Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzles Have Educational Benefits

Published Date: December 11th, 2009
Category: Entertainment

By Joe Kanooga Platinum Quality Author

Wooden puzzles offer the unique benefits of being fun and educational at the same time, which helps explain why they are so popular. They are used by people of all ages and walks of life from nursery schools and day care centers to schools, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, where they provide therapy and retraining of lost skills for those people who have suffered a stroke or brain injury.

Skills that children learn will become a part of their foundation as they grow. Reasoning abilities, thought processing, sequencing, and analytical skills are enhanced with these products. Social skills and how to interact with others can be learned through playing with wooden puzzles.

Two of the best selling brands are Schylling and Melissa and Doug Wooden Toys. These brands design their wooden puzzles to specifically incorporate teaching skills. Melissa and Doug is a company that designs their puzzles to be educational and fun for children and parents alike. They introduced their first wooden puzzle in 1991, the Fuzzy Farm. This puzzle contains four animals (pig, sheep, duck, and cow). Each animal is fuzzy, which helps develops a child’s sensory abilities and teaches matching skills.

Wooden puzzles can help the development of language and speaking skills for toddlers and preschool kids. As you converse with your child while they are playing with the puzzle, kids begin learning the proper sentence structure and word usage. This interaction helps increase their understanding, vocabulary and concept of language.

Wooden puzzles help introduce toddlers and preschool kids to a variety of different subjects. Melissa and Doug puzzles include themes such as farm animals, ocean life, the solar system, geography and a myriad of other aspects of life and living. Older children learn the alphabet and numbers with puzzles. Melissa and Doug wooden toys include several map puzzles, including a USA, Canada, and the world. These unique teaching aids can also serve as a religious educational tool, including Baby Moses, Adam and Eve, Jesus and other Bible characters. The keys to success are selecting the right theme and matching the child’s age and abilities with the appropriate puzzle.

Wooden puzzles are not all the same. We often think of them as jigsaw style with about 6 to 24 big chunky pieces. However, there are many different types. Melissa and Doug wooden toys such as their peg style puzzles are designed for toddlers to match the pieces putting them into uniquely shaped holes. This simple puzzle teaches motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination. It also facilitates cognitive development as the child seeks to analyze and understand the pieces as they hold them and try to decide which hole it will fit into. Other creative approaches include wooden puzzles that make sounds, such as farm animals and emergency vehicles, while also teaching kids how to match the pieces to different shapes.

Another unique approach is larger sizes designed for the floor. The Beginning Skills Floor puzzle is actually four in one; numbers, shapes, colors, and the alphabet. Brightly colored pieces cleverly provide toddlers with a learning experience as they must match each piece correctly. A great example of a floor puzzle is the Zoo Friends Circular Floor Puzzle, another product from Melissa and Doug Wooden Toys. It contains five animals, each with a short sentence, such as “lion is standing.” This 24″ floor puzzle teaches children an action that the animal is doing (sitting, standing, walking), and shows the animal in motion. Additionally, the simple sentence helps teach children understand that letters combine to make words.

Wooden puzzles offer something for everyone. For some children, the aspect of hearing and seeing increases their learning ability. For others, the hands-on aspect helps them develop physical skills. For kids of all ages, they offer a great learning tool.

Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about Melissa and Doug wooden toys. Click here to download our free wooden puzzles guidebook filled with helpful tips, ideas and information.

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