15 Best Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids in 2017

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jigsaw puzzles for kids

Just several weeks more and parents, especially Moms, will again be flocking to department stores, retail shops, and other merchandisers looking for the perfect Christmas gift they could ever give to their loved ones, most specially children. And if you are looking for something that is guaranteed to help your kids build on their sense of patience and perseverance while stimulating the various intellectual and cognitive processes of their young brains, then you may want to try giving them jigsaw puzzles.

This year, we have shortlisted 15 of the best and most entertaining jigsaw puzzles you can give to kids this coming season of giving.

15 Best Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids

11000-Piece Candy Wrappers Jigsaw Puzzle by White Mountain Puzzles

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

Designed for the pre-teen, the 1000-piece Candy Wrappers should be a very challenging task even for adults. With so many colors, patterns, and designs in each of the 1000 pieces, it will be more like finding your way in a maze the size of 100 football fields. The good thing about the Candy Wrappers is that, once completed, you’ll have something to showcase in your room. This should allow you and your spouse to take time off your busy schedules and remember the days of your childhood when you had to rush home from school to ask your Momma to give you a penny to buy any of the candies that are depicted in this 24 inch by 30 inch masterpiece. The collage piece is designed by Charlie Girard, a well-known contemporary artist. The interlocking pieces are made of the highest quality of sturdy chipboard with recycled paper as its main component.

What We Like about It – Once completed, the Candy Wrappers can be an excellent opportunity to share with kids the history of the candies that once brought joy to kids of yesteryears. It’s a good way to let children know of how it was like to be a child during your time. There’s a lot of trivia involved. Plus, it can really get the whole family together to build this one classic piece.

212-Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box – Vehicles by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range: 3 to 6 years old

You cannot give a toddler a 1000-piece interlocking puzzle set. It is imperative that he or she start first with the basics. And when it comes to toddler products, one of the best we have seen so far is the 12-piece Wooden Vehicle Puzzle by Melissa & Doug. There are four different vehicle panels that young kids will have to put together. Each panel is composed of 12 interlocking pieces to give the Puzzles in a Box a total of 48 beautiful units. There are 12 wooden units each for the race car, school bus, steam engine, and a fire engine or a fire truck. It comes with a wooden box that has 4 different compartments to store the different panel sets. The wooden storage box can also double as the puzzle board for your kid as he or she attempts to make sense of the pictures in each piece.

What We Like about It – Toddlers are still exploring a lot of things around them. And for this, we believe this Melissa & Doug product does an exceptional job of helping young children learn more about 4 of the more common vehicles in their surroundings. This can also help in the enhancement of their language development as well as their ability to refine their motor skills.

31000-Piece The Games We Played Jigsaw Puzzle by White Mountain Puzzles 

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

Imagine a 24 inch by 30 inch masterpiece showcasing all the different board games you used to play. Unfortunately, you will have to put the 1000 pieces together before you can marvel at your work. You can give this Lois B. Sutton masterpiece to your teenager if you like to make his or her holiday vacation more worthwhile. This jigsaw puzzle will be quite challenging for teens, what more children? The collage features a lot of bright and interesting details with a great majority vintage-themed. Just like the Candy Bars, this can be an excellent conversation piece as well as a learning tool for kids to learn about the games that their parents used to play.

What We Like about It – In an age where everything is run on computers, it will be very interesting to see how children will react if they see a collection of the world’s most famous games from the late part of the 19th century to the early parts of the 20th. You’d be brought back in time, telling stories to your children how you beat your partner in one of these classic board games.

4500-Piece Thomas Kinkade Disney Dreams Collection 4-in-1 Jigsaw Puzzle Set by Ceaco 

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Age Range: 5 to 15 years old

If you have preschoolers, you may want to give them the 500-piece Disney Dreams Collection 4-in-1 set designed exclusively by renowned painter Thomas Kinkade. With his signature artwork on idyllic and realistic subjects, Kinkade has clearly brought to life 4 of Disney’s timeless classics in a jigsaw puzzle form – Fantasia, Winnie the Pooh, Lady and the Tramp, and Tangled. Each of these puzzle paintings have 500 interlocking pieces making the whole set a gigantic 2000-piece marvel. Once assembled, each picture measures 14 inches by 18 inches, perfect as wall décor either in your living room or in your kid’s bedroom. The images are painted in perfect realism that you’d be surprised they represent 4 of the most enduring stories in Disney’s history.

What We Like about It – The pictures can literally transport you to a magical world that Disney is known for. These can all be excellent addition to your home’s aesthetics. For your kid who will be putting the puzzle pieces together, being able to complete one of the 4 panels should be very rewarding. Now imagine what it can do to his or her self-esteem.

530-Piece Match It! Mathematics by The Learning Journey 

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

One of the inherent developmental tasks of toddlers is the stimulation of their number skills. Just like learning shapes, the alphabets, and colors, learning fundamental counting numbers can help them when they grow older. The positive thing about the Match It! Mathematics is that it not only takes care of your child’s numerical skills, it also helps to foster the other developmental tasks that are expected of him or her. The Match It! Mathematics is just one of several puzzle games from The Learning Journey designed specifically for younger children. The set comes with 30 card pieces of 2 interlocking units. There are 10 card for counting numbers, another 10 for mastering the process of addition, and another 10 for the process of subtraction. Children can never go wrong with the Match It! since each card set is uniquely designed to interlock only with a specific piece.

What We Like about It – Young children need all the help they can get to learn the basics. As numerical skills are important in adult life, giving them the Match It! Mathematics can help develop these skills.

61000-Piece Kitchen Cupboard Jigsaw Puzzle by Ravensburger 

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Age Range: 12 to 15 years old

The Kitchen Cupboard Jigsaw Puzzle may not be as organized as the one you have in your kitchen but it sure can surely stimulate the problem solving skills and keen eye for detail of your youngster. If you think The Games We Played and Candy Wrappers were very challenging, wait until you unbox this game. At 27 inches by 20 inches, the Kitchen Cupboard maybe smaller in dimension but it is a lot trickier because of the relatively smaller puzzle pieces, all 1,000 of them. The good thing is that once the Kitchen Cupboard is completed, you’ll have a reference for some of the ingredients and other items that your kitchen still doesn’t have. Now, wouldn’t that simply be amazing?

What We Like about It – There’s something in the Kitchen Cupboard’s design that we really cannot decipher. And perhaps it is this shroud of mystery that we fell in love with it. Nonetheless, this should be an exciting way to relax and make constructive use of your kid’s time.

755-Piece Kids’ Puzzle of the USA by A Broader View

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

Instead of giving your kids a map of the United States or even giving them an electronic version of it, we believe it will be more entertaining and more educational at the same time to give them something that they can put together. The Kids’ Puzzle of the USA is an exceptionally well-designed learning puzzle that is unlike other interlocking games. Instead of the usual patterns of interlocking pieces, the different states of the country are the pieces themselves. Each state piece comes with important information including the landmarks, state symbols, and even their state capitals. This can make for a great tool for learning US geography.

What We Like about It – It’s not only for kids. The Kids’ Puzzle of the USA can also be a very useful teaching-learning tool in grade school geography classes so teachers can make the learning of US geography more fun. What’s more, the set can truly enhance a child’s memory and understanding of the geographical information of the different states that make the US of A.

824-Piece Under the Sea Jigsaw Puzzle by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range: 3 to 5 years old

While this is not a scene from the Disney film The Little Mermaid, owing to the name of the product having close resemblance to the theme song of the movie, the Under the Sea jigsaw puzzle nonetheless, provides a colorful interpretation of what life is like under the surface of the world’s great oceans. There are images of marine creatures like a blue and white swordfish, a gray shark, an orange octopus, a red crab, a purple sea anemone, a blue whale, a yellow seahorse, a light brown starfish, and a pink jellyfish. Young kids will have no issues putting the 24 puzzle pieces together as each is big enough to understand how the different interlocking parts should be oriented in relation to one another. It also comes with a very sturdy wooden tray which can double as a frame once completed. Each puzzle piece is made of high quality wood and finished with child-safe materials.

What We Like about It – Melissa & Doug has been making superb children’s toys for quite some time now. And the Under the Sea is no exception. The large pieces make it easy for small hands to grasp. The vibrant colors can also reinforce color recognition.

960-Piece Disney Frozen 4-Puzzle Pack by Cardinal 

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Age Range: 4 to 15 years old

There are 4 scenes that need to be assembled or put together in the Disney Frozen 4-Puzzle Pack. There’s the scene of Princesses Elsa and Anna together with Kristof and Olaf. Then there’s the 4 plus Sven. And there’s a scene where Olaf is replaced by Sven. And of course, there’s the magical scene of Princess Elsa unleashing her true chilling powers. Each of these Frozen scenes consists of 60 puzzle pieces to bring the total to 240. Each scene measures 11 inches by 15 inches which can then be systematically arranged on your wall to provide a remarkable décor. We are pretty confident your child, especially if he or she is a fan of the movie, will love putting the different pieces together.

What We Like about It – A child completing a jigsaw puzzle can be a great source of his or her sense of accomplishment. This can help motivate the child to do more complex things as he or she already knows that, if he or she can put 60 pieces together to build something fantastic, anything is possible.

1045-Piece Deluxe Wooden USA Map Puzzle by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range: 5 to 10 years old

If you have a child who is having problems memorizing the 50 states of the United States, maybe you need to try a little more fun approach. Why not give your kid the Deluxe Wooden USA Map Puzzle? The 15.5 inches by 11.7 inches wooden board features 45 graphic and colorful puzzle pieces that represent the different states of this great nation. Each piece comes with a very useful information about that particular state including its state capital, the state’s official flag, the state bird, its official motto, its current population, and a whole lot more. It’s a fun way to learn about the US. Both the state pieces and the game board are made of premium quality wood that has been finished in certified kid-safe all-natural materials.

What We Like about It – The Deluxe Wooden USA Map is a great tool for teaching US geography to kids especially those who are already in grade school. The mere fact that each piece contains additional information about the state should really help ids understand the true essence of being an American.

11100-Piece The Solar System Jigsaw Puzzle by EuroGraphics 

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Age Range: 6 to 15 years old

Want to teach your kids about the solar system and how the different planets are positioned relative to the sun and to each other? Then give them the 100-piece The Solar System jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle pieces are made of premium grade blueboard that guarantees each piece will never fray with continued use. Additionally, the technology guarantees perfect fit so that there will never be issues of misalignment or pieces simply not slotting well into the space. The materials used are 100 percent recyclable, non-toxic, and kid-safe. The ink used in the printing of the solar system design is made of 100 percent vegetable-based dyes and has been duly tested and certified by appropriate regulatory agencies like the Forest Stewardship Council. Kids will love the colorful rendition of the different planets of the solar system. Once put together, this colorful 13 inches by 19 inches astronomical masterpiece can be a wonderful cosmic addition to your child’s bedroom wall as a décor.

What We Like about It – The materials used, especially its vegetable-based ink, are phenomenal. At least, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your kid handling each of the 100 pieces of the cosmic puzzle. If school age children will put the pieces together, it can be an excellent instrument for promoting independent play.

1240-Piece CB-23 Wooden Tangram Jigsaw Tetris Puzzle Toy by SainSmart Jr. 

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Age Range: 3 to 10 years old

Can you still remember one of the classic computer game for handheld consoles way back in the 90s, the Tetris game? Well, the CB-23 Wooden Tangram Tetris is just that. The only difference is that, instead of being played electronically, your kid will have to decide how to place the different classic Tetris shapes into the rectangular wooden frame that serves more like the screen of our former handheld game consoles. The beauty of this is that it’s relatively up to your child how he or she would like to position the different blocks so that all the 40 pieces will fit inside the frame. Both the frame and the colorful blocks are made from 100 percent natural maple and dyed with non-toxic and kid-safe paints.

What We Like about It – The CB-23 is an entirely different kind of jigsaw puzzle. Honestly, we think of it more as a free-form building block set wherein the objective of the game is to put all the blocks into the frame regardless of how you intend to place them. As long as there will be no empty spaces or any unused block, then the child would have been considered successful. This is the best tool for building your kid’s problem solving skills as far as puzzles are concerned.

1324-Piece Construction Jigsaw by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range: 3 to 5 years old

If your child watches Bob the Builder or any other similar children’s educational TV shows, then it should not be surprising if he or she is also fascinated with construction vehicles. While the images depicted in the Construction Jigsaw are no Scoop, Roley, Muck, Lofty, and Dizzy, they do provide one very unique benefit for your toddler – the opportunity to learn what a pay loader, excavator, and dump truck construction vehicles look like. The 24 jigsaw units are made of high quality and premium grade wood set on a wooden tray which can also serve or function as the frame for the puzzle once completed. Kids will definitely love putting the different pieces together as each unit is large enough to identify the interlocking patterns.

What We Like about It – Since the intended users of this Melissa & Doug product are older toddlers and preschoolers, we’d say the set is a useful tool in helping them refine their visual and motor coordination. It can also reinforce their language as they learn the names of these common construction vehicles.

14100-Piece Shark Jigsaw Puzzle by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range 6 to 12 yearsAge Range: 6 to 9 years old

The Great White shark is feared by many. Unfortunately, what many don’t realize is that there are more dog attacks than there are shark attacks. Besides, it would simply be foolish to go swimming in shark-infested waters, especially near seal colonies. The Great White, like any other sharks, are often poorly understood. One way we can change this perception especially among our children is by giving them materials which can introduce them to these magnificent creatures. The Shark Jigsaw Puzzle aims just that. Designed for school age children, the puzzle should be a welcome learning tool in their biology and ecology class. The colorful scenery involving a Great White along with a school of small reef fishes amidst a backdrop of sunlit blue ocean can make for a wonderful wall décor once finished. Like all Melissa & Doug products, the Shark is made of high grade wood before finishing with kid-safe, non-toxic materials.

What We Like about It – The vivid colors of the underwater scenery makes you feel like you’re actually swimming with the Great White. Have the puzzle framed and add some appropriate lighting to it and it should make your child’s bedroom take on a more aquatic feel.

1524-Piece Thomas & Friends: Thomas the Tank Engine Shaped Floor Puzzle by Ravensburger 

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Age Range: 3 to 6 years old

Thomas is well-loved by kids as he chugs his way in the island of Sodor together with his friends Percy, James, and Toby as well as the other engines in the island. With its iconic smiling face right in front of the tank engine, there simply is no mistaking who Thomas really is. The Thomas & Friends: Thomas the Tank Engine Shaped Floor Puzzle is not your ordinary mind-stimulating set. For one thing, it’s huge at 36 inches long and 24 inches wide with a thickness of about 0.2 inches. Now compare that with most of the sets we have in this list. There are 24 pieces all in all and each one can be as large as a toddler’s head so putting them together should really be a breeze. The pieces are made of super-thick cardboard and then layered with line-structured and ultra-fine paper for extra gloss.

What We Like about It – Young kids will have no problem putting the different pieces together. And once completed they can have their very own Thomas the Tank Engine play mat. More importantly, kids’ ability to concentrate and focus will be greatly enhanced.

How We Chose the Jigsaw Puzzles in Our List

When we told our research team that our next project will be jigsaw puzzles, almost everyone in the group, quite literally, had a “puzzled” look on their face. And why not? How do you choose a jigsaw puzzle from a sea of choices when everything essentially boils down to the same inherent features? The only possible thing that can differentiate one puzzle from another will be its design which is, in our opinion, very subjective. Our choice of design may not actually sit well with your taste. So how did we do it?

Well, we had to rely on fellow parents. Many of the products in the market today have been around for quite some time. As such, we had to look at the experiences of these parents and determine if they strongly recommend the jigsaw puzzle. Likewise, we had to look at the developmental appropriateness of the puzzle. Most manufacturers recommend a particular age for which their products will be most valuable. Our task therefore, is to make sure that the recommended age is appropriate to the developmental age of children who will be putting together the jigsaw puzzle. It should not be too easy otherwise they’d get bored easily. It should not also be too difficult lest they get frustrated and simply give up.

And then there’s the reputation of the manufacturer. While it is safe to say that well-established brands have an excellent reputation, there are also new players that really strive to adhere to federal guidelines regarding product quality and safety especially when talking about products for kids. It is thus, essential that we establish a company’s credibility as well as trustworthiness to help us better decide on whether to include the product in our list or not.

Choosing the top jigsaw puzzles that will comprise our shortlist was indeed, never easy. Nevertheless, it was a fruitful endeavor.

Jigsaw Puzzles and Children’s Cognitive Development

If you think that the only benefits you’ll get for solving a jigsaw puzzle are strained, tired eyes and a severe throbbing headache, for children, it is entirely different.

Being able to piece together several units of vastly different shapes require an understanding of patterns, colors, and shapes and how a particular shape can fit into the slot of another shape. This helps sharpen a kid’s cognitive skills primarily his or her spatial reasoning and problem solving.

For example, to put a piece onto a slot, the brain has to interpret how the slot is shaped and then compare it with the piece on hand. The brain makes very fast computations and estimations leading it to conclude that the piece fits into the slot.

While this does not happen all the time, it is also possible that kids learn to appreciate problem solving by means of trial and error. If the piece does not fit into the slot, then the brain is encouraged to look for another piece which the child can “try” to fit into the slot. If it doesn’t fit again, then the process is repeated until such time that a particular piece fits perfectly into the slot. While the trial and error method is going on, the brain is keeping track of which shapes of puzzle pieces do not fit into the slot so that these will automatically be excluded from succeeding attempts.

In real life, we are often faced with situations wherein the solution is unknown to us. So, we try a particular solution. If it works, then we can say we are successful. If not, then we try a different approach. We do this until such time that we are able to achieve the desired outcome. This is grounded in our ability to solve problems using the trial and error method. It may not really be scientific but, given the scarcity of factual information, we can only use what we currently have.

This is what children learn to develop in solving jigsaw puzzles. While most moms and dads will see fine motor skills development, most child experts see substantial improvements in kids’ cognitive development.

The Bottom Line

Jigsaw puzzles are not just for kids. These are for adults, too. That is why we believe our top 15 jigsaw puzzles for kids will be an excellent source of Christmas gifts to your loved ones. It can be a great tool for encouraging family bonding and cooperation. Completing a jigsaw puzzle is one great way to spend the holiday with the whole family.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!

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