These tips on jigsaw puzzles for teens may help your teenager to work on visual perception, spatial perception and planning skills while still having lots of fun!
Jigsaw puzzles can be fun, yet challenging activities for older kids and teens. The question is, just how do puzzles help develop your child's skills?
It really does depend on the picture on which the puzzle is based.
Some puzzles are "busy" - filled with lots and lots of small objects - think of a library filled with books, a bustling street... these puzzles mostly use figure-ground perception and visual scanning skills.
Basically, you pick up a piece, see what colors and objects are on your piece, and then you visually scan the picture on the box until you spot the color and/object that matches your piece.
Then you place your piece in approximately the right spot and repeat with the next piece until you start getting pieces that fit together!
Sometimes "busy puzzles" feel like they take a while to get going. It takes a little while to scan the picture and match up your piece to the picture. And then to find another piece that joins it! So it often takes a few sessions to feel like you are moving forward. But it gets quicker and more satisfying as you progress.
Some puzzles are more "peaceful" (for lack of a better word) - the picture contains a few specific objects with a fairly quiet background.
When you do these puzzles, you are able to sort out the pieces into the various objects - for example, to complete the safari puzzle pictured here, you would be able to sort out the pieces into the different animals and the sky pieces.
Then you build one animal/section at a time, until you have completed the whole puzzle.
This kind of puzzle has more of a visual discrimination and spatial orientation demand, as well as figure-ground perception. Although you may know from the color that you are working on, say, the elephant, you still need to figure how to orientate the pieces to complete the picture.
Depending on your child's visual perceptual and organizational skills, one type of puzzle may be more challenging than the other. The hardest type of puzzles are those with only a few large objects, with similar coloring, such as 2 elephants on a savanna backdrop.
Tweens may enjoy a 300 piece puzzle, progressing to 500 pieces as they improve. Personally, our family of 3 teens enjoys 500-1000 piece puzzles - they take a few days for us to do as a family during a relaxed holiday week.
My link to Ravensburger puzzles on Amazon#Ad is simply for your convenience - you should be able to find suitable puzzles for teens in your local department store, in a thrift shop or maybe even borrow them from a friend!
They also make great gift ideas for birthdays and holidays!
I hope this page has helped to inspire you to help your older child and teenager get interested in puzzles to help develop their visual perception and organization skills.
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