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We regularly do puzzles at our house–anything from peg puzzles for the toddler, up to a thousand pieces for the big people.  As a child, I remember helping my dad do large puzzles on our dining room table.  It was something that was relaxing and gave him something to do when he was laid off over the winter.  I really enjoyed it, too.

My eldest son is now able to help with those big puzzles, but we had to have a talk the first time about being patient and just enjoying the process.  I told him that it’s not so much about the end product as it is about relaxing, taking your time, and using your brain.  After he relaxed a bit, we enjoyed the process much more.

If you’re wondering how puzzles can be used for schooling, I’ll let you know.  They foster patience, problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and pattern recognition.

Here are a few of my favorite Melissa & Doug 100-piece puzzles that are approximately 13″ x 19″ each.  It’s a good size for a child to do at the table, coffee table, or desk.  The quality of these puzzles is also very nice and the pieces fit together well.  There’s nothing like a junk puzzle to make your child frustrated!

Melissa & Doug Coral Reef Jigsaw Puzzle, 100-Piece

Melissa & Doug Shark Jigsaw Puzzle, 100-Piece

Melissa & Doug Dolphin Cove Jigsaw Puzzle, 100-Piece

Melissa & Doug Wildlife Jubilee Jigsaw Puzzle, 100-Piece

Melissa & Doug Puppy Wagon Jigsaw Puzzle, 100-Piece

I like to use this size of puzzle for an individual child or a pair of them to work on something quiet that will occupy their minds.  There are times when you want your children to be quiet so you can focus on the others, or they just need something to keep them out of trouble.  😉