Generally, puzzles are good tools for the development of young children especially their motor skills and cognitive development. Puzzles like jigsaw are quite popular since the shape sorting and image grouping exercise improves their problem solving skills. Crossword puzzles for children development is also a recognized approach. Of course, the applicability and difficulty of crossword puzzles to be used in order to have the most significant impact will depend on the child’s age and probably their level of learning.
It is indeed important for children to be presented with puzzles appropriate to their age group. The reason behind this is the fact that children can easily become frustrated if they are unable to solve problems or puzzles. This only means that their level of development is not yet ready for a puzzle that complex. It would be best, therefore, to reduce the level of difficulty of the kind of crossword puzzles you give your child.
Other puzzles promote motor skills, but with crosswords memory, language and numeric skills are the ones being honed. With these kinds of puzzles, you don’t leave the problem solving to your child alone. You do the problem solving exercise together at first and eventually reduce the number of times you help him/her until such time that your child can solve the crossword on their own. If children are able to solve puzzles on their own on a regular basis, they feel a sense of accomplishment and they will feel good of themselves.
In terms of levels, the crossword puzzles should be given to children ages of around seven or younger. At this age, your child is able to identify words and phrases and will be able to understand the clues. Younger kids will learn the blocks of objects puzzles as well as word search puzzles first. And as they grow older, they will move up the ladder of puzzles like the jigsaw and then when they grow a few years older, the crossword would be the one they will tackle next. Crossword puzzles will teach your kid vocabulary, reasoning skills, spelling, and word attack skills.
Parents can easily get some crossword puzzles on the Web. The newspaper published puzzles might be too difficult for your child. Get them the appropriate puzzles or you can create one yourself. Child development experts have already recognized the importance of building vocabulary knowledge and word power through the use of crossword puzzles. The parents can have a specific theme for each crossword puzzle. That would be easier for the kids. Crosswords that have themes like animals in the zoo, pets, shapes, colors, and basic verbs and nouns or even objects found in the room , kitchen or dining area are some interesting theme for children. These puzzles also encourage them to look around their environment and identify the things they see.
Just remember that these kinds of puzzles are just to create a spark of interest in your children. You don’t have to force them to accept the puzzles that you present. Encourage them, that is the main idea. They might protest at some point but let them be. Create more interesting puzzles to keep them interested.
If you find the puzzles to be too easy for them, increase the difficulty of the puzzles you make the next time around. Always observe your kids and see what works for them now.