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How Educational Are Educational Jigsaws Puzzles?

Many companies claim that their products are educational clicking here. What is the truth behind this terminology? Since I have been an educator for many decades, I can confirm that all types jigsaws offer educational value. As a teacher, I can say with authority that jigsaws have educational value. While a child is having fun and learning, doing jigsaws simultaneously develops multiple functions of the mind. The ability to think logically, deduce, analyze and sequence are developed most in this process. In order to solve a jigsaw, you will also need spatial awareness and eye-hand cooperation.

Ignoring all these benefits, let’s focus on the jigsaws marked “Educational”. These puzzles are created to help teach a specific objective. A jigsaw of the solar or world map is an example. The manufacturers claim these puzzles will teach the child specific facts. What kind of educational value are these puzzles?

Firstly, the value of these puzzles in terms of education depends on their use during the process of learning. Imagine, for instance, that one of the objectives of the lesson is to teach the child about the United States of America’s geography, and more specifically, their position. You buy a map of the United States and its states, and you give it to the kid to complete. Will the child be able to pass a quiz on the States and their location? It’s unlikely! There will definitely be some learning that takes place, but I think it will be very limited. After a few months the learning will not be much retained. The learning process for the child is similar to that of any jigsaw. The focus of their attention is not on the states or where they go, but rather the process of finishing the puzzle.