Jigsaw Puzzle benefits for Special needs kids
Children love working on puzzles and they’re not just random playthings for them. Psychologists have found that a child’s brain development is influenced significantly when a child acts on, or manipulates the world around him or her. Puzzles are good for the child’s mental development and provide the opportunity to work directly with their environment.
Jigsaw puzzles can offer an inexpensive, challenging yet fun experience for children with special needs. They help promote thinking skills and other useful skills such as patience and perseverance. These skills can benefit everyone, especially those with autism. Here are some jigsaw puzzle benefits for special needs kids:
Promote problem solving skills
Jigsaw puzzles work by offering a single solution to the problem – the puzzle pieces need to be put together. Unlike other situations that special needs children face, jigsaw puzzles offer a worthwhile and meaningful experience. When the child knows that there is only one way to solve the problem – by putting the pieces together in the right order – it helps the child to go at it with confidence and ease.
Improves memory and attention span
Assembling a jigsaw puzzle requires the child to use his or her memory. In case the child isn’t able to finish the puzzle on the same day, they will have to remember where they left it off and start from there. It also helps to build the attention span as children will have to focus on colors, shapes and sizes etc.
Promotes persistence and builds confidence
Often, children who are not used to doing jigsaw puzzles become frustrated after a while and give up. But by helping them with it, you can ensure that they keep trying to find the solution. It teaches persistence which is an important virtue for anyone. When the child finally finishes a jigsaw puzzle, it gives him/her a sense of accomplishment and boosts their confidence and self-esteem.
Improves social skills
Children with special needs – especially those with autism – can benefit from doing jigsaw puzzles with others. Working in groups helps promote inclusion, listening and interaction. This in turns helps build their social skills and they can overcome their fears or shyness. Interaction with others also helps build their vocabulary.
Improves fine motor skills
In order to complete the jigsaw puzzle, the child will have to first sort the pieces out by color and shape etc. After that, they must carefully fit the pieces together in the right places. This activity of sorting and placing the pieces helps improve fine motor skills, promotes patience and gives the child a sense of accomplishment.
But above all, jigsaw puzzles provide the opportunity of learning while enjoying. They are a source of endless entertainment for those who require special assistance and they help these children learn valuable life skills.