An eye-catching jigsaw puzzle can entertain your child for glorious minutes or even hours, as they try to find the pieces that fit together. Puzzles are a great way to help encourage problem solving and cognitive skills, whether they are completed alone, or together as a fun family activity.
If you've already looked into buying puzzles for your kids, you'll know there's a lot of choice online. Whether you're after a jigsaw with large pieces suitable for a 2 year old or 3 year old toddler, a 3-D puzzle for avid model makers, or one with 1000 pieces to keep kids occupied for hours, our buying guide is here to help you find the right one. With designs from Disney, Harry Potter and the Gruffalo, we've ranked the top 10 best puzzles in the UK for children on Amazon, Argos and John Lewis.
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Puzzles come in a variety of designs, including familiar scenes, landmarks, animals and favourite movie characters. This wide selection can leave you feeling spoilt for choice, so think - What are their top films or fictional characters? Do they have a favourite animal, a double-decker bus obsession or do they have dreams of becoming an astronaut?
Use your insider-knowledge to pick the perfect puzzle. If you are spot-on with your choice, it may end up being proudly displayed on the wall in lieu of a poster - providing even more enjoyment. A bonus tip; remember that puzzles depicting movie characters may even become collectors' items in the future!
If you have a Hogwarts-expert in the family to buy for, then check out our best gifts for Harry Potter fans.
Puzzles can range anywhere from 2 pieces to 1000+ pieces. Puzzles with over 200 pieces are great for older children, or those who can happily spend time focusing on a task. Do you have a child who gets easily distracted? If so, then you're going to want to choose a puzzle with fewer pieces, that takes less time to solve. Remember, puzzles with more pieces have smaller parts, so they're not going suitable for very young children.
Most puzzles will note the minimum age a child can use the jigsaw from. This will give you an idea of the skill level your child needs to be at to complete the jigsaw. However, it's just a recommendation because as we well know, children have different capabilities, and you'll likely already have a good idea of what your child can manage.
There tends not to be an upper age limit, as once you meet the age requirements for a puzzle, a lot of it comes down to preference. A child who has a particular interest in a movie will be happy completing a jigsaw puzzle with their favourite character(s) on, whether it's intended for 6 + or 14 +, so if the theme suits your child, don't be put off if your child is older than the age recommendation.
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3D puzzles have become increasingly popular in recent years. These are great as, once completed, they create a model that your child can display in their bedroom. Go for this option if your child likes construction activities, or if you know they're only going to want to use the puzzle once, as they're tricky to take apart again. You can even glue the puzzle pieces in place, if your child does want to display it.
The traditional flat puzzle is better for kids who are new to puzzle solving, or those who want the fun of completing the jigsaw multiple times. The joy of a flat jigsaw puzzle is that you can do it as many times as you want to - repetitive jigsaw puzzling is a memory workout, plus it provides feelings of security and achievement, as each time they will reach completion more swiftly.
Need more quiet-yet-mind-expanding activities? Here's our pick of the top feminist books for children.
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3D Puzzle Disney Frozen 2
A Beautifully Crafted Disney Design
The Gruffalo 4 Large Shaped Puzzles
Four Gruffalo Puzzles for the Price of One
Big Ben 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
A Rewarding Landmark Build for Kids Aged 10 and Up
Cool Cats A-Z Jigsaw Puzzle
An Alphabet of Cute Cats for Tweens
Big Red Bus Floor Jigsaw
A Great Way to Keep Your Toddler Entertained
Melissa & Doug
Solar System Floor Puzzle
Perfect for Younger Kids Who Love All Things Space
Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogwarts Express 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
A Magical Collector's Item for Harry Potter Enthusiasts
Disney Super Puzzle
A Disney Scene Ideal for Kids of All Ages
Emoji Impossible Puzzle
A Difficult Challenge for Teens
Disney Castle 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
Let Your Child Live Out Their Disney Dreams
Do you want to build a snowman? The child you're buying for certainly won't, as they'll be so engaged in solving this Disney puzzle that they won't want to let it go! The 3D globe shape is strong and sturdy, which is ideal for displaying once the jigsaw has been solved. With 72 compact pieces, it won't break if they accidentally knock it.
It depicts well-known characters from the much-loved Frozen franchise and (by using numbered pieces) it is just challenging enough to keep kids entertained for ages without losing interest. That'll give you some free time to make a cup of tea and put your feet up!
If you have young children in your family, then you'll have heard of the Gruffalo story. A family favourite, this puzzle is guaranteed to be a big hit with the kids, as inside the box are four separate puzzles, each one illustrated with colourful characters they'll instantly recognise.
The bumper pack of four gives plenty of options, allowing for growing confidence as the puzzle pieces range in number from 10 - 16. The variety saves buying new ones too often, and also prevents arguments in households with more than one child.
When taking your child on a trip to London they typically just get a glimpse of Big Ben, but with this 3D puzzle they can make a close-up study of the famous landmark. Once your child has a taste of 3D-puzzling, they'll want to solve more buildable landmark puzzles, instead of spending all their time on the computer!
It is well-made and stands strong when put together. It's not too difficult to solve either as far as 3D jigsaw puzzles are concerned (as the parts are discretely numbered) making it suitable for older children to complete independently.
Here's a beautifully illustrated 1000 piece puzzle that's perfect for an older child. It may have lots of pieces, but the different illustrations make this easier to solve than some similarly sized jigsaw puzzles. So, if you have a child who isn't the most patient, this could be a solid choice.
You can solve this puzzle again and again, making it great for those rainy days we get so often in the UK. The jigsaw even features an A-Z of different cat breeds for your child to learn, making it a cute-yet-educational toy!
Here's a puzzle that's great for younger children. It's a realistically-enough illustrated, busy, red double decker bus scene with 15 big pieces that can be easily handled by toddlers and children in an early years setting. It'll help them build confidence in their problem-solving skills, with the number of pieces ensuring that it's not too simple.
The jigsaw puzzle has bold colours and plenty of familiar images (pushchair, pet dog, bus driver) that will attract younger children, help them to solve the puzzle and keep them entertained. In fact, they'll love it so much that they'll want to spend all day talking about it with you!
Does your child have great aspirations of becoming an astronaut when they grow up? Well, they'll be able to explore the galaxy with this 48 piece space puzzle. It's beautifully illustrated with the 8 planets (plus the Sun and various moons) in the right order. That's sure to keep your child entertained!!
This is ideal for a younger child to complete with adult help - allowing for lots of solar system discussion - don't worry, it comes with a crib sheet showing which planet is which! It's not super-easy to complete, allowing more confident youngsters to challenge themselves and develop their problem solving skills independently.
The world of Harry Potter (created by author J. K. Rowling) is something that the whole family can enjoy, so why not get everyone involved in putting together this 3D puzzle? It's a great collector's piece for any Harry Potter fan, and you might even find your child wanting the whole set, as there are various Harry Potter 3D puzzles available. That's a few birthdays sorted!
This puzzle comes with instructions to help your child solve it, so it'll keep them busy for a few hours without them needing to bug you, if you're busy doing something else. Once completed it is sturdy enough to be put on display in the bedroom of a proud muggle.
This puzzle has 104 pieces making it a nice size for children of all ages. Younger children can have fun solving it with their parents / grandparents, and it will entertain older kids solving it alone. There are plenty of Disney characters featured, to identify and reminisce about, ensuring lots of discussion whilst it's being completed.
Unusually the pieces are made from wood, meaning that it won't be damaged by multiple uses. Such wooden pieces are also easier to hold, making this popular with puzzle enthusiasts at both ends of the age spectrum. The wooden pieces do mean that you won't be able to mount it on the wall in a frame after completing it though.
This puzzle is part of an "impossible puzzle" range, so don't buy it unless your family is ready for a challenge! It's extremely difficult to solve, as the design is intricate and brightly coloured throughout. Make sure you set aside lots of time for your family to complete it, and if you are struggling, there are some YouTube videos to help.
Although it's very challenging to solve this colourful puzzle, it has an intriguing emoji design. Teens will enjoy finding their favourite emoji, and actually that's a good way to solve this - look for certain emojis each time, so it's not overwhelming. It's difficulty level does make this more of a niche product.
This 3D puzzle in the shape of a Disney castle is ideal for any child who loves fantasy (or is a Disney super-fan). They'll even be able to keep it and display it in their bedroom once it's finished to keep them entertained for much longer than the time it takes to complete it.
3D puzzles can be tricky to put together, so we recommend saving it for an older child, or offering a helping hand yourself. It's quite delicate too, so may be best only solved once and glued together for display.
No. 1: Ravensburger｜3D Puzzle Disney Frozen 2
No. 2: Ravensburger｜The Gruffalo 4 Large Shaped Puzzles
No. 3: Ravensburger｜Big Ben 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
No. 4: Mudpuppy｜Cool Cats A-Z Jigsaw Puzzle
No. 5: Orchard Toys ｜Big Red Bus Floor Jigsaw
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