6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids

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January 29 is National Puzzle Day for 2020 and it’s time to celebrate with six kid-friendly activities and of course, puzzles you can do with children of all ages and that the whole family will love!

And there are so many benefits when kids do puzzles!!

Do you know that puzzles build skills and so good for the brain, highly benefitting children’s learning and intelligence? They’re good for:

critical thinking

visual-spatial skills

shape recognition

hand-eye coordination


attention span

details, logic

fine-motor development


Of course, as far as cognitive skills go, they’re good for us adults, too!

How can you incorporate puzzles into your life with children?

6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids

1. Weekend Puzzle Nights

Puzzle nights are the best. Even better when it’s an entire weekend so if you don’t finish, you can work on it for several days.

2. Puzzle Races

When my kids grew out of the easy puzzles (24 pieces, for example), we kept them for puzzles races. My girls and husband would grab 3 easy puzzles each, making sure they all had the same amount of pieces,  then race to complete all three puzzles. The first one done wins!

3. Dedicated Jigsaw Puzzles Table

If you’re like me, you don’t eat at your dining room table anyway so why not use it for a jigsaw puzzle space? We like the flat space of the table and the option of not picking up right away.

If you don’t like the dining room table, try a card table instead.

My favorite, sturdiest brands to recommend to you are Ravensburger, Melissa & Doug, and Mud Puppy.

Also, try buying puzzles at consignment stores if you can. Unlike a second-hand store, they check to make sure all the pieces are there.

4. Complete a Floor Puzzle with your Preschoolers

Toddlers and preschoolers love to work and play on the floor, right? So let them spread out and complete something on the floor– it’s a blast.

5. Tweens Like Puzzles, Too

We’ve found a 500 – 1000 choice is always a fun, easy family activity to do with our tween. After dinner, we let her choose the music and sit quietly together working on our family puzzle.

6. It Doesn’t Have to Be Jigsaw Puzzles Though

Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. What are some of your options?

floor puzzles

puzzle books

3D puzzles

puzzle games

Celebrate National Puzzle Day with these top toy and game picks for children.

Floor Puzzles

6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids
BUY Space Floor Puzzle
ages 4+
60 large 3 x 2.5″ pieces fit perfectly in little hands. As children build, they’ll be concentrating and learning, noticing detailed illustrations about space. Find Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Cassiopeia, Mars, and the Big Dipper.

BUY Under the Sea Floor Puzzle
ages 4+
49 sturdy pieces that easily fit together build a large ocean floor puzzle.

3D Picture Puzzles

BUY HABA Arranging Game
6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids
ages 2+
Who wouldn’t want to play with these colorful, sturdy wooden blocks? Free play and build your own structures or use the template cards and solve their puzzles. This will be a long-lasting toy.

STEM math gift for preschool age kids christmas
HABA Number Maze Magnetic STEM Toy
Ages 3+
Don’t you love the aesthetics of this mathematical learning toy? Kids use the magnetic pen to move the balls around the maze, matching the colored balls to the animals and the number of slots for each animal. Plus, it’s great fine motor skills practice, too.

BUY Picture Puzzle
ages 2+
Use the 3-D interlocking shapes to complete the picture puzzles matching the shape outlines on the picture cards.

Try a puzzle game with 12 pieces, 200 challenges, and 6 levels of difficulty.

Jigsaw Puzzles

The 30 Best Games for Kids (Give as Gifts for Christmas 2019)
BUY Mudpuppy Llama Llama Fuzzy Puzzle
ages 3+
Not only is the artwork adorable but kids will love to feel these 42 chunky pieces with fuzzy accents.

6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids
Pixar Toy Story 100 Piece

Isn’t this fun!? Most kids like Toy Story but if not, there are quite a few options so click through and find another recommendation.

Say Cheese!

For some reason, my kids always pick the weirdest pictures — like this one. Goofy children of mine.

Puzzle Games

RushHour Traffic Jam Logic Game
ages 8+
A classic game for one player that we can’t recommend enough…Not only does this game provide hours of strategy and problem solving but it’s FUN to accomplish these tricky puzzles. We are big fans.

gravity maze
BUY Gravity Maze
ages 8+
Get your kids hooked on an engaging puzzle game requiring problem-solving, thinking, and visual-spatial strategy! The goal of the 1-player Gravity Maze game is to figure out how to build a working marble run using the colored translucent plastic towers. We love and highly recommend this game!

Puzzle Books

6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids
BUY PBS Sticker Smart Art Colors and Shapes
ages 3+
Kids use the reusable, colorful geometric shapes to complete the pictures of a picnic, robots, flowers, backyards, and more. Placing the stickers on the pages builds fine motor coordination and shape recognition. Completion is like finishing a puzzle, just in a book. If you like this, you’ll also love the Sticker Smart Art Around the World book.

BUY PBS Kids Spot the Differences Around the World
ages 3+
Compare the colorful photographs from around the world — can you spot the differences? Take this on a trip or stick it in your bag for waiting rooms and downtime. Isn’t’ this better than screentime? Also available is Spot the Differences Adorable Animals, which is, well, adorable. Buy both these books for your kids and I predict you’ll want to do them, too.

BUY Paint By Stickers Unicorns & Magic
ages 7+
Use the sheets of numbered geometric stickers to match the numbered shapes and make a sticker mosaic of a mermaid, castle, fairy, and more.

Photo Puzzle Mania! (Highlights Hidden Picture Activity Books)
ages 7+
This Highlights Hidden Picture book is gorgeous — all photographs, not illustrations. Can I tell you a secret, I love it even better than the illustrations. Maybe your kids will, too. Because the photos just POP off the page. Whether you’re finding the difference or finding hidden objects, it’s a beautiful experience. But there are more brain-boosting activities besides the hidden pictures like a grid maze and matching.

BUY Longest Hidden Pictures Puzzle Ever

ages 7+
Guess what? This won the Guinness World Record title for the longest hidden picture puzzle fold-out book! It’s 16 feet long with 280 hidden objects. Kids are going to LOVE this — because it’s weird and fun and humongous. (Although, you can mostly read it like a book if you don’t want to unfold it.)

6 Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day with Kids
Highlights Secret Hidden Pictures Puzzles

ages 6 – 9
Mind-bending! You must use the magic lens to discover over 500 hidden objects that you can’t see without it. It’s wild!

 Gift Books for the Holidays: Puzzle and Activity Books
Star Quest: Extreme Puzzle Challenges for Clever Kids
by Michael O’Mara Books
ages 10 – 16
What an inviting, challenging space-themed puzzle book! I really love that each two-page spread has facts about the topic like Shuttle LaunchPad and the other page has the puzzle — a maze, dot-to-dot, or color by number puzzle. This book is not for young children — it’s hard! Like the dot-to-dot for Sputnik 1 goes to 538!


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