories as well.

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Really interesting post!

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These activities are really important for kids growing and for their mental and physical health as well, Thank you for sharing this interesting information with us.

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Kiara Clark

It’s such an interesting article to read, i am definetely gonna show this to my kids as well so they can have fun. Thanks for sharing.

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55 Fun Riddles for Kids of All Ages (and the Answers)

Including easy and hard riddles about animals, numbers, and food.

preview for The Best Dad Jokes Of All Time

While some of the harder riddles on our list take a bit of thinking through, others opt for a humorous play on words that will leave kids giggling. Don’t be surprised if you find your little one reciting a riddle to their friends at school. Puzzle solving carries great street cred on the playground!

Riddle-solving is the perfect kids' activity for summer , spring, or winter break, too. It’ll help keep their mind sharp while out of school, and of course, bring a great deal of fun to their day. This is also a good activity for babysitters to do with kids. See how many answers they can guess. If it’s more than five, consider pushing back their bedtime by 15 minutes. A mini genius deserves to stay up an extra few minutes.

For more riddles and family games , check out our stories on riddles for adults , scavenger hunt riddles for kids , charades ideas , and two-player board games .

Animal Riddles for Kids

Hard riddles for big kids, funny riddles for young kids, food riddles for kids, clever riddles for kids, easy riddles for kids.

riddles for kids teddy bear stuffed

  • Question : Why are teddy bears never hungry? Answer : Because they are always stuffed.
  • Question : The more of me there is, the less you see. What am I? Answer : The dark.
  • Question : What is a bunny’s favorite type of music? Answer : Hip-hop.
  • Question : What is a turkey’s least favorite holiday? Answer : Thanksgiving.
  • Question : What is a monster’s favorite dessert? Answer : I-Scream.
  • Question : I have many keys but cannot open any doors. What am I? Answer : A piano.
  • Question : What has hands but can’t clap? Answer : A clock.
  • Question : How do you fix a cracked pumpkin? Answer : With a pumpkin patch.
  • Question : I follow you all the time and copy your every move, but you can’t touch or catch me. What am I? Answer : Your shadow.
  • Question : I have wings. I am able to fly. I'm not a bird, yet I soar high in the sky. What am I? Answer : An airplane.

riddles for kids

  • Question : How do you catch a school of fish? Answer : With a bookworm.
  • Question : What is a frog’s favorite game? Answer : Leapfrog.
  • Question : What is a rabbit’s favorite dance? Answer : The bunny hop.
  • Question : What kind of lion never roars? Answer : A sea lion.
  • Question : What is the funniest species of fish in the sea? Answer : The clownfish.
  • Question : Why are bees great secret keepers? Answer : Because they mind their beeswax.
  • Question : What type of dog is the most athletic? Answer : Boxers.
  • Question : What animal can you never trust? Answer : A lion.
  • Question : What fish costs the most? Answer . A goldfish!
  • Question : What animal is the best at landscaping? Answer : Hedgehogs.

riddles for kids

  • Question : The more of me you take, the more you leave behind. What am I? Answer : Footsteps.
  • Question : What element is not on the periodic table? Answer : The element of surprise.
  • Question : Why are swimmers so great at school projects? Answer : Because they dive right in.
  • Question : What belongs to you but is mostly used by others? Answer : Your name.
  • Question : What kind of tree can you hold in your hand? Answer : A palm tree.
  • Question : Why are ghosts so good at sports? Answer : Because they have team spirit.
  • Question : You buy me to eat, but I am never eaten. What am I? Answer : A plate.
  • Question : Four legs up, four legs down, soft in the middle, and hard all around. What am I? Answer : A bed.
  • Question : I have no legs. I will never walk but always run. What am I? Answer : A river.

riddles for kids

  • Question : When things go wrong, what can you always count on? Answer : Your fingers.
  • Question : Which letter of the alphabet is the worst to travel with? Answer : P, because they are always stopping to use the restroom.
  • Question : What is a vampire’s favorite fruit? Answer : A blood orange.
  • Question : What do you call a chihuahua in the summer? Answer : A hot dog!
  • Question : What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Answer : Frostbite.
  • Question : Why did the tortilla chip start dancing? Answer : Because they put on the salsa.
  • Question : What did the mom tomato say to the dawdling baby tomato? Answer : “Ketchup.”
  • Question : Why was the math book sad? Answer : Because it had a lot of unanswered problems.

riddles for kids

  • Question : What two things can you never eat for breakfast? Answer : Lunch and dinner.
  • Question : What is a tree’s favorite drink? Answer : Root beer.
  • Question : What kind of cake does a mouse eat on its birthday? Answer : Cheesecake.
  • Question : Why do lemons never get invited to parties? Answer : Because they are always in a sour mood.
  • Question : What can you buy from a grocery store for under $2 that will make you rich? Answer : A 100 Grand candy car.
  • Question : What is a reptile's favorite drink? Answer : Gator-ade.
  • Question : What is orange in color, green on top, and sounds like a parrot? Answer : A carrot!
  • Question : What fruit can you never cheer up? Answer : A blueberry.

riddles for kids

  • Question : I am an odd number. Take away a letter, and I become even. What number am I? Answer : Seven.
  • Question : If Mr. Red lives in the red house, and Mr. Blue lives in the blue house. Who lives in the White House? Answer : The president.
  • Question : How many months have 28 days? Answer : All of them.
  • Question : What building has the most stories? Answer : A library.
  • Question : Which letter of the alphabet has the best eyesight? Answer : C.
  • Question : What has a head and tail but no body? Answer : A coin.
  • Question : What is at the end of a rainbow? Answer : The letter "w."
  • Question : What word is spelled wrong in the dictionary? Answer : 'Wrong.'
  • Question : What did the triangle say to the circle? Answer : You are pointless.
  • Question : You see me once in June, twice in November, and not at all in May. What am I? Answer : The letter “e.”

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry

Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.

Headshot of Kate Franke

Kate Franke (she/her) is the editorial assistant at Woman’s Day . She loves all things lifestyle, home, and market related. Kate has a BAJMC in Magazine Media and BA in Writing from Drake University. She is a proud ASME alum whose work has appeared in Food Network Magazine , The Pioneer Woman Magazine , Better Homes & Gardens , Modern Farmhouse Style , Beautiful Kitchens & Baths , and more. Next to writing, Kate’s two favorite things are chai lattes and pumpkin bread!

.css-2lr79s:before{top:1.4rem;left:calc(-50vw + 50%);width:100vw;height:0.0625rem;z-index:-1;content:'';position:absolute;border-top:0.0625rem solid #CDCDCD;} Puzzles and Brain Teasers

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Kids & Toddlers Puzzle Games 4+

Jigsaw puzzles for kids, rabia aslam, designed for ipad.

  • Offers In-App Purchases

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Description.

What’s the best way to build your child’s logic skills and help them recognize shapes and patterns? By playing the colorful and completely free educational app Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Games Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Games takes learning seriously with a selection of drag and drop object puzzles designed especially for children. Each mini-game challenges your child to locate and manipulate shapes, solve jigsaw puzzles, and recognize how shapes fit into a larger picture, all with a colorful and easy to use interface that’s perfect for tiny hands. Any toddler, kindergartener or preschooler can have fun with Puzzle Kids, and they can even collect sticker and toy rewards for completing the games! Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Games is completely free from third party ads. It has inapp purchase,for full featured download that‘s ready to entertain and educate your kids! Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Games includes the following games: 1. Shape Matching – Objects appear on the screen along with empty outlines just above. Children can drag the objects onto the outlines to make matches and complete the puzzle. 2. Object Builder – A shape is shown above with a series of pieces scattered below. Kids must match individual shapes and drag them to fit into the larger picture to reveal a fun image. 3. Guess the Object – A mystery object has appeared! Help your child guess the picture using as few clues as possible. Drag colored shapes to the outline for hints. 4. Jigsaw Puzzles – Arrange more complex shapes to complete a larger image. Several jigsaw options are available to parents to help customize the number of pieces and difficulty of the puzzles. Features: - Challenge problem solving and logic skills with four unique mini-games - Colorful interface to help kids manipulate on-screen objects - Helps improve concentration and cognitive skills - Completely free to download with no third party ads or in-app purchases! Jigsaw Puzzle Games is designed for kids and parents to have fun together. It‘s a clever and colorful learning experience the entire family will enjoy, and best of all, it‘s free! Download now and see just how much your child can learn. In addition to that, your feedback and suggestions are always welcome. Please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] Terms of Use : https://sites.google.com/view/kids-jigsaw-puzzle-terms-of-us Privacy Policy: https://sites.google.com/view/kidsjigsawpuzzle-privacypolicy Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/baybeebrains Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baybeebrainsKids

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We improve our user play and keep updating our assets on regular baisi. Keep enjoying Baybee Brains.

App Privacy

The developer, Rabia Aslam , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

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The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Identifiers
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Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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  • Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Game $1.99
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COMMENTS

  1. 15 Powerful Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    Puzzles. Puzzles are fun and a great way to encourage cognitive development in children. They are great for spacial reasoning and strengthening problem-solving skills. They also develop memory skills, critical thinking, and the ability to plan and execute the plan. Toddlers will enjoy the simple puzzles, and preschoolers will do great with ...

  2. 44 Powerful Problem Solving Activities for Kids

    By honing their problem-solving abilities, we're preparing kids to face the unforeseen challenges of the world outside. Enhances Cognitive Growth: Otherwise known as cognitive development. Problem-solving isn't just about finding solutions. It's about thinking critically, analyzing situations, and making decisions.

  3. 45 Fun and Clever Brain Teasers for Kids with Answers!

    3. Lateral thinking problems. Lateral thinking problems require creative thinking with an indirect approach. These questions require logic and careful thought to solve. The most notable example of a lateral thinking problem is the classic Monty Hall problem. Here are two examples of lateral thinking problems kids can try to solve.

  4. 25 Engaging Toddler Problem-Solving Activities

    Shape Matching: Provide shape sorting toys or puzzles for toddlers to match shapes to corresponding holes, promoting spatial awareness and problem-solving skills. Cooking Together: Involve toddlers in simple cooking activities like mixing ingredients or assembling sandwiches, fostering problem-solving and following instructions.

  5. 13 Problem-Solving Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

    3. Treasure hunt. Divide the children into groups and give them clues to find hidden objects. Activities such as treasure hunt evidently improve their problem-solving skills and induce the idea of competition. 4. Puzzles. Puzzles can make a child think out of the box. They can develop a child's logical reasoning.

  6. Best Puzzles and Problem-Solving Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    6. Construction Vehicles Puzzle. I would recommend getting two animal sets. That way you can mix up the pieces and sort them as you talk about animal habitats for yet another way to play! Our library has this puzzle rack for storing their puzzles. Fits up to 12 puzzles (both the chunky puzzle size and larger).

  7. 8 Engaging Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

    Learning through play is the best way to "teach" our children the skill of problem solving. 1. Puzzles. Puzzles are a great activity to encourage skills like trial and error, persistence, and patience. Each new puzzle presents a new set of challenges that the children have to work through. When children are around 2 years of age you can ...

  8. 17 Valuable Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

    Using building materials such as wooden blocks helps them to problem solve and learn important concepts such as balance, spatial reasoning, and many other great skills. Little minds can be seen working through the thought process of all the possible solutions for what they want to build.

  9. The Ultimate List of Creative Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

    Problem Solving Activities For Children Age 2-3. Sort objects by color, size, and shape. Help your child "write" his own book by writing his words while he or she draws the pictures. Teach the words; on, under, behind, around by playing games like Simon Says. Provide a "dress-up" box for your child for imaginative play.

  10. Seven Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

    Rotating puzzles is a great way to keep the problem-solving challenge fresh for your toddler. Even a familiar puzzle can present a fun, "new" challenge for your toddler if they haven't seen it in weeks. Hide the Teddy Bear. One cognitive milestone for two-year-olds is the ability to find an object that's been hidden under two or more ...

  11. 15 Best Puzzles for Toddlers

    Best puzzle for 2-year-olds. Wee Gallery Pets Beginner Puzzles at Maisonette, $18.95 Jump to Review. Best puzzle for 3-year-olds. Melissa & Doug Dinosaurs 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles at Melissa & Doug, $15.99 Jump to Review. Best wooden puzzle for toddlers. Cucos Wooden Cutting Puzzle at Amazon, $9.99 Jump to Review.

  12. 25+ Puzzle Game Ideas Fun for Toddler Development

    25+ Puzzle Game Ideas Fun for Toddler Development. Toddlers love exploring, and puzzles are a fun way to develop problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness skills. We've got 25 awesome obstacle course ideas incorporating puzzles designed for toddlers. When choosing puzzles, make sure they're age-appropriate, have large ...

  13. 13 Problem-Solving Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

    This activity enhances their ability to categorize and match objects based on their attributes. It's a simple yet effective way to lay the foundation for more complex problem-solving skills. 3. Puzzles. Age Group: Preschoolers. Description: Jigsaw puzzles challenge preschoolers to solve problems by finding the right fit for each piece. They ...

  14. Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

    Here are some simple problem-solving activities for toddlers: 1. Building a maze. Building a maze is fun outside and one of the best activities for 2-year-old toddlers. Since toddlers can't yet do a maze in an activity book, this is a great way to use their problem solving and navigation skills. Draw a big maze on the pavement with sidewalk ...

  15. 10 Best Problem-Solving Puzzles for Kids

    These great problem-solving puzzles can help build fundamental developmental skills. We've included extra play ideas for each to keep the educational play going! Solar System Floor Puzzle. Age: 3+. Why it's great: A total of 2 feet by 3 feet when assembled, you'll need lots of "space" for this out-of-this-world puzzle!

  16. 30 Free Printable Puzzles For Kids (Toddlers and Preschoolers)

    Each piece of the puzzle contributes to a bigger picture, offering an engaging way for kids to build their problem-solving skills, patience and attention to detail. So, if your youngsters are ready to tackle a puzzle challenge that's a bit more of a thinker, our 9-piece puzzles are a perfect choice.

  17. 10 Puzzle Activities for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Babies that

    Puzzles are inexpensive, don't take up too much space, and are so versatile.In this article, I'll cover how to use puzzles with babies, toddlers and preschoolers - as well as with older, special needs children (just look for the communication-level that matches your child's ability). ... Problem solving; Receptive and Expressive Language ...

  18. 17 Fun Problem Solving Activities for Kids

    4. The Penny Drop Challenge. This activity was selected because it requires kids to think about physics and how different materials affect sound. To do this activity, you will need a penny ( or another coin), a cup, and various materials such as paper towels, cotton balls, etc.

  19. 13 Best Puzzles for Toddlers and Kids of 2024

    The benefits of puzzles for toddlers include improved fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving abilities, shape recognition, and concentration. Puzzles also provide a sense of achievement and can be used to teach various concepts like colors, numbers, and letters.

  20. Brain Games For Kids

    PLAY NOW. MentalUP Brain Stimulators Games for Kids help kids improve their skills including visual attention, divided attention, selective attention, focusing, problem-solving, and imagination. Improve your child's cognitive skills with online mind games, have fun, and learn at the same time! PLAY FOR FREE.

  21. Best Puzzles for Toddlers

    Amazon. Best Puzzle for Learning Numbers. B. Toys Wooden Number Puzzle. $10. Learn More. Target. Let's face it: Toddlers are always on the go — and challenging to keep busy. If you're struggling to find new ways to keep your child entertained and educated, puzzles are an ideal toy to keep toddlers focused at this unique developmental ...

  22. Thinkrolls 1: Puzzles for Kids 4+

    Thinkrolls is an award-winning logic puzzle game that helps young kids develop reasoning and problem solving skills through a delightful and engaging gameplay. Get it now and let your little geniuses amaze you with their mental abilities and logic skills! • Named one of the "10 Top Kids Apps of 2014" by USA Today!

  23. Math Games

    Free, online math games and more at MathPlayground.com! Problem solving, logic games and number puzzles kids love to play.

  24. 55 Fun Riddles for Kids of All Ages (and the Answers)

    Puzzle solving carries great street cred on the playground! Riddle-solving is the perfect kids' activity for summer, spring, or winter break, too. It'll help keep their mind sharp while out of ...

  25. 13 Tantalizing Portable Puzzles for Kids From Teen to Toddler

    Puzzles are an easy way to keep kids occupied when they need to pass the time. ... SmartGames also makes a series of brain-teaser games that are meant to use the same problem-solving skills as coding.

  26. Kids & Toddlers Puzzle Games 4+

    Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Games takes learning seriously with a selection of drag and drop object puzzles designed especially for children. Each mini-game challenges your child to locate and manipulate shapes, solve jigsaw puzzles, and recognize how shapes fit into a larger picture, all with a colorful and easy to use interface that's perfect for ...