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Jigsaw Puzzles That Teach Kids a Hands-On Approach to Problem Solving

When you’re raising a toddler or young child, it’s important to fill their toy collection with a mixture of both entertaining and educational playthings. Some toys, like jigsaw puzzles, offer kids the best of both worlds: they’re super colorful in order to catch and keep your little one’s attention, and are made with chunky pieces so little hands can easily grasp and assemble them without any assistance from mom or dad. So shut off the TV, hide your iPad and watch as they develop their fine motor skills and try to maneuver the pieces, making sense of what goes where. 

The best jigsaw puzzles aren’t just a compilation of parts that fit together to make a pretty picture; they teach your little one about problem-solving, expand their knowledge of shapes and colors, and strengthen their hand-eye coordination. From breathtaking solar system floor puzzle to Tetris-inspired set, here are our top picks for the best jigsaw puzzles below.

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1. Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

This vibrantly colored and busy puzzle will captivate your child for hours. They’ll have to pay close attention to the activity in order to figure out where each of the 48 pieces fits properly. Perfect for kids between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, the puzzle’s chunky cardboard pieces promote the development of your child’s hand-eye coordination, so it’s just as educational as it is beautiful.

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Image: Melissa & Doug
Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle $8.97 on

2. SainSmart Jr. Tetris Puzzle

This innovative play off the popular tile-matching video game features 40 colorful building blocks made from beechwood and decorated with natural, non-toxic maple paints. The hope is that by maneuvering the blocks to fit in a variety of ways, your child will fine-tune their hand-eye coordination, color-shape recognition and problem-solving skills. This puzzle is suitable for ages 3 to 8 years old.

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Image: SainSmart Jr.
SainSmart Jr. Tetris Puzzle $8.65 on

3. CHAFIN Puzzles Set for Preschoolers

Beginner jigsaw puzzles truly are the best because there’s very little clean-up on your end, plus you get to watch your little one light up once they’ve figured out which piece goes where. This puzzle set is composed of six puzzles featuring a safari theme. The cartoonish images are bright, colorful and pack a ton of details into the finished masterpiece. Designed for children ages 2 to 5 years old, the set makes honing hand-eye coordination, fine-motor skills and problem-solving abilities fun.

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CHAFIN Puzzles Set for Preschoolers $12.99 on

4. QUOKKA U.S. Map Puzzle

This puzzle is perfect for any age. It’s a bright and bold rendition of the U.S. and world map. Spend quality time with your little one discovering state animals or learning about which continent matches what ocean. Intended for ages 3 to 5 years old, this  modern puzzle encourages kids to learn their capitals, animals, and even fruits. The best part is the wood pieces are waterproof, so it’s OK to have a glass of juice near it!

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QUOKKA U.S. Map Puzzle $29.99 on

5. Ravensburger Toy Story Puzzle

You and your little one can put together pieces of beloved characters Buzz, Woody, and other classics with this 100-piece puzzle. This puzzle encourages cognitive thinking by learning which colors match which character. The puzzle is also made of cardboard, perfect for easy gluing once it’s done.

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Image: Ravensburger
Ravensburger Toy Story Puzzle $17.89 on

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