28 Best Puzzles for Kids of All Ages and Abilities

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28 Best Puzzles for Kids of All Ages and Abilities

Building skills one piece at a time.

Puzzles are a great way to build important skills, and they have a place in every playroom and classroom, from preschool through high school. Here are our favorite puzzles for kids from age 2 through high school. You may even find a few that end up on your puzzle board.

Puzzles are more than just creating a picture out of tiny cardboard pieces. They’re great for kids’ development. Working on a puzzle:

Kids progress from “chunky” puzzles to 100-piece, 500-piece, and more puzzle pieces. Here are general guidelines:

Read more: Why every classroom needs puzzles, and top picks.

There are lots of companies that make puzzles, but when it comes to puzzles for kids, there are four companies to start with:

Melissa & Doug, the #1 kids puzzle brand, designs puzzles for kids from age 2 through elementary school. Their puzzles are bright, developmentally appropriate, and come in all kinds of topics that are of high-interest to kids.

Buy it: Melissa & Doug Puzzles at Amazon

Ravensburger is master of the jigsaw puzzle, with puzzles that attract every kid (pink horses, dinosaurs, construction sites!) and high-quality pieces that will last through multiple puzzle sessions.

Buy it: Ravensburger Puzzles at Amazon

Think2Master is all about the super-detailed puzzles, with jigsaw puzzles that double as a search-and-find and puzzles that depict photo-realistic scenes.

Buy it: Think2Master Puzzles at Amazon

MudPuppy is a toy company that also makes jigsaw puzzles. Their puzzles have beautiful, modern designs and focus on science and educational topics, from geography to biology and more.

Buy it: MudPuppy Puzzles at Amazon

When kids are first discovering puzzles, they’re learning the basics and practicing fine motor coordination. Start with peg puzzles and work up to 48-piece jigsaws.

Chunky puzzles with large pieces for little hands are a good first puzzle experience. Choose a puzzle that interests your child, like this pet-themed Melissa & Doug puzzle.

Buy it: Chunky puzzle at Amazon

Two- and three-piece puzzles help kids learn how to match one part of a picture with another and how to click those pieces into place.

Buy it: Liron Wild Animal Puzzle at Amazon

Puzzle sets that include small puzzles with a few pieces, like this farm animal set from Skillmatics, allow kids to try more difficult puzzles without getting overwhelmed.

Buy it: Step-by-Step Puzzles at Amazon

Your child’s first jigsaw puzzle will probably be 12 pieces, like this Mudpuppy dinosaur puzzle. We love that this one has its own case that makes it easy to keep all the pieces together and store a bunch of 12-piece puzzles in the same bin.

Buy it: Mudpuppy puzzle at Amazon

A floor puzzle—a puzzle with extra-large pieces that children do on the floor—is a great way for kids to collaborate and move around while building it.

Buy it: Ocean floor puzzle at Amazon

A floor puzzle that has an unconventional shape, like this train puzzle, is a fun way for kids to experiment with puzzles.

Buy it: Train floor puzzle at Smyths Toys

Puzzles with magnetic backs are helpful to keep pieces together, which minimizes frustration as kids learn how to put puzzles together.

Buy it: Magnetic Puzzles at Amazon

This puzzle is a floor puzzle and a game. When the puzzle is finished, kids can use a deck of cards to find different things in the puzzle or listen to clues about what to look for.

Buy it: Floor puzzle game at Amazon

When this puzzle is put together, it creates a track for a boat. There are other tracks in this set for cars and other vehicles.

Buy it: Track Puzzle at Amazon

When this puzzle is finished, kids can use cards to search for different things like a kangaroo in Australia or a polar bear in the Arctic.

Buy it: Where in the Wonderful World puzzle at Amazon

Elementary school–age kids can handle 60-, 100-, and even 250- and 500-piece puzzles. Their options for puzzles are ever-expanding. These puzzles are great options for kids as they move through elementary school.

When kids are ready for more than a 48-piece but not quite ready for a 100-piece puzzle, a 60-piece puzzle is just the ticket.

Buy it: Race car puzzle at Amazon

Puzzles like this one of the United States with pieces for each state reinforce geography skills as well as hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and the other puzzle skills.

Buy it: United States puzzle at Amazon

This puzzle has a built-in search-and-find game with images around the border that kids can find in the puzzle—great for elementary schoolers.

Buy it: Mudpuppy Search-and-Find puzzle at Amazon

Another take on the search-and-find puzzle, this solar system puzzle comes with a magnifying glass and cards with images that kids can find once they finish the puzzle.

Buy it: Solar System puzzle at Amazon

A glow-in-the-dark puzzle is perfect for a sleepover or quiet nighttime activity where kids can finish it and turn off the light to see the image light up in the dark.

Buy it: Mudpuppy Glow in the Dark puzzle at Amazon

A puzzle shaped like an animal is fun and more challenging to put together.

Buy it: Sea turtle puzzle at Amazon

These puzzles come with an app that kids can use to learn more about the dinosaurs that they put together piece by piece.

Buy it: Animated puzzles by ANI Puzzle at Amazon

Yes, kids love to learn by putting together puzzles. But there’s also a time and place for puzzles that are just about fun images, like this donut puzzle.

Buy it: Donut puzzle at Amazon

Another fun twist on a geography puzzle, this one becomes 3D when kids place animals on each continent they’ve put together.

Buy it: World Tour puzzle at Amazon

Once kids have mastered flat puzzles, they can try a globe puzzle like this one from Ravensburger.

Buy it: Globe puzzle from Ravensburger

In middle and high school, kids can do most any puzzle. The trick is finding a puzzle that’s just the right balance of challenge and fun.

Puzzles of the world are still popular with older kids, but this time give them puzzles that present the world, or any topic they’re interested in, in a new way.

Buy it: 1,000-piece world puzzle at Amazon

Older kids can do puzzles with lots of details, like this 1,000-piece bird puzzle.

Buy it: Think2Master bird puzzle at Amazon

Three-dimensional puzzles are an awesome next step in puzzling, especially this 3D rendition of Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series.

Buy it: Diagon Alley 3D puzzle at Amazon

Just because 3D puzzles are so cool, here’s another one. This Empire State building puzzle is a more advanced 3D puzzle.

Buy it: Ravensburger 3D Empire State Building puzzle at Amazon

Puzzles that build on a child’s interests are the most engaging, and there are LEGO puzzles for every interest.

Buy it: LEGO puzzles at Amazon

Putting together a mandala puzzle can be as soothing as staring at the mandala when it’s finished.

Buy it: Mandala puzzle at Amazon

It doesn’t matter what the picture is, a 2,000-piece puzzle is going to be difficult.

Buy it: 2,000-piece Ravensburger puzzle at Amazon

And for the most committed puzzle enthusiasts, the all-white puzzle.

Buy it: All-white puzzle at Amazon

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

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Samantha Cleaver, PhD, has taught everything from kindergarten to 8th grade special education. She loves to write about her favorite thing to do, read!

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28 Best Puzzles for Kids of All Ages and Abilities

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