Computers, iPads and phones offer an infinite number of puzzle games that keep your kids entertained. However, nothing beats the feeling that comes with completing a real, mind-boggling puzzle. The best 3D puzzle for kids provide mental stimulation and they give them an opportunity to work with objects hands-on. This is much better than the small virtual worlds that exist only in their smart devices.
While the puzzles they solve on their gadgets vanish with the swipe of a finger, the 3D puzzles remain intact; a reminder of how much time and effort they put into unraveling the mystery. And if they wish, they can solve these puzzles time and time again. If you’re looking to purchase a 3D puzzle for your child but are not sure of where to start, this article has provided an in-depth guide. Read on to learn about the best 3D puzzle for kids.
What’s the Best 3D Puzzle for Kids?
Finding the ideal 3D puzzle for toddler can be challenging. For starters, you have to determine whether the jigsaw puzzle you plan to buy is age-appropriate. One rule of thumb is to look at the number of pieces the puzzle has. A puzzle with just 100 pieces is much easier to solve than one with over 1000 pieces. Having considered this and other aspects, here are the best 3D puzzles for kids.
Here are the best 3D puzzle for kids in order :
1. WAYCOM 3D Crystal Castle Puzzle
Smart gadgets provide an infinite number of puzzle games to entertain kids. But these can’t be compared to the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving real puzzles like the Waycom 3D Crystal Puzzle.
To solve this puzzle, the player has to correctly assemble the 105 pieces so as to create a castle. This puzzle is ideal for kids up to the age of 14. Once assembled, it can serve as a beautiful art décor in your home.
2. Iron Man 3D Puzzle by Cardinal
Does your toddler love superheroes? If they do, this Iron Man Puzzle will make an excellent birthday gift.
The puzzle requires them to assemble very detailed pieces, eventually creating a life-like model of Iron Man. When fully assembled, this toy character stands at 17 inches.
3. UGEARS Bundle 3 in 1 Mechanical 3D Puzzle
The wooden laser-cut dinosaur is an icon in many museums across the globe. But one firm known as UGEARS has transformed such wooden puzzles into stunning marvels that have more moving components than a Swiss watch.
But the real beauty of these mechanical puzzles is not that they’re fully operational but the fact that they are easy to assemble. It is this ease of setup that makes this puzzle perfect for kids’ use. More specifically, if your child likes building or creating things, the UGEARS 3D puzzle is the best gift you can get him.
This puzzle has three parts that need solving: the locomotive, railway platform and rails. Crafted from natural plywood, this mechanical puzzle has 839 pieces and it takes an average of 24 hours to solve it.
The locomotive is powered by rubber bands and multiple gears instead of the superheated steam that you find in such 3D puzzles. Recommended for kids aged 12 years and above, the UGEARS 3 in 1 comes with step-by-step instructions detailing where each piece ought to be placed.
Another advantage of this 3D mechanical puzzle is that it’s fully-functional. You can see the asynchronously- working pistons and valves, which send power to drive the wheels. UGEARS reports that this is their biggest and most complicated 3D puzzle that they have ever invented.
4. Wrebbit 3D Midtown East Puzzle
Founded back in 1991, Wrebbit is one of the pioneers of three-dimensional puzzles. What makes this manufacturer stand out is the premium quality of their puzzle pieces. Wrebbit uses polyethylene foam in constructing these puzzles, making them incredibly sturdy.
The Midtown East is an example of their exceptional work in puzzle making. It is best suited for 12 to 15 year olds. Consisting of 875 pieces, this puzzle is hard to solve and at the same time interesting. When complete, the puzzle serves as a reminder of one of New York City’s major district: Midtown East. If you solve it successfully, you should be able to pinpoint several historical landmarks such as the Chrysler Building of 1930, Sony Tower (1984), MetLife Building (1963) and Grand central Station (1913).
The only drawback to this puzzle is that it contains very tiny parts. As such, you should not purchase it for children under three years since they can swallow these elements accidentally.
5. Ravensburger -Children’s World Globe 3D Puzzle
With the invention of this Children’s World Globe 3D Puzzle, determining the geographical locations of places has never been easier. So if your child is passionate about world geography, the World Globe 3D puzzle is the perfect gift.
It has puzzle pieces similar to the flat versions that you played as a kid, except that these particular puzzle pieces are curved and they fit snugly to form a spherical shape. When all the 180 curved plastic pieces are assembled, this 3D puzzle stands upright without toppling. Its stability and the included rotating display make this globe model easy to set up in your kid’s playroom or bedroom. Alternatively, you can just store it away so that you can use it to plan voyages in future.
6. ROBOTIME 3D Puzzle Music Box
Whenever I think of robots, the one character that comes to mind is Terminator. You know, the robot that is hell-bent on getting rid of the human race. But, this mechanical companion has flipped the script on our perception of maniacal robots. Going by the name of Orpheus, he is a DIY robot, who doubles up as a music box.
If your child is passionate about music, solving the Orpheus puzzle music box will keep him or her entertained for hours. Once set up, the robot plays a track called the “Cycle of Happiness”. The kit has a total of 221 laser-cut pieces that require assembly. As such, this is one of the more complex 3D puzzles for grown-ups and teens.
The manufacturer recommends buying this 3D puzzle for kids aged 10 years and above. However, it’s also a nice gift for adults who love solving puzzles. In fact, according to most reviews, the ROBOTIME instructions are not all the clear, making this puzzle all the more challenging and interesting. If you persevere and unravel this dilemma, you end up with a wooden robot with lights and one that twirls his head and plays music.
7. 3D Puzzle MC-Series “The Hagias Sophia – Istanbul” by CubicFun”
A puzzle version of the architectural masterpiece found in Istanbul, Turkey, the Hagias Sophia is one of the most sophisticated 3D puzzles for kids. Ideally, this puzzle is designed for pre-teens who have a passion for architecture and are interested in challenging projects.
The Hagia Sophia is part of a wider collection of architectural-based 3D puzzles made by CubicFun, a manufacturer based in Guangdong, China. Apart from giving your toddler an opportunity to engage his problem-solving skills, the resulting model can be displayed in your kid’s playroom or bedroom.
This 3D puzzle has about 225 pieces. Most children spend between 4 and 5 hours solving it. To make its assembly easy, the manufacturer provides a leaflet, which has instructions of how to construct the puzzle. This leaflet also has some interesting facts and information regarding the Hagias Sophia.
Short guide to choose good 3D puzzles
Before you rush to the store to buy your child a 3D puzzle, consider the following:
Age and Preferences of the Puzzle Maker
As stated previously, the type of 3D puzzle you get for teens or toddlers will depend on their age. For instance, you should not think of buying your 2-year old daughter, a cityscape 3D puzzle yet all she knows are the basic alphabets. Manufacturers vary the complexity of each puzzle depending on the age-group they are designing the puzzles for.
Apart from the level of difficulty, another notable difference is the shape of these puzzle pieces. Most puzzles for toddlers have large colorful puzzle pieces, while those for adults are small in size.
Preference is yet another aspect you should keep in mind. Put simply; some puzzles are designed for girls while others are designed for boys. Most puzzles meant for girls involve coloring and fashion accessories while those designed for boys involve constructing buildings or creating machines.
What size of 3D puzzle you want?
3D puzzles come in a variety of sizes; some are as big as furniture pieces while others are smaller than that photo frame that sits on your desk. When considering the size of the puzzle, determine how much space you are willing to set aside for its creation and storage.
Another factor you should account for when purchasing a 3D puzzle is its quality. This will largely depend on the material used in its construction. The most preferred material is wood because it’s sturdy and durable. The large wooden 3-dimensional dinosaur is a perfect example of just how sturdy wooden puzzles are.
If you’re planning to purchase a puzzle for your toddler, pick one of the top-rated toy puzzles. Ensure that the puzzle is soft and made of non-toxic materials, which can pose a health hazard for three year olds and younger.
The shape speaks volume about the 3D puzzle you are buying. After all, the main reason for getting a three-dimensional and not a two-dimensional puzzle is so that you can model the item to its precise shape and size. The most challenging shapes for 3D puzzles are those that involve creating cities and structures like castles. These puzzles have tons of pieces to assemble. To get their shapes right, you have to apply logic and maintain good hand and eye coordination. Puzzles with spherical shapes are also tricky to unravel.
Age Guide – When Can babies do Puzzles?
Babies as young as one year can start doing puzzles. Ideally, they lack the skills required to solve puzzles. However, they can learn these skills once they start playing puzzle-like toys. You may have noticed that at the age of 10 -12 months, kids like taking small objects and putting them in larger containers. It means that buying puzzle toys can further help them to learn a thing or two about these items.
The best puzzle for a baby is a soft floor puzzle, which can double up as an infant floor mat. Floor mat puzzles with bright pictures, letters and numbers are resourceful since they can help to introduce your child to basic items.
Reasons to get your toddler a puzzle
Puzzles play a crucial role in the development of a child. Aside from being an educational tool, puzzles provide your kid with endless entertainment. Most of these puzzles have bright colors to draw the attention of your child and keep them engaged for hours.
Another benefit that baby puzzles confer is that they help to develop their motor skills. For instance, solving most jigsaw puzzles requires your child to move different pieces while trying to fit them in different places. 3D puzzles are also great for brain or cognitive development since they have to decide how to connect the different pieces of the puzzle. If you want to introduce your child to puzzle solving, start with a simple 4-piece puzzle.
By solving 3D puzzles, your child also gains self-confidence. Just like an adult, there’s some level of satisfaction a child gets when he achieves goals. Overcoming the challenges encountered in puzzle-solving gives your kid a sense of accomplishment; hence, boosting their self-esteem.
The majority of puzzles designed for one-year olds are constructed using wood. To solve them, your child has to place one of the pieces into an empty space. One of the best toddler puzzles that we can recommend is the adorable farmhouse scenery that has animal cut-outs. Puzzles for two-year olds are more sophisticated and may even be 3D puzzles involving shapes and illustrations. If you have a 2 year old, try getting him or her the cubic block. This puzzle involves turning the different cubes so that you finally end up with six different images.
Puzzles designed for three-year-olds are also more advanced. These puzzles are geared towards educating your kid. In fact, a good number of 3-year-old 3D puzzles teach your child how to count, make words and solve themed puzzles.
Puzzles for Older Children aged 11 to 13 years old
There are also puzzles designed for 9-year-olds, 10-year-olds and so on. If you’re looking to get a 3D puzzle for a child in this age-group, we recommend the wooden dinosaur or the wooden vehicle 3D puzzles. Both puzzles are great for teasing your child’s brain. For a 10-year old, 3D puzzles involving realistic war ships or trains are also an excellent choice.
When it comes to a 12 year old, you should consider puzzles with at least 1000 pieces. Such a puzzle will keep your child engaged for a long time. The most recommended 3D puzzle for a 13 year old is the Taj Mahal by Wrebbit. It has tons of pieces to put together, making it a fun puzzle for kids in this age group.
3D Puzzles as the Best Classroom Accessories
Did you know that the parts of the brain that we use when assembling a 3D puzzle are the same ones we need to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. If you want to thrive in any of these sectors, you have to start with a goal-driven education.
Two-dimensional puzzles can be solved using trial and error. In contrast, a 3D puzzle leaves very little room for such guesswork. Instead, it calls for a precise understanding of the objectives and a well-defined technique to accomplish them. It is for this reason that 3D puzzles have become indispensable teaching tools in classrooms.
For instance, if a student were to assemble a 3D world globe puzzle, he would understand geographical locations much better than he would if he were asked to look at a map. This same concept applies to the study of planets, the stars and other parts of the universe.
3D Puzzles for Mental Exercising
Numerous scientific studies have proven that the best technique for improving one’s mental intelligence and memory is by engaging the brain constantly. Even physicians recommend keeping your mind engaged as you recuperate from a surgery. And while there are a ton of activities that can boost cerebral challenge, few engaged the mind and body the way a 3D puzzle does. This puzzle is particularly ideal for persons with mobility issues. Solving this puzzle requires very little strength but it still involves your body.
The Bottom Line
3D puzzle for kids are one of the most beneficial tools for a child’s development. Not only do they train kids how to think critically and solve problems but they also boost their motor skills. You can leave your child to solve the puzzle on his own or you can work cooperatively and solve it together. When buying 3D puzzles for your children, consider their age as well as the material, shape and size of the puzzle.