Last Updated on November 30, 2022 by admin
Most two -year olds aren’t quite ready for full-fledged puzzles yet.
But, as I wrote when my oldest was 2, they can get a lot of use out of things like puzzle pairs, chunky puzzles, and giant floor puzzles.
It wasn’t until my youngest son turned two, that I discovered one of the best puzzling options for this age. Allow me to introduce you to “cube puzzles” — or, as I like to call them, “block puzzles”). My SIL gave my son the puzzle shown here. Ot continues to occasionally keep my son occupied, even years later.
A cube puzzle is, as the name implies, composed of cubes instead of flat pieces. You simply line the cubes up within a simple wooden frame, looking for where the images connect. Because as each side of the cube corresponds to its own puzzle image, you technically get six puzzles in one.
The manufacturers distinguish each puzzle image clearly enough to make it (relatively) easy to for kids to figure out which cube side belongs to which image. For example, in our block puzzle, each image has its own distinctive colored border. Our son usually starts by dumping all the pieces out of the wooden frame. Then, together, we flip each block to “the blue puzzle” side (or whichever color he wants to do first). Bonus: This helps little tots learn and identify colors.
The blocks are optimally sized, so it’s easy for little hands to manipulate and flip them. It’s fun to slide the blocks around the frame and into place, watching the image slowly take shape. Kids will have to use spatial awareness along with problem solving skills when placing the blocks into the puzzle.
One of the best features about cube puzzles is easy they are to store. The blocks fit together nicely, take up minimal space, and are sturdy enough to be extremely stackable.
Plus, the puzzle is technically all cleaned up as soon as it’s finished. There’s something pleasing about the way all 16 pieces fit snuggly on the tray, so kids want to help put them away. And the sides of the wooden base are high enough that a two-year-old can carry the puzzle on their own (unlike their dinner plate) without the pieces falling off on any nearby toes.
Finally, even if the 2-year-old you’re buying for turns out to be a little too young to put the puzzle together, the toy is still ultimately composed of stackable wooden blocks. Those are a classic toddler toy in and of themselves.
My son’s favorite block puzzle design is no longer available from the manufacturer, Melissa and Doug. They’ve moved on with new designs featuring featuring farm animals, pets, and branded characters such as Disney princesses and Blue’s Clues. You can click on the images below to see more purchasing details from Amazon, but most puzzles are well under $20 (and some are closer to $10).