The 8 Best Puzzles for Kids of 2021

Challenge them with these brain teasers

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Melissa & Doug USA 51-Piece Floor Puzzle at Amazon

"Younger kids will have fun putting it together and older kids can practice learning the location of all 50 states."

Best for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Safari Jumbo Knob Puzzle at Amazon

"Made from extra thick wood, the pieces have easy-to-grasp jumbo wooden knobs, making it ideal for first-time puzzle players."

Best for Kids: Melissa & Doug Construction Jigsaw Puzzle at Amazon

"Just challenging enough without being too advanced, it features 48 wooden pieces and comes in a storage tray for easy clean-up."

Best 3D: Rolife 3D Wooden Puzzle at Amazon

"It helps develop hand-eye coordination and concentration, and will build confidence once your kiddo shows off the completed piece."

Best Personalized: Kidzco Puzzles Wooden Personalized Name Puzzle at Amazon

"Kids will love seeing their very own name in puzzle form, which will help build self-esteem and name recognition."

Best for Tweens: Little Puzzle Thing - Chocolate Scoop at eastdane.com

"Designed to be completed in under 20 minutes, this realistic-looking food puzzle offers tweens the perfect screen-free break."

Best Challenging: Mudpuppy Animal Kingdom 100-Piece, Double-Sided Puzzle at Amazon

"Ideal for avid puzzle players or older kids who want a challenge, this double-sided choice features a matte and a glossy side."

Best Wooden: BeginAgain Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle at buybuybaby.com

"The 26-piece puzzle is made of animal-shaped wooden blocks that all fit together into a fun animal parade. "

As we spend more time at home, puzzles are an amazing tool to build hand-eye coordination, grow logic and spatial skills, and enjoy some screen-free time. No matter your child’s age, skill level, or interest, there’s a puzzle out there that they will enjoy.

Here are the best puzzles for kids.  

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Melissa & Doug USA 51-Piece Floor Puzzle

Made of high-quality cardboard, this 51-piece puzzle is fun for kids of all ages. Measuring 3 feet x 2 feet when complete, this oversize puzzle is colorful and informative. Younger kids will have fun putting it together and older kids will learn the location of all 50 states, along with the capitals and a primary industry or feature of each state. 

Best for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Safari Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Young toddlers will love this jungle friends puzzle. Made from extra-thick wood, the three safari animals puzzle pieces have easy-to-grasp jumbo wooden knobs. Safe for kids from 1-year-old and up, this is a perfect introduction to puzzles. Little kids will love playing with the pieces, getting them into the correct places, and can even mimic animal sounds or use the puzzle pieces like cymbals to explore sounds and coordination. 

Best for Kids: Melissa & Doug Construction Jigsaw Puzzle

A great gift for kids from 3 to 5 years old, this puzzle offers an age-appropriate challenge. Made of 48 wooden pieces, parent reviewers love that this puzzle comes in its very own storage tray, so it can easily be stowed away once complete. The original artwork showcases a busy construction site featuring lots of favorite vehicles hard at work. To help younger kids, the wooden base has an outline of all the puzzle pieces, guiding kids to finding the right piece for each spot. 

Best 3D: Rolife 3D Wooden Puzzle

Best for older kids, this 3D wooden puzzle helps develop hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, focus, concentration, and will build confidence once your kiddo can show off their completed puzzle. No glue or other materials are needed as the easy to follow step-by-step instructions guide your child through the assembly. If your kids aren't into the elephant design, the company makes lots of other challenging shapes.

Best Personalized: Kidzco Puzzles Wooden Personalized Name Puzzle

Build self-esteem, letter and name recognition, and hand-eye coordination with a personalized name puzzle. Kids will love seeing their very own name in puzzle form, especially those with unique names or spellings. Made in the U.S., this all wooden puzzle has room for up to 12 characters, all painted with colorful non-toxic paint.

Reviewers praise this puzzle as a great gift and an excellent tool in helping kids learn to spell their name. Custom options include a choice of letter color, engraving on the back, pegs on the letters, and more. 

Best for Tweens: Little Puzzle Thing - Chocolate Scoop

Little Puzzle Thing - Chocolate Scoop

Courtesy of East Dane

Designed to be completed in under 20 minutes, these realistic looking food puzzles provide tweens with a perfect screen-free break from their busy lives. The mini puzzles have just 70 pieces but the challenge lies with the odd shapes of these small treats. Each series is a timed edition with limited quantities, so if there is tasty food or treat that they love, scoop up these puzzles for a favorite tween in your life. 

Best Challenging: Mudpuppy Animal Kingdom 100-Piece, Double-Sided Puzzle

Two puzzles in one, this double-sided choice is just challenging enough, so it’s recommended for kids ages 6 and up. One side showcases illustrations of the world’s most colorful animals while the other side features black and white animals. For easier sorting, one side is glossy and the flip side is matte.

Parents praise this puzzle with the only drawback being that the puzzle image doesn’t include labels identifying the animals. 

Best Wooden: BeginAgain Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle

BeginAgain Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

This creative wooden toy is a puzzle and so much more. Introduce your kiddo to colors, animals, and the alphabet in a fun, interactive way. The 26-piece puzzle is made of animal-shaped wooden blocks that all fit together into an animal parade.

Each piece has an uppercase letter on one side and a lowercase letter on the flip side. Younger kids will enjoy playing with all the animals and older children can be challenged to complete the parade puzzle. The beechwood storage box holds all the animals and looks bright and colorful in a playroom or displayed on a bookshelf. 

What to Look for When Buying Puzzles for Kids

Age-Appropriate

If a puzzle is too advanced for your kiddo, they can easily become discouraged because of the difficulty. On the flip side, if the puzzle is too easy, your older or more experienced puzzlers may get bored and disinterested. Choose a puzzle that fits their age and experience level.

Durability

For little kids that like to gnaw on their toys, a durable and non-toxic puzzle is essential in order to keep the pieces in working order.

Storage

There is nothing worse than losing a piece to a puzzle. Going for a puzzle that comes with its own storage box can help you corral all of the tiny pieces.

Final Verdict

For an educational puzzle that blends geography with playtime, the Melissa and Doug USA Puzzle is a good option. If you have older kids that are open to a challenge, the Rolife 3D Wooden Puzzle is perfect.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. Her husband is a “puzzle person” and loves to complete puzzles with (or more realistically without) help from the rest of the family. "When we do puzzles together, everyone has an age-appropriate task that’ll help us complete the puzzle." 

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