Puzzles – Toddler

puzzles toddlerPuzzles are great for developing both toddlers’ motor and thinking skills.

Did you know?

Completing puzzles helps develop essential visual perceptual skills that are required for handwriting and other important daily activities later on.

It is important to match the difficulty level of the puzzle with your child’s stage of development. Toddlers can lose interest in puzzles that are too easy, and become frustrated and give up if puzzles are too difficult. Having fun is the key!

Add language

Animal puzzles are great for adding language to the activity. You and your toddler can try naming all the animals and making their matching sounds.

You can use language to give cues while your toddler completes a puzzle e.g. “Try turning it around” or “That piece is too big”.

Puzzles are perfect for practicing turn taking, an essential skill for communication. You can prompt turn taking by saying “My turn” or “James’ turn” to help your toddler.

Other development

Toddlers are developing their concentration, memory, and problem solving skills while playing with puzzles.

Manipulating puzzle pieces and stabilising the puzzle board helps toddlers practice and develop their fine motor skills, eye hand coordination and using two hands together.


Sound puzzles provide a surprising reward for matching up the correct pieces.

Puzzle play mats can be great fun and also help to develop your toddlers balance and control as they move themselves and the pieces around.

You could visit your local public library or toy library to borrow a variety puzzles and keep them fresh and entertaining. Your local government website should be able to direct you to libraries close to you, ask your child health nurse or other parents at playgroup.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how puzzles can be fun for babieschildren and playgroups.


Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.