It is always my hope to be able to provide my kids with lots of educational toys that can stimulate their learning especially in the aspect of critical thinking. Creativity is vital in cultivating such a habit. A good puzzle/game always starts with creative ideas in portability, enjoyability, reusability and storage (PERS).
Puzzles and games with the PERS elements are the puzzles/games my kids love to play. Most puzzles/games are limited to its shape and durability in sustaining a child's interest to play it again and again. Therefore, games with many variables, manageable sizes and shapes come in very handy when taken along and played wherever we go.
We can have fun playing the game/puzzle even when travelling in the car, ferry, train or aeroplane as these puzzles/games do not require much space. Once my kids master the way to play the game, they can actually play it by themselves without parents' assistance.
This is a good start to train them to be independent while the parents can concentrate on other tasks. My kids love challenging puzzles/games which suit their mental abilities. Moving on to the harder levels helps the kids to have confidence to try something more challenging in a familiar environment.
Unlike paper or cardboard puzzles/games, plastic pieces puzzles/games do not break or tear easily and are ideal for kids who might sometimes spill drinks on them. This reduces the frustration of kids who are messy yet eager to learn. Besides, it also saves on cost as the puzzles/games last longer and can be passed along to the younger siblings.
Having the PERS elements in the puzzles/games is important to build my children's self-esteem as they feel confident to solve problems by themselves, manage to keep the puzzles/games in good condition and be able to share the fun with others.
Tong Yin Yung