Play Right: Kids Puzzles Inspire Educational Fun
At New Jammies, we love those special quirky holidays that help us celebrate the obscure.
Like National Bubble Wrap Day on Jan. 26 every year, where popping bubble wrap all day to relieve stress is perfectly acceptable. Or Strawberry Day on Feb. 27, when strawberry shortcake is sure to be enjoyed across the nation. Grammar Day on March 4 is the sure to be the day when grammar fanatics can go around correcting people’s use of your vs. you’re and their vs. there. Improper punctuation is also fair game for correction on Grammar Day.
As January comes to a close, we celebrated National Puzzle Day with a fun selection of some of our favorite online finds for helping kids learn about everything from shapes to the United States. This unofficial holiday, always celebrated on Jan. 29, is a tip of the hat to games enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. Puzzle celebrations and events are hosted at venues nationwide including community libraries, art centers and museums. Whether they are jigsaw, crossword, word scramble, Sudoku or memory games, puzzles are fun and educational.
Here are a few of our favorite kids’ puzzles available online. We suggest kids snuggle up in a warm pair of New Jammies and let their minds do the rest:
• Manzanita Kids
Manzanita Kids heirloom quality toys are handcrafted in Seattle and feature simple, durable, tactile and imaginative designs, quality materials and fine craftsmanship. The company’s eco-friendly philosophy features American hardwoods purchased from local source enhanced and protected with beeswax and organic jojoba oil, applied and polished by hand. Manzanita Kids products are featured at the Museum of Modern Art and the Dia Art Foundation in New York, Kidspace Children’s Museum in California and Kohl’s Children in Illinois and can be purchased online. Manzanita’s wood puzzles help children develop problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning and confidence. We love their fun five-piece train puzzle, as part of the transportation series, made from maple, cherry and walnut with a homemade organic jojoba oil/beeswax finish. Order online at http://www.manzanitakids.com/puzzle/train-puzzle.
• Green Toys
Made in the California, Green Toys are classic children’s toys made from recycled plastic and other environmentally friendly materials. The company uses food-safe, 100% recycled milk containers, reprocessed into clean plastic, and formed into kids toys and hands-on puzzle play including the My First Green Toys Shape Sorter is a puzzle that helps develop recognition of shapes and colors and builds eye-hand coordination, problem-solving, and fine and gross motor skill development. The two-part elliptical Shape Sorter features eight colorful shapes (two stars, two circles, two squares and two triangles), has no BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings, and meets FDA food contact standards and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The puzzle is recommended for six months and up and can be ordered online at http://www.greentoys.com/my-first-green-toys-shape-sorter.html.
• Melissa and Doug
Headquartered in Connecticut, the Melissa and Doug toy company was founded more than 25 years ago in a garage of the owner Doug’s childhood home. Today, the company offers more than 2,000 innovative products for children of yttrium all ages. Melissa and Doug puzzles range from simple wooden jumbo knob puzzles to complex 500-piece cardboard jigsaw puzzles to help build fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problems-solving skills. We love the Melissa and Doug alphabet and number puzzles, featuring activities where kids can play and learn, hands-on. The 26-piece Alphabet Sound Puzzle pronounces the correct name of each letter when placed correctly. Pieces are slightly raised above the puzzle board for easy grasping. Colorful pictures under each piece reinforce the relationship between letters and their sounds. Buy at: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/alphabet-sound-learning-puzzle.