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6 Developmental Benefits of Puzzles

Puzzles at any age are great activities that promote the use of several different skills including concentration, problem solving, visual perception, and fine motor skills. They are great ways to keep children entertained while serving an educational purpose. Puzzles can help enhance several different skills that are important for learning subjects such as reading, writing, and math!

Below are just some of the reasons that puzzles are beneficial to development:

1. Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is the ability to perceive two or more object’s position in space relative to oneself and in relation to each other (understanding up/down/in front/behind, etc.).

Turning the pieces and understanding where each piece goes in relation to each other to create a picture is how this skill is used when doing puzzles.

2. Visual Closure

Visual closure is the ability to recognize forms or objects when they are only partially visible (e.g. being able to recognize a picture of an apple when part of the picture is covered up).

Trying to see what puzzle piece would complete the part of the puzzle being worked on is encouraging the use of visual closure skills.

3. Visual Discrimination

Visual discrimination is the ability to identify the similarities and differences between colors, shapes, patterns, and sizes.

Putting together puzzles helps increase attention to detail and the ability to find specific patterns, colors, and shapes that will “fit together”.

4. Visual Figure-Ground

Visual figure-ground is the ability to perceive the foreground from the background.

This skill assists in the ability to find specific objects in a visually busy background. Puzzles encourage this skill by having to look for and find a single piece with a particular detail in a pile of other pieces.

5. Visual Memory

Visual memory is the ability to recall objects, numbers, letters, figures, and words that have been previously seen.

Working on puzzles encourages visual memory by having to remember the details of the picture and using that visual information to find those details on the individual puzzle pieces.

6. Fine Motor Skills

Puzzles allow children to work on their pinching and grasping skills, as well as their fine motor precision skills by manipulating pieces to move and turn them so that they fit into the correct slots.

If your child avoids or has difficulty doing puzzles, they may have poor visual perceptual or fine motor skills mentioned above, or it could simply be lack of exposure to the concept of puzzles!

You can teach your child how to do puzzles by following these tips:

  • Start with smaller and simpler puzzles. You want to prevent frustration, and give them an achievable goal to build confidence and self-esteem. Then work your way towards puzzles with more pieces and/or irregular shapes for more of a challenge.
  • Teach them to recognize straight edged pieces and sort them from pieces without straight edges.
  • Have them put the straight pieces with similar colors together and create the border of the puzzle.
  • Teach your child to sort puzzle pieces based on color, patterns, etc.
  • Then put together small sections of the puzzles based on similar colors, patterns, and details

-Marla Griswold, OTR/L

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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