26 Different Types of Puzzles for Kids (Physical, Paper-Based, Digital) - VerbNow

26 Different Types of Puzzles for Kids (Physical, Paper-Based, Digital)

Top view of kids playing tangram puzzle on the floor.

Puzzles have been around for ages and have supplied kids of all ages with endless hours of fun and education. Apart from the jigsaw puzzle we all know and love, people have come up with many clever new ideas to make reinvent puzzles. Big, small, digital, paper-based, physical, three-dimensional, you name it; there is a puzzle to suit everyone. Types of puzzles for kids include;

  • Frame Puzzles
  • Knob Puzzles
  • Peg Puzzles
  • Floor Puzzles
  • 3D Puzzles
  • Chunky Puzzles
  • Find The Hidden Object Puzzles
  • Find The Hidden Word Puzzles
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Matchstick Puzzles
  • Logic Puzzles
  • Tangram Puzzles
  • Swap Rows Puzzles
  • Wordsearch Puzzles
  • Dot-To-Dot Puzzles

If you are looking for puzzles for your kids that are exciting and new, look no further. This article will provide a list of different types of puzzles for kids that are fun and educational.

Table of Contents

Types of Puzzles for Kids

Physical Puzzles

Physical puzzles are divided into two categories, namely, inset puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. The difference is that jigsaw puzzle pieces connect, whereas inset puzzle pieces are generally non-connecting.

Inset Puzzles

Knob Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzles - Shapes and Farm Animals

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Knobbed puzzles are the easiest type of puzzle available for kids. These puzzles are usually made from wood, and the pieces are non-connecting. Each piece has a knob attached for little hands to use as a handle to guide the puzzle piece into its corresponding space.

Knob puzzles are perfect for babies or young toddlers who still have adorable but clumsy hands, and they are great for developing their fine motor skills.

These puzzles usually come in simple shapes and images such as;

  • Geometric shapes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Farm animals
  • Boats and cars

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Chunky Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Wooden Chunky Puzzle (7 pcs)

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Chunky puzzles feature chunky puzzle pieces without any handles and are generally thicker than the puzzle tray. They are bulky enough for little children to manipulate the pieces into the correct space with ease. Chunky puzzle pieces are usually non-connecting, but you do get ones that are.

Kids must use their whole hands to grip the pieces, and they help strengthen their hand muscles and improve their fine motor skills.

Chunky puzzles usually come in the following shapes and images;

  • Animals
  • Miscellaneous objects
  • Vehicles
  • Pets
  • Farm scenes (trees, barn, horse, chicken, etc.)

These puzzles are used to teach children to discern detailed images and shapes and introduce them to the names of objects.

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Peg Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Wooden Peg Puzzle 6 Pack Numbers, Letters, Animals, Vehicles

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Peg puzzles and knob puzzles are exactly the same, but instead of a big knob, the peg puzzle pieces have small pegs attached to them. They are the most advanced version of the three inset puzzles.

These puzzles help further a child’s fine motor skills and encourage social play as there are enough pieces for groups of two or more children to build the puzzle together.

Peg puzzles are used to introduce small children to numeracy and literature with themes such as;

  • The Alphabet
  • Numbers from 1 to 10
  • Pictures with words
  • Safari animal
  • Under the sea
  • Trucks

These are perfect for preparing children for school, and it improves their math and language skills.

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Jigsaw Puzzles

Frame Puzzles

4 Packs 24 PCs Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids Preschool Educational Brain Teaser Boards Toys Animal Zoo Bus Marine World Construction Sites Children Enlightenment 3 Years Old and Up

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Frame puzzles lay the foundation for jigsaw puzzles. These are great for beginners before they move on to more complicated jigsaw puzzles. Frame puzzles are made from cardboard, and the pieces are interlocking, and they all fit into one frame.

The frame assists children in guiding the pieces into the correct place as the background of the frame board indicate the shapes of the pieces (like a blueprint of the actual puzzle pieces).

Frame puzzles are typically suitable for kindergarteners and preschoolers and include themes such as;

  • Sophisticated images
  • Animals
  • Vehicles
  • Under the seat
  • Dinosaurs
  • Fairy Tales

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Floor Puzzles

iPlay, iLearn Kids Puzzle Ages 4-8, Wooden Solar System Floor Puzzles Ages 3-5, Large Round Space Planets Jigsaw Puzzle Toys, Educational Learning Gifts for 6 7 8 Year Old Toddlers Boys Girls Children

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Floor puzzles are usually quite large, and they can be assembled on a big table or the floor. They have big interlocking jigsaw puzzle pieces without a frame. The completed floor puzzles are often professionally framed and displayed on walls.

Floor puzzles are wonderful tools for developing a child’s problem-solving skills. It also requires them to match different shades and forms without a frame to guide them.

These puzzles are made from foam or cardboard, and it covers an extensive range of topics and themes such as;

  • World maps
  • Dinosaurs
  • Jungle scenes
  • Beach scenes
  • Boats on the ocean
  • Planets
  • Animals
  • Cities
  • Landmarks
  • Solar system

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3D Puzzles

3D Puzzles for Kids Ages 8-10 New York Arts and Crafts for Kids Ages 8-12 STEM Projects for Kids Ages 8-12 Gifts for 8 Year Old Girls Toys 8-10 Years Old Toys for 8 Year Old Girls Boys Building Model

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3D puzzles are three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles. These are the most advanced form of puzzles for children, and they require a lot of time and concentration to complete. The puzzle pieces can be made from either wood, plastic, or foam, and they are intended for children aged seven and older.

These puzzles are excellent tools to further a child’s problem-solving and special reasoning skills.

3D puzzles can range from 100 pieces up to an incredible 1000 pieces and usually come in shapes and themes such as;

  • Globes
  • Ships
  • Building
  • Dinosaurs
  • Castles

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Physical Puzzles Summary

Type Of PuzzleTarget GroupNumber Of Puzzle Pieces
Peg PuzzleToddlers & Preschoolers8 to 26
Chunky PuzzleToddlers4 to 12
Knob PuzzlesBabies & Toddlers3 to 8
Floor PuzzlePreschoolers & Up24 to 100’s
Frame PuzzleKindergarteners & Preschoolers9 to 60
3D PuzzlesLate Elementary & Older100 to 1000

Paper-Based Puzzles

Paper-based puzzles can keep kids busy for hours, even when the power goes out. These are wonderful to use in classrooms or for practice during the holidays. Who says you need an expensive puzzle or a phone to enjoy a good old-fashioned puzzle?

Crosswords

Space crossword puzzle for kids.

Crossword puzzles for children help to build their vocabulary and broaden their general knowledge. These puzzles are designed to make you think. They contain vertical and horizontal blocks that are reserved for the answers to the questions.

The game provides the child with hints or clues regarding the questions, and they are required to find the correct term or answer to fill into the blocks.

Crossword puzzles are fantastic tools to strengthen a child’s memory and logical thinking skills, and there are various difficulty levels to choose from.

Crossword Puzzle Printables

Matchstick Puzzles

Logical puzzle game with matches for kids.

Matchstick puzzles are extremely exciting. The thought of moving a match or two from one picture to form a whole new number or picture is brilliantly mind-boggling! These puzzles require kids to think outside the box, and they are excellent problem-solving training tools.

You can use toothpicks instead of matchsticks for safety reasons, especially for curious little people that like to experiment with the unknown.

Matchstick Puzzle Printables

Logic Puzzles

Logic puzzle game for kids.

Logic puzzles require children to work toward a solution. They need to think carefully, analyzing the clues step-by-step until they find the correct answer to the question or solution to the problem.

These puzzles improve their reasoning and critical thinking skills tremendously as children have to apply reasoning, logic, the process of elimination, and in some cases, they need to work backward to solve the puzzle.

Logic Puzzle Printables

Tangram Puzzles

Tangram game puzzle for kids.

Tangram puzzles are necessary tools to teach children how to recognize and identify geometric shapes. These puzzles teach them how to deconstruct and construct geometric shapes into a new shape.

Kids get a better understanding of geometry and how to manipulate shapes, and it helps build their visual-spatial skills.

Tangram Puzzle Printables

Riddles

Riddles aren’t just fun; they also improve a child’s creativity and thinking abilities. They provide an excellent opportunity to think and develop. Riddles also involve problem-solving and require children to open their minds and think outside the box!

Riddle Puzzle Printables

Sudoku

Sudoku kids game with answers.

Sudoku puzzles consist of a 9×9 grid, sectioned into nine smaller grids of nine blocks each. Each 9-block grid contains the numbers from 1 to 9, but some of the numbers are left out, and it is your goal to fill in the blanks with the correct numbers.

These puzzles can keep children busy for hours, and they have so many wonderful benefits such as;

  • Improves memory
  • Improves abstract reasoning
  • Improves data memorizing skills
  • Teaches children patience and focus
  • Improves logical thinking
  • Develops a child’s decision-making skills
  • Reduces screen time
  • Requires kids to pay attention to detail
  • It can potentially boost a child’s IQ
  • Improves rational thinking
  • Improves problem-solving skills

Apart from all the benefits listed above, Sudoku is a great way to keep children busy and have them learn simultaneously.

Sudoku Puzzle Printables

Mazes

Monkey maze puzzle for kids.

Mazes are brain-boosting, fun exercises that help children to improve their cognitive skills. While they try to find the correct way from the beginning to the end, kids need to reason, focus, memorize and navigate their way through the maze. It is a great tool for developing concentration and strengthening their memory.

Maze Puzzle Printables

Word Search Puzzles

Word search puzzle with different colors for kids.

Word searches are grids of any size containing scrambled letters with hidden words in them. You can find the hidden words vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and backward.

The searches are usually themed, for example, fruit, animals, etc., and once you have located a word, you can either circle the word or draw a line through it. Word searches are great for improving reading skills.

Word Search Puzzle Printables

Find the Hidden Pictures or Words in the Picture Puzzles

Find hidden objects puzzle with sea and summer theme for kids.

Kids love hidden pictures or words in picture puzzles because they always have fun and colorful themes. These puzzles are designed to make children concentrate as they find all the hidden objects and words. There are different versions of these puzzles, such as;

  • The hidden picture puzzles have small blocks with fragments from the bigger picture. A child must look at the picture and find out which part of the picture was taken from it.
  • Puzzles with listed items, where you read the word and find the corresponding picture hidden in the bigger picture.
  • Puzzles with camouflaged pictures or words that require a bit more focus.

Hidden Images Puzzle Printables

Hidden Words Puzzle Printables  

Digital Puzzles

Digital puzzles are all your favorite puzzles that you play on electronic devices. We have divided the list into two categories;

  • Online Puzzles
  • Free Puzzle Apps For Android & iOS Platforms

Online Puzzles

Kid hands playing online puzzle on a smartphone.

The list of puzzles mentioned below can all be played online. There are various games per category which keeps it fun and exciting. Click on the links below to enjoy playing the games.

These puzzles are all interesting and educational, and they develop a whole range of skills such as;

  • Computer skills
  • Logical thinking
  • Cognitive thinking
  • Math skills
  • Geometry skills
  • Spatial reasoning skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Memory skills
Type of PuzzleOnline Game Link
Labyrinth PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Shape PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Circle PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Connect The Dots PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Find The Hidden Words In the Picture PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Find The Hidden Objects In The Picture PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Spot The Difference PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Swap Rows PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Swap Blocks PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Wordsearch PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Crossword PuzzlesPlay Game Online
Block PuzzlesPlay Game Online
RiddlesPlay Game Online

Free Puzzle Apps for Android & iOS Platforms

From easy building blocks to complex logic puzzles, countless apps have been developed to cover a whole range of different children’s puzzles.

There are plenty of puzzle apps that are available for download that teach very important lessons to children.

These apps are designed to challenge young minds and are both educational and fun. Have a look at the puzzle apps below and click on the links for a free app download via the App Store or Google Play.

Super Puzzle – Jigsaw Puzzles For Toddlers
Screenshot of Super Puzzle Kids Jigsaw Game app.

Compatible Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad

Super Puzzle is very similar to physical jigsaw puzzles for children. Children are required to pick a piece and add it to the correct spot on the board. The piece will remain on the same spot even if it doesn’t belong there until the child moves it into the correct spot.

All of the puzzles on this app are different and beautifully created by a professional cartoon artist. The child will receive a special reward after each puzzle they complete. This fantastic app provides children with hours of fun, and there are so many puzzles to choose from.

Kids Jigsaw Puzzles

Compatible Devices: Android

Are you tired of picking up jigsaw puzzles pieces all over the house? Well, this great Kids Jigsaw Puzzles App provides all the fun of a jigsaw puzzle but requires no clean-up afterward.

The app eases the child in, starting with simple puzzles like basic shapes (circles, Triangles, Squares), and the difficulty level progresses as they move onto each new puzzle. Eventually, the complex shape puzzles progress to more advanced abstract jigsaw puzzles.

Jigsaw Puzzles Real
Screenshot of Jigsaw Puzzle Real app.

Compatible Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad

The Jigsaw Puzzles Real App couldn’t be closer to the real thing! It has taken the traditional feel of the classic jigsaw puzzle and made it digital. The difficulty levels range from beginner (9-piece puzzles) all the way to expert level (1000-piece puzzles).

Children are required to use their critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills to complete all the puzzles without being able to cheat! The Jigsaw Puzzle Real App is amazing because it allows your child to choose photos from their device to create their very own custom jigsaw puzzles.

Brain Puzzle: 99 Games
Screenshot of Brain Puzzle: 99 Games app.

Compatible Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad

Brain Puzzle 99 Games has a wide variety of puzzles and brainteasers suited for children of all ages. Challenge your friends and put your IQ to the test as you move through all the exciting puzzles and games.

These games all require children to use their analytical thinking, problem-solving, maths, reasoning, and spatial reasoning skills. Designed to boost your brain and provide educational entertainment, the Brain Puzzle 99 Games App has something for everyone.

PINKFONG Kids Puzzle Fun
Screenshot of Pinkfong Kids Puzzle Fun Game app.

Compatible Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad

The PINKFONG Kids Puzzle Fun App is packed with a wonderful variety of adorable animal puzzles that kids will love!

Different age groups have different difficulty levels, starting with colorful sorting and matching puzzles for toddlers and babies. Then there are stacking puzzles and larger puzzle pieces that are essential in developing fine motor skills in older kids.

Toddler Puzzles Games For Kids
Screenshot of Toddler Puzzle Game for Kids app.

Compatible Devices: iPhone, iPad

The Toddler Puzzles Games For Kids App features sixteen puzzle games designed to educate and entertain kids of all ages. The puzzles teach children about animals, flowers, numbers, counting, shapes, matching, and many more.

The interface is extremely engaging to play, educational, and kid-friendly, and they will have so much fun as they work their way through all of the different puzzles.

Preschool Puzzle Town

Compatible Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android

Highlights have created this wonderful app, Preschool Puzzle Town, which features five different puzzles for preschoolers. The app features matching games, find-the-difference puzzles, picture puzzles, hidden picture puzzles, and mazes.

When you first download the app, you receive 50 puzzles, and after each week, you will receive five more to add to your collection. This app is so great because each time a child solves a puzzle, they are cause eggs to hatch little by little.

When an egg hatches, it releases an adorable new creature into their game, allowing them to play with them, dress them up in different hats, and feed them. This is a great motivation for kids to solve the puzzles!

Tozzle – Toddler’s Favorite Puzzle
Screenshot of Tozzle app.

Compatible Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

The Tozzle App features a brightly colored collection of puzzles for children. They cover many subjects, including the alphabet, holidays and celebrations, animals, food, and transportation.

The puzzles in the collection all have different themes, stories, and characters, making it a diverse puzzle experience.

Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play
Screenshot of Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play app.

Compatible Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

The Hidden Pictures Puzzle Play App features more than 125 hidden picture puzzles. The game requires a child to select a puzzle to reveal an illustration, and they must seek and find all the hidden items on the provided menu.

The puzzles are beautifully illustrated and include a diverse range of people and animals, objects hidden in foreign countries, and everyday scenes such as your backyard.

If they have trouble finding certain objects, they can zoom in on a specific section in the illustration to make it easier to locate the hidden objects.

The app also features another game in which players have to race against the clock to look for and find 25 of the same objects while the screen moves around. This is a wonderful game to help develop a child’s concentration skills.

Coco – Educational Games
Screenshot of Coco - Educational Games 2020 app.

Compatible Devices: Android, iPad, iPhone

This app is considered one of the top educational game apps for children. It is an educational gaming program that is very easy to use and features plenty of fantastic brain training puzzles and activities.

The game also includes memory and math games to further their educational development. The app can be used without a Wi-Fi connection and is available in French and English. All in all, this app is great for entertaining and educating kids aged 5 to 10.

In Conclusion

Whether your kids are into puzzles or not, our selection of physical, paper-based, and digital puzzles has something special for everyone. Puzzles are a wonderful way to introduce children to new educational concepts, and with so many puzzles to choose from, they will never get bored.

I especially enjoy printing lots of paper-based puzzles and binding them into puzzle books for my kids. This really comes in handy whenever there are power outages and electronic devices seize to function.

Digital puzzles are great because they keep children who love looking at screens busy with more productive screen activities. And then there are the classic physical puzzles that will remain classics for the generations to come!

References:

Premium Joy: Types of Children Puzzles – The Complete Guide

Reviewed: 6 TYPES OF PUZZLES EVERY KID SHOULD OWN

Melissa & Doug: Which Kind Of Puzzle Is Right For My Child?

Empowered Parents: The Importance of Puzzles for Toddlers’ Development

Mommy Voyage: Seven Types Of Puzzles Best Suited For Preschoolers

DigiPuzzle: Kids

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