We all want our children to be as well-equipped as possible for the future, which means spending as much quality time as you can with them while they're young. While reading and writing are key skills they need to learn, experts have long argued that play is just as important in their development.
Puzzles are a great example of an activity that will not only challenge your toddlers but will help them to relax by focusing their attention on one thing, improve their hand-eye coordination, shape recognition and short-term memory. It also teaches them patience, problem-solving and the joy of achievement once it's completed - all brilliant skills for school and later life. Puzzles can also be a social event; you can take turns to do a piece each, get the whole family involved or create a story together about what you see in the puzzle.
With wooden toddler puzzles, floor puzzles, number puzzles, animal puzzles and so much more to choose from, there's a whole world of development at their fingertips - plus, a little quiet time for you, if you need it.
Here are some of the best toddler puzzles available to buy right now:
If your kids love animals, these safari puzzles are perfect to peak their imaginations and get them excited. Suitable for ages 18 months and up.
Suitable for children aged 3-6 years old, this puzzle set comes with 28 double-sided pattern cards that encourage children to spell and say words.
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's wonderful book The Gruffalo is much-loved by children everywhere. This cardboard floor puzzle is suitable for ages 2 years and up.
Aimed at children aged 3-8, this sweet town image puzzle is made of wood and includes a sturdy tray and storage bag for ease. Your children also have the option of using the numbers on the back, if it's easier for them.
This stacking block puzzle helps toddlers to learn shapes, colour, counting and hand-eye coordination. Suitable for ages 12 months and up.
This box of puzzles has six different puzzles to choose from with six character pieces to match up, too. They're two and three piece puzzles suitable for ages two and up.
This puzzle set allows your little one to work up to the more difficult puzzle pieces, first mastering two pieces and moving up to five pieces. Suitable for ages 18 months and up.
These two piece puzzles are a brilliant starter activities, ideal for teaching your toddler about transport. They're suitable for toddlers aged 18 months and up.
This beautiful wooden puzzle set comes with five different animal designs and the pieces are chunky, so are easy to hold. They also come with a drawstring bag for storage. Suitable for age 12 months and up.
This simple four piece puzzle is made from high-quality biodegradable wood and is a perfect starter puzzle to gauge your child's interest. Suitable for 12 months and up.
This 26-piece chunky floor puzzle helps teach letter recognition and the alphabet and also comes with a giant alphabet poster. Suitable for ages 3-6.
This sweet egg puzzle helps exercise children's hand-eye coordination and recognition skills, helping them count, sort and match. Suitable for ages 12 months and up.
This set of number puzzles contains ten colourful three-piece puzzles which aid with early counting skills and number recognition. Suitable for ages three and up.