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Are you looking for ways to help you toddler or preschooler develop their thinking skills? Is their cognitive development something that you often think about? I know I do and I bet so do you! As the name of my site tells you, I tend to be analytical in nature. It’s how my brain works. I’ve found that to be a huge asset and I know that from the moment my oldest was born, I’ve wanted to give him (and his brother) every opportunity to develop his analytical AND creative thinking abilities. Bottom line – child development is extremely important to me as I bet it is to you!

There are so many books and posts out there that talk about milestones. “By this age they should be able to do A, B, and C…” That’s great! But what more can you do to give your kid every opportunity to develop his or her skills? I did lots of research and ultimately found a fun way for kids to learn!

Puzzles!

I always knew that puzzles were a great example of “wholesome fun”. They are a great way to occupy a kid for a while without using any sort of modern technology… but I never quite realized just how great they are.

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What’s even better are BLOCK puzzles! That’s right… These are puzzles where each piece is actually a cube. A set can make 6 different puzzles. This means that kids need to not only figure out where each piece goes, they also need to figure out which side of the cube to use! In my humble opinion, from one mommy to another, cube puzzles are an amazing way to grow your child’s thinking skills while they have fun!

You don’t need to take it just from me though… I reached out to Laury Paul, PhD, a licensed psychologist and neuropsychologist, who works with children to get her thoughts:

“Executive functioning, easily thought of the ‘executive in your brain; can help you to organize, plan, be a good problem-solver, and learn from your mistakes. Children who have a hard time with executive functioning can experience difficulty and frustration with school work and academic achievement. The good news is that parents and educators can contribute to strengthening executive functioning by giving kids tasks. Puzzles and games go a long way in helping to develop and strengthen executive functioning and kids can have fun at the same time!

Have you started introducing puzzles to your little one yet? It’s never too early to start!

I love cube puzzles because when they are really young (say 6 months old – if supervised) you can let your little one play with them as if they were just ordinary blocks. With time, they will start to see (with your help) that they connect to make a pretty picture. Before you know it, they will start playing with them! My 3 year old can put cube puzzles together faster than I can some days – it’s amazing to watch!

Have you tried cube puzzles yet?

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I recently had the opportunity to try out two puzzles from Cubbie Lee Toys and my boys and I love the puzzles! So I’ve partnered with them to bring you this sponsored post and share with you my thoughts about their block puzzles as well as how important I think puzzles are to creative and educational play! (By the way, I have a number of other puzzles from Cubbie Lee Toys but they are more “standard”. Block puzzles are really my favorite!)

When buying your first few block (a.k.a cube) puzzles, make sure to look for puzzles that aren’t too intricate or difficult. Remember that your little one will need to figure out what goes where AND which side to use. This adds a lot of complexity to finding one that is fairly simple for a preschooler or younger is key.

That’s one of the things that I like the most about the puzzles pictured here… They are fun and definitely challenging, but well within the range of what a 2-4 year old can do without much help. Some of the other ones we have require my help nearly every time. I think it’s great when a kid can be challenged but still be able to complete the task alone.

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The cubes themselves are also made out of wood and have lots of strong solid colors (rather than tons of detail) which makes it incredibly appealing to younger kids as blocks. Don’t you love toys that you can get years of fun out of?

Along those lines, here are two tips for you as you start buying cube puzzles…

  1. Keep the box or at least the pictures of the puzzles. When you buy a cube puzzle, you’ll see a picture on the box that shows all the different puzzles the cubes can make. SAVE THIS! It will save you and your little one lots of tears and frustration because it is so helpful to be able to reference the picture!
  2. Keep the insert! The white cardboard you see in the pictures, is the an insert from the Cubbie Lee Toys box the puzzles came in!  This is a great guide for your little one to use so that they can better visualize the size of the puzzle. Different brands of puzzles will likely be a different size so you’ll want to keep the inserts from each if you buy puzzles from multiple companies! I love the one that came with these puzzles though because it was so easy to reinforce and despite a couple tears from extensive play, they still work great! To do the same with yours, just fold the flap backwards and tape into place as you see in the picture!

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Well there you have it! My boys and I are really thrilled with our new puzzles and they have already spent hours playing with them before I even got a change to take some pictures! They are a great way for kids 6 months to 4 years old (and even older!) to exercise their minds and grow their creative as well as cognitive skills while giving you a few minutes of quiet! Plus at under $15 for 6 puzzles-in-one, it’s also an amazing deal! You can click on any of the links in this post to find the exact vehicle puzzle pictured and start using it within just a couple days! To buy the Barnyard puzzle, you can purchase it directly from Cubbie Lee Toys by clicking here!

What do you think of cube puzzles?

Want to win $195 in Cubbie Lee Toys? You can enter their monthly giveaways by clicking here! Good luck!

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Learn why block puzzles (also called cube puzzles) are an amazing way to develop your child's cognitive, problem solving and creative skills! Hear from an expert!
Looking for a fun way to develop your child's thinking and problem solving skills through play? How about a way to occupy your kids without a tablet or TV? You can do both at once! Read how...