The 10 Best Puzzles for Kids of 2020

Challenge them with these brain teasers

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Our Top Picks

Best for Young Toddlers: Jumbo Knob Puzzle at Amazon

"This is the perfect first puzzle for young toddlers and will help your child develop visual perception."

Best for 2-Year-Olds: GYBBER&MUMU Colorful Shape Puzzle at Amazon

"With bright colors and geometric shapes, this puzzle set will help tots learn and distinguish shapes and colors."

Best for 3-Year-Olds: Construction Tools Puzzle at Amazon

"When puzzle pieces are placed correctly they'll make a sound, helping your child develop auditory processing skills."

Best for 4-Year-Olds: 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles at Amazon

"A good option for travel since it provides four puzzles in one, and each puzzle piece is color-coded on the back for easy cleanup."

Best for 5-Year-Olds: Melissa & Doug Jumbo Floor Puzzle at Amazon

"Bigger kids will love the challenge and delight of this oversized floor puzzle, which measures 2 x 3 feet when complete."

Best Innovative: Mudpuppy Puzzle Sticks at Amazon

"Each themed set comes with 24 double-sided stick-shaped pieces that can be arranged to reveal an image."

Best Personalized: Personalized Name Puzzle at Amazon

"A name puzzle will help encourage letter recognition and spelling, and as your child gets older it can double as room decoration."

Best Beginner for the Whole Family: Double-Sided Puzzle at Amazon

"Challenging enough for adults and engaging enough for kids, this puzzle is the perfect way for a family to work together."

Best Educational: MasterPieces Explorer USA Map Kids Puzzle at Amazon

"Help your school-age kid brush up on geography in a fun way by placing states correctly with this United States map puzzle."

Best Advanced: Night Sky Wooden Puzzle at uncommongoods.com

"When complete, this advanced 330-piece handmade puzzle reveals a gorgeous view of the Milky Way."

Puzzles are a perfect toy for every age and stage of a child’s development. They help kids hone their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and are a quiet, technology-free activity that will keep your child engaged. Find a puzzle that'll help your kid learn new skills while having fun with the whole family.

Our Top Picks

1

Best for Young Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Jungle Friends Jumbo Knob Puzzle - 3 Pieces

With just three puzzle pieces, this is the perfect first puzzle for young toddlers over the age of 1. The extra-thick wooden base and pieces have jumbo wooden knobs, making them especially easy for little hands to grasp.

Underneath each puzzle piece is a full-color matching image meant to help your toddler develop visual perception skills. Besides placing the puzzle pieces where they belong, young toddlers can clap the pieces together or enjoy recognizing different colors and patterns on the bright images. 

2

Best for 2-Year-Olds: GYBBER&MUMU Wooden Preschool Colorful Shape Puzzle

Puzzles will help toddlers strengthen fine motor and visual-spatial skills as they recognize the puzzle pieces and match them where they belong. With bright colors and geometric shapes, this set will also promote color and shape recognition.

The wooden pieces all have smooth edges and large shapes, so they’re safe and gentle for little hands. Each of the shapes are too big to go in a child’s mouth, but small enough that they are easy for little hands to manipulate. Since the pieces don’t have knobs, they require a more precise focus and will challenge your child’s fine motor skills in a more tactile manner. This puzzle is suitable for tots 2 years and older.

3

Best for 3-Year-Olds: Melissa & Doug Construction Tools Sound Puzzle

Leave it to the experts at Melissa & Doug to create a puzzle that’s interactive and helps 3-year-olds develop both fine motor skills and auditory processing skills. This puzzle has detailed images of some favorite noisy construction tools like a power drill, hammer, belt sander, jackhammer, and more.

Each puzzle piece has a small peg, so it will require precise finger movements to grasp. This helps kids hone their manipulation skills as they get older. When a piece is placed correctly in the puzzle board, expect to hear the sound that each tool makes. The puzzle does require AAA batteries which are not included and is only suitable for kids 2 years and older. There’s no off switch, so the puzzle will always make noise.

4

Best for 4-Year-Olds: Melissa & Doug 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Storage Box

Banish boredom with a 48-piece puzzle set that will challenge and entertain finicky 4-year-olds. The set includes four wooden 12-piece jigsaw puzzles. The wooden storage box has four compartments (one for each puzzle), and each puzzle piece is color-coded on the back for easy sorting.

The cute farm animal theme can lead to family fun making animal sounds, and the color-coding is great for quick cleanup and color sorting games. The slide-on box lid doubles as a puzzle board, and then easily slides closed with all the pieces inside. This is a well-crafted set that is a good option for travel, since it provides four puzzles in one. This puzzle isn't for kids younger than 3 years old.

5

Best for 5-Year-Olds: Melissa & Doug Building Site Jumbo Floor Puzzle

Bigger kids will love the challenge and delight of an oversized floor puzzle. When complete, this puzzle measures 2 x 3 feet. Made from extra-thick, durable cardboard, the pieces are covered with an easy-to-clean surface that will keep the puzzle looking new for a long time.

The 48-piece puzzle is loaded with detailed images, so there’s lots to look at and is perfect for a game of “I Spy…” once the puzzle is complete. In addition to fine motor skills and spatial recognition, this larger, harder puzzle will require concentration from your child. Working on a puzzle until completion gives kids the chance to work uninterrupted, on one task. They will feel a great sense of accomplishment when they’re finished, which is a big self-esteem boost. The puzzle is suitable for kids ages 3 and above.

6

Best Innovative: Mudpuppy Puzzle Sticks

Suitable for kids over 3 years old, puzzle sticks provide a new way to challenge kids’ minds and play with pattern recognition. Each themed set comes with 24 double-sided stick-shaped pieces and a colorful puzzle tray. Kids can create six different eight-piece puzzles by lining up the sticks according to the puzzle pattern.

This type of puzzle challenges children to sort the sticks by their background color, then arrange them in the correct order to reveal an image. With nine themes that range from dinosaurs to unicorns, there’s a puzzle stick pack for everyone. The drawer-shaped box neatly stores all the pieces and tray.

7

Best Personalized: Fat Brain Toys Personalized Name Puzzle

Children of any age will feel a sense of pride and recognition when they see their own name in a big wooden puzzle. Crafted with high-quality wood and painted with bright colors, these name puzzles help kids feel special, noticed, and loved.

A name puzzle will help encourage logic abilities, fine motor skills, letter recognition, name fluency, spelling, and self-esteem. As your child gets older, this puzzle can double as room decoration. Simply glue the pieces in place and place the puzzle on a shelf or hang on the wall. The puzzle is suitable for kids ages 2 years and up.

8

Best Beginner for the Whole Family: Mudpuppy Cats and Dogs Double-Sided 100 Piece Puzzle

Challenging enough for adults and engaging enough for kids, this sweet puzzle is the perfect way for a family to work together. One side of the puzzle features adorable dogs while the other has cute cats, so it’ll require some sorting to complete.

Because one side of the puzzle is glossy and the other is matte, sorting is made easier and it allows young fingers to feel for tactile differences. The sturdy box keeps all the pieces safe and closes up tightly to store on a shelf. The puzzle is suitable for kids 6 or older.

9

Best Educational: MasterPieces Explorer USA Map Kids Puzzle

Help your school-age kid brush up on geography in a fun way with this United States map puzzle for kids 4 and up. The 16.5x12.75-inch puzzle includes state-shaped puzzle pieces for all 50 states, along with a fun fact for each state on a colorful insert.

Each puzzle piece is labeled with the state's name and little cartoon drawings that represent what the state is most famous for. Fun for the whole family, it'll challenge kids and adults alike.

Every MasterPiece puzzle is made from recycled paper for the eco-conscious puzzler.

10

Best Advanced: Night Sky Wooden Puzzle

night-sky-wooden-puzzle
Courtesy of UncommonGoods.

If you're looking for the perfect gift for your puzzle-loving teenager, or a more challenging puzzle for family game night, this advanced Night Sky one is ideal. When complete, the 330-piece puzzle reveals a gorgeous view of the Milky Way at night that'll stun house guests.

The manufacturer says its difficulty level is "hard to really hard," so the puzzle isn't meant for beginners or younger children. Handmade in the U.S.A. with high-quality wood, it'll last you for a long time, making it well worth the higher price tag. When complete, the puzzle measures 11 inches in diameter.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's a mom of a 9-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. Maya and her family are “puzzle people” and like to have a challenging puzzle for all set up on the dining room table. After a few days of proceeding at a slow pace, Maya's husband will settle in and complete the whole puzzle (usually all by himself). 

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Article Sources
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