Monkey has always been a curious character and loves to figure out how things slot together and how things work. I try my hardest to keep him occupied, but sometimes I really want to just sit down and let him entertain himself for five minutes. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep him engaged in what he is doing is by giving him puzzles. Finding puzzles for little ones this age can be a bit tricky, so I’ve put together a little list of 5 puzzles for a two year old.
Peter Rabbit wooden puzzle (£12.00 from M & S)
Beatrix Potter is one of my favourite children’s authors. Mr. C has a collection of her stories from when he was a little boy and we now read them with the boys. I love finding Peter Rabbit themed toys, so when I stumbled across this little gem I had to add it to the list. It is a very simple puzzle, so is perfect as a ‘first puzzle’. Underneath the pieces are little phrases, which is a nice little feature and adds a little depth to the puzzle.
Melissa and Doug – Safari peg puzzle (£4.99 from Amazon)
Peg puzzles are great for introducing puzzles to children because each puzzle piece can only fit into one slot. Generally the pieces are very different shapes as well, which makes it easier for toddlers to figure out. I really love the Melissa and Doug puzzles as ‘first puzzles’ because they are always quite bright and have quite a bit of detail on them, which opens up a lot of conversation with children. We have a few of the Melissa and Doug puzzles, but find the safari one is the most used. It is great for teaching children different animals and I make the animal noises to encourage Monkey to copy me, which is a great way of encouraging emerging language skills.
Suitable for ages 2+
** Hape – George Luck Sports car puzzle (£8 from Debenhams) **
With this puzzle the pieces fit into the board, so a child can gradually build up the picture. It is a little trickier than peg puzzles, but for a toddler like mine who like to work things out and spend time trying different ways to slot the pieces together it’s great. The puzzle has a lot of colour and different elements to it so if a parent is doing the puzzle with their child, there is a lot to help open up conversation. When I do this puzzle with Monkey, I talk to him about the different colours and animals. I also explain what the sun and the clouds are, especially if we are in the garden because I can then show him the sun the clouds outside as well.
Suitable for ages 24m+
*Note: I was sent this Hape Sports Car puzzle for the purposes of an honest review
Wooden train set (various prices from various retailers)
Technically a wooden train set isn’t a puzzle, but Monkey loves building the track himself and so I’ve decided to include a wooden train set in this post. This is the sort of toy that can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. The train set the boys have is actually one Mr. C had when he was a little boy and over the years people have bought various different parts of track and accessories to go with it. When people don’t know what to get their toddler, I always recommend a train set because it is by far the most played with toy in our house and is such a great toy for encouraging a range of different skills.
Ravensbuger – The Gruffalo my first puzzles (£5.99 from ELC)
These types of puzzles are great for when you are moving away from board and peg puzzles, onto the more tradition types of puzzles. The Gruffalo is such a hit in our house, so the boys are very familiar with the character. With board and peg puzzles the idea is to build up the picture with individual sections, however with puzzles like these, children have to find things that are split between several pieces and then find a way of putting them together in the correct order to make up the whole picture. Sets like this have different levels of difficulty, so the set can grow with the toddler and their growing skills.
Suitable for ages 18m+
*This is a collaborative post but all views are my own