Top Educational Puzzles for Young Children: Our Family's Favorite Picks

Exploring the Best Puzzles for Young Minds

In my household, I wouldn't say we are avid puzzle enthusiasts, but we do love a good puzzle that makes us want to work on it for ages. With a plethora of options available in the market, selecting puzzles for our young children can take lots of research and one's time. After much trial and error, I've curated a list of my family's top picks, each offering unique benefits for our little learners.

Animal Families by The Learning Journey

What we love about this puzzle set:


Self-correcting puzzles offer children an empowering journey of discovery. Each piece only has one match that fits, encouraging self-correction with ease and development of independent problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Caregivers are more likely to step back, allowing children valuable time and space to explore, experiment, and flourish in their cognitive development puzzle journey.

This helps them gain a profound sense of accomplishment, fostering self-confidence.

Real Life Images

We've found that puzzles featuring real life and clear animal pictures against a white background are incredibly inviting for our children. No distractions from unnecessary visuals! As children piece together the puzzle, they would be able to easily identify the animals and match the visuals to their recollections of how those animals look, drawing on memories to the zoo or farm. These puzzles deepen children's real world understanding and recognition of animals.

Durability and Longevity

Montessori values durability and sturdiness when it comes to children's toys and learning tools. These puzzles are made from sturdy cardboard that has stood the test of time in my family. They were played with by my firstborn, by her friends, and now, by my secondborn. I have come across puzzles with visuals that peel off the cardboard backing, bend easily, or are easily distorted around the edges, but this puzzle has stayed in good condition through the years, making them a worthwhile investment for my family.

Drawbacks and Considerations

While we have positive feelings towards this puzzle, we'd be remiss not to mention a few minor drawbacks. For instance, in the deer-fawn puzzle pair, the visual of the adult deer comes with spots on its back - which is very rare in the real world as most spots fade away in adulthood. My firstborn was the one who pointed out this fact that contrasted against what she learnt in books - that fawns are the ones with the spots on their backs to hide from predators but not adult deer. While this detail might seem inconsequential to some, a more accurate visual would allow caregivers to explain the coat difference between adult deer and fawn, providing a teachable moment that might spark discussion about animal camouflage and adaptation to habitats.

I'll continue to add to this list as I try out more puzzles for young children.

Puzzles are valuable tools for cognitive development and learning. By carefully selecting puzzles that align with our children's interests and developmental needs, we can spark their interest in puzzles and bring about meaningful learning experiences.

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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.

Hi! Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I am a stay-home Singaporean mama living in Seattle who is passionate about child-led and open-ended play for children in a conducive home environment.

Discovering Montessori and Reggio has been a life-changer for me. It made me an empathetic and mindful parent who follows my child’s needs and interests in the activities I plan at home. I hope the Montessori-friendly and Reggio inspired baby and toddler activities I share here inspire you too.

Happy reading!