The Best Wood Puzzles – Our Top 9 Picks (2019 Reviews)
Toys don’t need to be powered by a battery or USB cable in order to be fun. Wooden puzzles are a timeless classic enjoyed by kids of all ages. More than simply fun for a rainy day, wooden puzzles help kids learn language, math, geography and many other important skills.
Puzzles are available in a wide range of styles and difficulty levels. You can find simple puzzles for younger kids as well as larger, more complex puzzles the whole family can work on together. Searching for wooden puzzles for kids? You’ve come to the right place. Our guide to the best wood puzzles in 2019 starts right now:
Top 9 Wood Puzzles in 2018
1. Fat Brain Toys Personalized Name Puzzle
Personalized puzzle which helps kids learn to spell their own names
- Fully customizable
- Helps kids learn to spell
- Limit of nine characters
One of the first words a child learns to recognize and spell is their own name. This Personalized Name Puzzle from Fat Brain Toys can be customized for practically any name. Each letter of the name is a puzzle piece which fits into the custom-created wooden puzzle board.
Up to nine characters, including spaces, can be used to make any name you like. Note that the background of the board will vary based on the length of the name. This puzzle board is great for younger kids who are just beginning to read.
2. SainSmart Jr Wooden Tetris Puzzle
Kids love the fun challenge of this Tetris-inspired puzzle
- Replayable game
- Solid maple construction
- Can be difficult for young kids
The SainSmart Jr Wooden Tetris Puzzle is inspired by the classic video game Tetris. The goal is to fill the empty puzzle board with a perfect fit using all 40 pieces. There are many ways to win, but the game is still challenging enough that most kids are unlikely to solve it every attempt.
The blocks are made from natural maple. They’re solid but lightweight. Blocks are painted in five different colors with non-toxic paint. Designed for kids ages two and up but can certainly be fun for all ages.
3. Melissa & Doug Space Voyage Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle
Junior space explorers can blast off into this cosmic scene
- Detailed space scene
- Helps kids learn about the solar system
- 48 high-quality wood pieces
- Planets aren’t labeled in puzzle
This detailed illustration depicts a space shuttle rocketing past the moon and towards the solar system. Great for budding astronauts and space enthusiasts. Each of the 48 pieces are made from thin but solid wood. When assembled, the finished puzzle is about the size of a cafeteria tray.
The Space Voyage Wooden Puzzle introduces a variety of celestial bodies including the sun, moon, the Earth and Jupiter. Designed for kids between the ages of four and six, the puzzle helps develop both hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.
4. Johouse Wooden Alphabet Jigsaw Puzzle
Two-pack wooden snake and elephant puzzles which teach kids about colors, animals and more
- Two brightly colored animal puzzles
- Teaches the alphabet and number order
- Unique borderless design
- Choking hazard for children under three
The Johouse Wooden Alphabet Jigsaw puzzle pack contains two puzzles: a winding snake and a walking elephant. Both puzzles are made from large, colorful wooden blocks. Unlike many other puzzles, there’s no puzzle board. Instead, the pieces form the entire animal.
Both puzzles have 26 reversible pieces. On one side of each piece are the letters A through Z, while the numbers one through 26 are on the opposite side. When the puzzle is completed, both numbers and letters will appear in the correct order (for example, A is the snake’s head and Z is on his tail).
5. PAW Patrol 7 Wood Puzzles with Wooden Storage Box
Seven fun kid’s puzzles featuring favorites from the PAW Patrol TV show
- Features popular PAW Patrol characters
- Includes seven different puzzles
- Storage box holds all pieces
- Probably only interesting to fans of the PAW Patrol show
Join Ryder, Marshall, Rubble and the rest of the Paw Patrol! This PAW Patrol puzzle pack includes one 24 piece puzzle, three 16 piece puzzles and three 12 piece puzzles. All puzzles made from high-quality wood. The included storage box holds every puzzle piece, organized by puzzle type.
Kids ages four and up will love these Paw Patrol puzzles, which features various scenes from the TV show. Plus, the puzzle pack is a great deal. All seven puzzles together cost as much as many other single wood puzzles.
6. Gybber & Mumu Wooden Preschool Shape Puzzle
Simple, colorful puzzles teach preschoolers about shapes and numbers
- Teaches colors and shapes
- Large, durable puzzle pieces
- Safe, non-toxic paint
- Too simple for older kids
The Gybber & Mumu Wooden Shape Puzzle helps kids three and up learn basic concepts while developing hand-eye coordination. Each of the wooden pieces is a different familiar shape like a star, plus sign or square. Designed to teach preschoolers about shapes, colors and numbers (each piece is numbered).
The pieces are large, solid wood which don’t pose a choking hazard for children over the age of three. All nine pieces are painted with a non-toxic water-based paint which contains no solvents. The puzzle is durable enough for not-so-careful toddler play.
7. Begin Again Counting Chameleon Wooden Numbers Puzzle
This colorful chameleon helps kids learn to count in both English and Spanish
- Fun and unique chameleon shape
- Helps young kids learn numbers
- Teaches both Spanish and English
- Puzzle’s lack of challenge can be boring
This is one chameleon you can count on. The Counting Chameleon Wooden Numbers puzzle has 15 colorful wooden pieces. One side of each piece has a numeral while the opposite sign has the word for that number in both English and Spanish.
All Begin Again toys are non-toxic and safe for kids. The wood is harvested from rubber trees with minimal environmental impact. Suitable for kids ages two and up, the complete puzzles is 11.75 by 8.5 inches.
8. Melissa & Doug’s Disney Wooden Peg Puzzles
Three different Disney puzzles help kids learn letters and numbers
- Features popular Disney characters
- Teaches letters, numbers and shapes
- Colorful and fun Disney design
- Some featured characters are very obscure
The Melissa & Doug Disney puzzle pack contains three detailed Disney puzzles which each focus on a different subject. Featuring familiar Mickey Mouse clubhouse font and graphics, these puzzles help kids learn numbers, letters and shapes. Each eight-piece puzzle has a total size of 11.75 inches by 8.5 inches.
Each cutout features a Disney character connected to the puzzle piece. For instance, the “P” puzzle piece in the alphabet puzzle fits into a cutout which displays Peter Pan. Kids can use their knowledge of Disney characters to help them learn the alphabet.
9. Professor Poplar’s Wooden Alphabet Puzzle Board by Imagination Generation
Color-coordinated puzzle introduce young kids to their A-B-C’s
This puzzle board from Professor Poplar helps kids learn the names of each letter as well their proper place in the alphabet. The puzzle board has cutouts for each of the 26 letters. Kids can use their sense of sight and touch to assemble the puzzle even if they don’t know the alphabet (yet). Color outlines on the puzzle and each letter also add a helping hand.
Aside from helping kids learn the alphabet, the puzzle also helps develop fine motor skills and shape orientation. Each letter is up to two inches wide, making the puzzle pieces easy for little hands to hold. The puzzle board is 11.75 inches long and nine inches wide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Puzzles can vary wildly regarding their difficulty and design. When shopping for a child, you can’t simply buy the first puzzle you find. Instead, you want to find a puzzle which is appropriate for their age, interests and ability. Here are the answers to the most common questions about wooden puzzles for kids:
How Do I Know if a Puzzle is Age Appropriate?
Age appropriateness is the first criteria you want to consider when shopping for a puzzle. Most wooden puzzles will print an age range right on the box. You especially want to pay attention to the youngest age listed.
According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, wooden puzzles are generally very safe. The biggest potential risk for a young child is accidentally swallowing a puzzle piece. Puzzles for toddlers and preschoolers should have puzzle pieces which are too large to fit inside a child’s mouth.
Plus, puzzles for younger children will generally be simpler to solve. Each piece will fit into an individual outline. Often, colors on the piece will match up with colors on the board, to provide extra help for little ones.
Starting near the end of elementary school and into middle school, kids often show an interest in more advanced puzzles. These are puzzles with 50, 100 or over 1,000 pieces. Instead of specific outlines for each piece, pieces connect to one another to create a detailed picture.
However, most of these larger puzzles will be made from strong cardboard instead of wooden. Most wooden puzzles for kids are designed for toddlers and preschoolers. Assembling the puzzles is used as a way to teach concepts and skills.
What Do Wooden Puzzles Teach?
Most wooden puzzles are designed to teach basic concepts like identifying shapes, letters and numbers. Slightly more advanced puzzles for older kids will teach more advanced concepts like reading and math.
Puzzles also help teach geography. Some geography puzzles show the relationship between locations. For instance, you can find many puzzles where each piece is a different state, so the completed puzzle is the entire country. Also, puzzles which display an exotic location helps kids think about the world.
All wooden puzzles help develop fine motor skills. Manipulating the puzzle pieces improves control over the muscles in the fingers and hands. This helps kids learn how to use other small objects like writing instruments and toothbrushes.
What are the Benefits of Wooden Puzzles?
Wooden puzzles have quite a few advantages over puzzles made from cardboard. Wood puzzle pieces are incredibly durable. Remember, most wooden puzzles for kids are designed to be assembled and disassembled often. Cardboard can bend and tear over time, but wooden pieces keep their shape even with frequent use.
Plus, wooden puzzles require no electricity or batteries. Refreshingly low-tech, wooden puzzles can be used on practically any table or flat surface. They’re a great choice for family fun at the campsite, beach or other vacation destination.
How Do I Find the Best Wooden Puzzle?
Fortunately, there are plenty of choice available. First, select a puzzle which is appropriate and safe for the age of the child. Then determine what particular lessons you want the puzzle to teach. Does the child need any help in a particular subject? The right puzzle can be an effective and unique teaching tool which isn’t always available in the classroom.
Finally, what interests does the child have? Older kids often respond well to a puzzle with characters from a favorite TV show or movie. For instance, Disney characters are often a favorite.
Wooden puzzles are durable, educational and tons of fun for both younger and older kids. Regular puzzle play helps older kids learn reading, writing and other skills which will help them excel in school. Younger kids develop fine motor skills while learning about shapes and other basic concepts. It’s easy to see why these classic toys continue to remain a favorite.