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Best Puzzles for Toddlers and Kids of 2021

Updated
Puzzles are an easy and fun way to develop your child's fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

Are you on the hunt for the perfect toy that can entertain your child and help their development? If so, we’re here to help you in your quest. We’ve put together a list of the best puzzles for toddlers and kids.

In fact, puzzles are a great way to get your child away from technology. It allows children to use their fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities (1).

Interested? Let’s get started.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle (48 pcs, 2 x 3 feet)
Best for Intergalactic Fun
Melissa & Doug Solar
  • 48 extra thick cardboard pieces
  • Easy to clean surface
  • 100% happiness guarantee
Product Image of the Ravensburger Horse Dreams - 100 Piece Glitter Jigsaw Puzzle for Kids – Every...
Best for Little Ladies
Ravensburger Horse Dream
  • Bestselling puzzle brand worldwide
  • Anti-glare surface
  • Completely unique shape per piece
Product Image of the The Learning Journey: Match It! - Spelling - 20 Piece Self-Correcting Spelling...
Spelling Bee for Preschoolers
The Learning Journey
  • Thick, durable cardboard construction
  • Teaches early reading skills
  • Self-correcting puzzles
Product Image of the GYBBER&MUMU Wooden Preschool Colorful Shape Puzzle
Great for Young Toddlers
Gybber&Mumu Colorful
  • Approved ASTM & CPSIA test
  • 1 board and 9 wood toy
  • Safe and colorful
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Land of Dinosaurs Jigsaw Puzzle (60 pcs)
Best for Prehistoric Exploration
Melissa & Doug Dinosaur
  • 60-piece puzzle
  • Durable
  • Made in the USA
Product Image of the BeginAgain Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle and Playset - Educational Wooden Alphabet...
Clever Design for ABC Fun
BeginAgain Animal Parade
  • Features fun animal pieces
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Highly educational
Product Image of the CubicFun 3D Vessel Puzzle Ship Models Toys Foam Puzzles Building Kits Gift for...
3D Puzzle for Future Sailor
CubicFun 3D Puzzle
  • 142 puzzle pieces
  • Value for money
  • Easy but entertaining assembly
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Safari Social Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle (24 pcs, 2 x 3 feet)
Safari Fun for Adventurers
Melissa & Doug Safari
  • Exceptional quality and value
  • 24 extra-thick pieces
  • 2' x 3' when complete
Product Image of the iPlay, iLearn Kids Puzzle Ages 4-8, Wooden Solar System Floor Puzzles Ages 3-5,...
Best for Space-Enthusiasts
iPlay, iLearn Solar
  • Bright illustrations
  • High quality components
  • Extra-large size
Product Image of the JOYIN Toy 4 in 1 Wooden Educational Shape Color Sorting Puzzles Preschool...
Skill Building for Toddlers
Joyin Toy Educational
  • Non-toxic
  • No choking hazard
  • Perfectly sized for toddlers' hands

Finding the Perfect Puzzle

With such a huge selection available, it can be difficult knowing where to start. Also, some parents find it challenging to find the right puzzle for their child’s age. Let’s work out some of the kinks first, and go through our favorites later.

Toddlers

Toddlers love animals, colors, textures, and new things to explore. There are lots of great puzzles available.

That said, keep in mind that some puzzles are designed for bigger toddlers, closer to the preschool age. These may have smaller pieces which can become a hazard by them choking, or are simply too challenging for a young mind.

For young toddlers (ages 1 to 2), puzzles are typically made out of wood. They usually feature a small number of large 2D or 3D pieces which your child has to figure out how to rotate to make them fit. Some puzzles are similar to a jigsaw, while others may be a box with various cutouts.

Preschoolers

Children aged 3 to 5 can easily take on more educational puzzles. Everything from learning the ABCs to more advanced jigsaw puzzles. There will be smaller but more numerous pieces to the puzzles.

An educational puzzle is a super fun way for your preschooler to learn words and numbers. These puzzles could be alphabet cutouts, planet puzzles, maybe even a map.

The best thing is that your child will learn without feeling bored or forced.

Older Children

As children exit the preschool stage, puzzles will become more advanced. There are still lots of options when it comes to interesting educational puzzles. But as they get older, something more challenging, like a 1000-piece jigsaw, might be more fun.

3D puzzles are also an exciting option for bigger children. These can resemble animals, buildings, or other large objects. Some 3D puzzles are also quite large, so your child might see it as a huge triumph once finished. Just make sure you have enough floor space!


The Best Puzzles for Toddlers and Kids of 2021

Here are our favorite puzzles for toddlers and kids.

1. Melissa & Doug Solar System Puzzle

Best Puzzle for Intergalactic Fun

This extra-large floor puzzle could be just the tool for your child to get to know the solar system. The set features 48 thick pieces that are easy for children, aged 3 and up, to handle. The pieces also have a glossy finish so they’re easy to clean.

The artwork is incredible and, to make it even more educational, the names of the planets are listed on the puzzle as well, so spelling practice is an option too.


2. Ravensburger Horse Dream Puzzle

Magical Puzzle for Little Ladies

Let your child’s imagination run free as they assemble this colorful puzzle. When finished, the puzzle will show a magical unicorn, rainbow, and butterflies.

When finished the puzzle measures 14 inches by 19 inches. To make it even more girly, the puzzle pieces are decked out in glitter. It features 100 pieces — an excellent size for children aged 6 and up.

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3. The Learning Journey Spelling Puzzle

Spelling Bee for Preschoolers

Learning to spell can be quite a challenge for some kids. Luckily though, there are ways to make it accessible and less daunting.

With these self-correcting puzzles, your child has to match the pieces to form the correct words and pictures. It could be a great learning tool for children aged 4+.

The 20-piece set features only three or four-letter words. There are also other sets available which feature letters, upper and lowercase, even rhymes.


4. Gybber&Mumu Colorful Shape Puzzle

Great Choice for Young Toddlers

Young toddlers love bright colors and fun shapes, therefore, this puzzle could be an excellent choice. It features large, wooden shapes, and your tot has to figure out how to place them on the board.

The manufacturer created this puzzle with all the safety concerns in mind for children aged 12 months and up. The pieces are large, smooth, and have been painted with water-based paints, so it’s safe for your child to bite the pieces.


5. Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Puzzle

Best for Prehistoric Exploration

This 60-piece puzzle is great for dinosaur-loving children aged 5 to 7. It features some of the most popular dinosaurs, with a volcano ready to erupt in the background.

The puzzle is made out of a durable cardboard material. It’s an excellent way for children to use their problem-solving skills as they put the pieces together.


6. BeginAgain Animal Parade Puzzle

Clever Design for ABC Fun

This alphabet animal parade was designed with clever little 2-year-olds in mind. It features a variety of animals that hook together in an impressive display. While mom or dad could help a toddler with this one, due to the challenging configuration, it may be more suitable for preschoolers.

Made from eco-friendly rubberwood, each animal piece has a letter. On one side you’ll see the letter in uppercase, the other side shows the lowercase. A wooden storage case is included.


7. CubicFun 3D Vessel Puzzle

3D Puzzle for Brave Kids

At the age of 14, children might start to think about what they wanted to become in the future. If they have an inclination for travel or just wanted to become a sailor, then this 3D puzzle is a solid fit. This medieval steamboat vessel is made up of over 142 EPS foam board pieces. It features a steamboat which will remind you of the Mississippi River.

One of the best parts about this puzzle is that once assembled, your child will feel a great sense of achievement thus boosting their confidence. In addition, they’ll have a steamboat to play with long past the assembly date.


8. Melissa & Doug Safari Jumbo Puzzle

Safari Fun for Adventurers

This safari-themed jigsaw puzzle features 24 pieces and stretches 2 feet by 3 feet when assembled. It presents a child-friendly African artwork depicting animals belonging to the savanna, such as an elephant and a giraffe.

The pieces are extra large and thick, suitable for children from 3 years. What’s more, they’re also easy to keep clean due to the glossy finish.


9. iPlay, iLearn Wooden Solar System

Best Puzzle for Space-Enthusiasts

Outer space is a mystery waiting to be explored — your child may already be interested in stars, planets, and aliens. This unusual wooden puzzle is great for children aged 3 and up.

It features 48 large pieces that fit together to form a circle. The pieces are made out of natural, non-toxic wood. The edges are also smooth to prevent any unwanted splinters.


10. Joyin Toy Educational Sorting Puzzles

Skill Building for Toddlers

In this package, your toddler will receive four 3D wooden puzzles. Each one features a unique puzzle with shapes and colors. It’s been designed to develop hand-eye coordination, counting, sorting, stacking, and more.

The pieces are large, colorful, and made of wood, plus they’re also free of any toxins — making them safe for children aged 18 months and older.


11. White Mountain Puzzles Candy Wrappers

Best Jigsaw for Advanced Puzzlers

Children aged 12 and up might like a more challenging puzzle. Something like this 1000-piece jigsaw could really test their limits and resolve.

It’s large, colorful, and decked out in brightly-colored candy wrappers. You might just find your favorite candy among them? For the parents, they’ll have a walk down memory lane as well, with some old-school candy brands included.


12. The Learning Journey USA Map

Geography for Beginners

If you’re looking to teach your little one early geography skills, this puzzle could help. It features 40 large pieces representing the 50 US states. Each state includes a landmark or fun fact and the pieces are slightly raised for easy placing and lifting.

For ages 3 and up, but given the content, we think older children would also greatly benefit from this one.


13. Ravensburger 3D World Globe Puzzle

Top Pick for Globetrotters

This amazing globe puzzle was designed for children ages 7 to 12 years. With 180 pieces, the high-quality, peel-resistant pieces click into place when correctly assembled.

Once your child has completed the 3D puzzle, which is almost 8 inches in diameter, they can put it on the display stand that comes with the set. You never know, the globe might just become a centerpiece on your child’s dresser.


Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.

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