There are many stages of play that depend on a child’s age. What they do with a big, red block at six months old is far different than how they use that same block at five years. You will probably want to pay attention to matching the right set of blocks to the skill level of your child. This blog will help you find the best wooden puzzles for toddlers and preschoolers.

Our Top Picks

Melissa & Doug Farm Artwork

Upgrade Choice

Melissa & Doug Farm Artwork

Melissa & Doug Jigsaw Puzzle

Best Budget Buy

Melissa & Doug Jigsaw Puzzle

How to Pick the Best "wooden puzzles"

There’s nothing worse than buying a puzzle that is too difficult or too easy for your child. If it’s too far ahead of the child’s abilities, the wooden pieces will become a chew toy for the baby or the dog, or it may become a weapon aimed at a sibling. We assume you want neither of these to occur, and that you want a fun and educational puzzle that suits your child. So, let’s study some of the most important features that signal you’ve bought the right puzzle for your child.

1. Recommended Age

Puzzle play means different things at different ages. As a child matures, their puzzle play becomes more in line with what we would expect from a school-aged child. Early education is a long process, from infancy to about four years old. Puzzles help kids of every age to develop and improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

2. Choke Hazard

While puzzle makers do their best to make their product safe for all, children less than three are at risk for choking on small pieces. You can purchase an inexpensive Small Object Tester . Otherwise, you can use an empty cardboard toilet tissue holder. If the object can fit through these, keep it away from the little ones.

3. Batteries Required

Most wooden puzzles don’t need batteries. The few that do utilize batteries to power sounds. Here’s your chance to avoid those irritating bings, bangs, and bongs. You can choose to power the puzzle or not.

4. Containers

Some puzzles and puzzle sets come with wooden cases for permanent storage or travel. These can help keep all the pieces rather than lose them. It’s also a good opportunity to teach even toddlers about picking up and putting away.

5. Item Size

Puzzles vary greatly in size. Larger pieces will require larger bases. You might want to consider the size in judging if the child can easily pick it up and carry the puzzle around. You may think that is a good thing or not.

6. Weight

Weight is helpful in puzzle making. It’s harder to accidentally kick the puzzle and knock all the pieces throughout the room. On the other hand, heavy pieces can be lethal weapons in a playdate melee.

The Winners

Here are 13 of the best wooden puzzles for toddlers through preschool. These are all excellent choices for specific ages and skill levels. Of course, the learning goes faster and with more fun if mom and dad play along

#1

Rolimate Board Block

Best Overall

The Rolimate Board Block unique puzzle has a 3D structure that will delight the little ones. Even toddlers will find the pieces easy to pick up and manipulate. The puzzle base is flat with pegs onto which the puzzle pieces fit. The pieces are brightly colored and easily manipulated. Sorting is a skill that will develop more quickly with this puzzle.

  • You'll love
  • Innovative construction
  • Free play for sorting and building
  • Non-toxic and child safe

Recommended age: 18 months +
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: No
Container: No
Size: 5.9 x 5.1 x 2 inches
Weight: 1.05 pounds

#2

Melissa & Doug Farm Artwork

Upgrade Choice / Best wooden animal puzzle

The Melissa & Doug Farm Artwork is a puzzle for the younger ones who need a bit of help picking up puzzle pieces. The extra-large knob on each piece enables toddlers to pick up and place easily. This farm-themed puzzle also features a picture in the base that matches each puzzle piece. This way, a child has a pictorial clue in addition to the shape hint of where to put the piece. The pieces are all extra thick and easy to grasp.

  • You'll love
  • Big knobs, easy to handle
  • Double clues for proper placement
  • Colorful graphics

Recommended age: 1 +
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: Yes
Container: No
Size: 1.3 x 12 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds

#3

Melissa & Doug Jigsaw Puzzle

Best Budget Buy

This Melissa & Doug Jigsaw Puzzle is perfect for kids in preschool. They may be getting bored playing with the little kids’ puzzles and now have the coordination and skill to move on. This 48-piece pirate puzzle is just the thing for reawakening their interest in the world of puzzling. A wooden tray keeps pieces away from dodgy carpets that like to mess with the stability of the delightful scene.

  • You'll love
  • Valuable puzzle for growing kids
  • Puzzle tray
  • Appealing graphics

Recommended age: 4 – 5
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: 3800 Lithium ion
Container: Yes
Size: 0.5 x 11.8 x 15.5 inches
Weight: 6.61 pounds

#4

Melissa & Doug Shapes Wooden Puzzle

Best wooden peg puzzles

This Melissa & Doug Shapes Wooden Puzzle is a good play value for tots and preschoolers. The Shapes Wooden Peg Puzzle is a wooden peg puzzle. That means that there is now a handle on an effective weapon. For the younger tots, it might be a good idea for your child to play alone or with you. The handle is supposed to aid the child making the piece fit into the puzzle.

  • You'll love
  • Handle on each piece
  • Peg puzzle for young ones
  • Underside of pieces labeled
  • Watch for
  • Customers report thin cardboard on pegs that can peel.

Recommended age: 2 – 4
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: No
Container: No
Size: 11.7 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 10.4 ounces

#5

Melissa & Doug Vehicles Puzzles Storage

Best Melissa & Doug Wooden Puzzles

The Melissa & Doug Vehicles Puzzles Storage includes four 12-piece puzzles that feature a steam engine, school bus, fire engine, and race car. These puzzles fit neatly into a wooden storage box that becomes a puzzle base. Each puzzle piece has a shape code on the reverse so a child can quickly sort them.

  • You'll love
  • Sturdy puzzles that will last
  • 4 different puzzles in one travel box
  • Interesting subjects on each puzzle

Recommended age: 3 – 6
Choke Hazard: No
Batteries: No
Container: Yes
Size: 7 x 4.5 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces

#6

Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy

Here’s a set of puzzles that are perfect for a child from preschool to primary grades when reading and spelling readiness come to the fore. The Melissa & Doug See & Spell Learning Toy is a see-and-spell board that contains eight double-sided cut-out boards. There are more than 50 lower-case letters that your kiddo will be able to use for many letter activities and games.

  • You'll love
  • Beginner see-and-spell learning
  • Flexible 3 and 4-letter word games
  • Multiple puzzles

Recommended age: 4 – 6
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: No
Container: Yes
Size: 14 x 6.5 x 3 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds

#7

Begin Again Number Snail Puzzle

Best Wooden Number Puzzle

Reading and writing are marvelous, but we can’t forget the importance of numerical skills. These begin with counting, and numbers have never been more fun than this. A delightfully colored snail has a spiral of 10 numbers marching around its body. On the reverse side of the pieces are Roman numerals. The Begin Again Number Snail Puzzle is eco-friendly, made from sustainably harvested rubberwood.

  • You'll love
  • Intriguing design to capture imaginations
  • Introduction to two number systems
  • Colorful graphics

Recommended age: 3 +
Choke Hazard: No
Batteries: No
Container: Yes
Size: 6 x 1 x 5 inches
Weight: 9.6 ounces

#8

Product Nice Name

The Wooden Puzzles Alphabet Educational Gifts provide an early introduction to both letters and numbers. Any child from the age of one will develop reading, math, matching, and logic abilities with this puzzle. The thick wooden pieces are easy for the smallest tot to handle. Her older sibling will be getting ready for school with more advanced features. The polished edges help ensure that the puzzle is safe for even the youngest puzzlers.

  • You'll love
  • Good for both beginners and older children
  • Reading, math, and logic introductions
  • Safe polished edges

Recommended age: 1 +
Choke Hazard: No
Batteries: No
Container: No
Size: 12 x 12 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 2.38 pounds

#9

Hape Alphabet Wooden Learning Puzzle

Best wooden abc puzzle

Here’s an old-style wooden puzzle every parent will immediately recognize from their youth. The Hape Alphabet Wooden Learning Puzzle’s pieces fit into corresponding spaces left in the base. The puzzle base structure can also stand making solving the puzzle easier. It includes 26 pieces, one for each capital letter.

  • You'll love
  • Sturdy wooden construction
  • Free play with colorful letters
  • Non-toxic and child safe

Recommended age: 3 +
Choke Hazard: Yes
Batteries: No
Container: No
Size: 11.2 x 10.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 1.46 pounds

#10

Vileafy Cognition Education Learning

Vileafy Cognition Education Learning puzzle foregoes numbers and letters. It’s all about the vegetables! There are 13 types of vegetables on the front of each piece. On the reverse, the names of the foods appear in both English and Chinese. Here is a unique opportunity to extoll the benefits of Chinese cabbage and broccoli.

  • You'll love
  • Chance to learn about different foods
  • Packing tin to hold 26 pieces
  • English and Chinese labels on reverse

Recommended age: 3 +
Choke Hazard: No
Batteries: No
Container: Yes
Size: 17.1 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 8.8 ounces

#11

Melissa & Doug wooden peg puzzles

Here is a 3-pack of educational peg puzzles. There are two See-Inside alphabet and number puzzles, plus a mix-and-match puzzle featuring fish. The educational features are well thought out in this 26-piece set of the Melissa & Doug wooden peg puzzles. There are matching and game-playing opportunities. This set is perfect for a play date or for siblings to enjoy together.

  • You'll love
  • Important preschool concepts
  • Play sharing
  • Multiple skill building

Recommended age: 3 – 5
Choke Hazard: No
Batteries: No
Container: Yes
Size: 11.8 x 2 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 3 pounds

FAQs: All you need to know

Q What is the developmental advantage in puzzle play?

A When a child begins to identify differences in shapes, colors, and the tactile feel of objects, puzzles are natural teachers.

Q Why are wooden puzzles superior over cardboard for young children?

A Solid wood lasts just about forever — cardboard peels, especially when eaten by a teething toddler. A favorite wooden puzzle can last many years if you can retain the pieces.

Q What are the different kinds of puzzles?

A Well, there are jigsaw puzzles, peg puzzles, alphabet, number, object, matching, and many others. If you can think of it, there is probably a puzzle designer somewhere working on it.

Quick Decision

Rolimate Board Block – Best Overall
For a complete set of school-ready puzzles.

Melissa & Doug Farm Artwork – Upgrade Choice
A delightfully imagined puzzle that captures the interest of any puzzler.

Melissa & Doug Jigsaw Puzzle – Best Budget Buy
The kind of puzzles a little boy, in particular, would love. If your boy or girl loves big things that move, they will be attracted to this set.

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Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.