What Does it Mean if Your Child is Good at Puzzles?

What Does it Mean if Your Child is Good at Puzzles?

Posted by The Early Teacher on 7th Dec 2021

You may have heard that puzzles are good for the brain and for development, but what does it mean when your child is good at puzzles? Are they a child genius? In this article, we go over what it means when children are good at puzzles if it makes them smarter, and how it helps with their overall development.

So, what does it mean if your child is good at puzzles? Children that are good at puzzles may be visual-spatial learners. This means that they prefer to learn holistically, where visual imagery plays an important role. They tend to think in pictures, rather than words, and usually consider the whole picture before looking at details.

Read on to learn more about what it means when children are good at puzzles.

What Does Being Good at Puzzles Mean?

When children are good at puzzles, it can mean a few things, but it also indicates that they may be a visual-spatial learner. Everyone has different learning styles which maximises their learning ability, and for visual-spatial learners, this means:

  • They prefer to learn holistically
  • Visual imagery plays an important role in learning
  • They tend to think in pictures, rather than words, or ideas
  • They typically, tend to consider the whole picture before focusing on any details
  • They tend to not do well with step-by-step instructions and may find it difficult to explain instructions to others step-by-step as they see the process as a whole
  • They tend to have excellent memories, and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent visual estimation and spatial awareness

Children that are visual-spatial learners may struggle with what is considered to be “standard” learning activities such as handwriting and spelling, as well as auditory learning such as lecturing lessons, but tend to excel with more visual activities such as learning through diagrams and stories, or learning geometry via puzzles.

Aside from learning styles, being good at puzzles also has significant implications for brain health and development, and for hand-eye coordination, as well as encouraging good problem-solving skills, and visual-perceptual skills.

Does Being Good at Puzzles Mean You’re Smarter?

Puzzle-solving has been linked to an increased IQ and overall reasoning ability, as they activate the brain whilst simultaneously relaxing the user psychologically.

However, it’s important to remember that “smart” is subjective, and that children (and adults!) excel in different areas. Some lean more towards mathematics, and others more towards English. Likewise, some children have a natural talent for languages, whilst others are skilled in artistic subjects, or more physical activities.

Even if puzzles don’t necessarily indicate that your child is smarter than another child, remember that the benefits gained from playing with puzzles will help with their learning and development; memory skills, focus and concentration, problem-solving, visual-perceptual skills, and hand-eye coordination are all key skills that children will use throughout their school career.

What Skills Do Puzzles Develop?

Puzzles help children to develop a wide range of skills, including physical, educational, and social skills.

  • Fine motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Memory
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Perseverance
  • Visual-perceptual skills
  • Pattern recognition
  • Language and social skills
  • Attention to detail

How Do Puzzles Help with Emotional Development?

Not only do puzzles help with the development of children's’ cognitive and physical skills, they also help with emotional development, especially when working with others.


Children will learn patience with puzzle games; they will learn to stay calm, solve problems and, generally, be patient when faced with a challenging situation.


Perseverance is a skill that, if learned early in life, a child will greatly benefit from in a fun way. With puzzles, children will learn to persevere with a task in order to see the finished result, regardless of loss of interest or enjoyment.

This skill will then benefit them as they progress through school, and well into being an adult and working life.


By working on puzzles with others, even parents, children will learn teamwork skills, language skills, and social skills as they will need to communicate effectively with others to reach their desired result.

At What Age Are Kids Good at Puzzles?

Children as young as 2-3 may play with simple puzzles with a small number of pieces, but from the ages of 6-7, children should be able to handle larger puzzles with upwards of 120 pieces. From the ages of 8-9, children should be able to tackle puzzles with 250-500 pieces.

Whilst puzzles will encourage development at all ages, from the ages of 6-7, children will really begin to start seeing the benefits of puzzles, including the development of fine motor skills. From the ages of 8-9, children will begin developing cognitive skills, as a result of playing with puzzles.

Puzzle Toys and Jigsaws at The Early Teacher

The Early Teacher stocks a wide variety of puzzle toys and jigsaws suitable for young children. Choose from Animal Cube Puzzles and Dinosaur Cube Puzzles, or Touch and Feel Safari or Farm. For slightly older children, we also have a World Map Puzzle or the interactive Solar System Puzzle and Animated City Puzzles. All of our puzzle toys and jigsaws will help to encourage good development in children.