Your Subtitle text

Mix and Match Puzzles for Toddlers and Babies

Benefits of Mix and Match Puzzles to Baby Development
When it comes to key baby developmental benefits, this type of game positively impacts three main areas: encourages eye-hand coordination, further develops fine motor skills, and enhances creative expression skills.

Eye-Hand Coordination
Eye-hand, or hand-eye, coordination is a basic skill needed to perform simple routines. In early child development, this skill is enhanced through playing with various types of toys, such as, stacking toys, shape sorters, and mix match puzzles. Generally speaking, eyes provide critical information in guiding hands to targets. Enhancing this skill in early stages of child development is critical for establishing other useful skills later on, such as proprioception.

Fine Motor Skills
This skill is defined as a coordination of small muscle movements, which occur in a coordination with eyes. Mix and match puzzles allow for this coordination to take place, as the pieces are placed in appropriate positions on a board.

Creative Expression
When deciding how to match puzzle pieces into correct locations on a board, one will partially rely on general intelligence. The other part of problem solving process will be addressed by creativity. Creative problem solving techniques, such as, process of elimination or grouping of similar objects, will speed up the process of finding a solution.

Mix and Match Puzzles Introduction
Mix and match puzzle games can be a lot of fun, and I would strongly recommend them as a part of your toy collection. I like the fact that it can be played as a part of bedtime routine, since it does not come with flashing lights, loud noise, or any other type of sensory stimulation. We usually play this game towards the end of day, when activities slow down. In this section, I reviewed my top three mix & match puzzle games. Our son's favorite one is Vehicle Mix N Match Puzzle by Melissa & Doug.
P'Kolino Multi-Solution Puzzles
I find multi solution puzzles to be one of the best tools to spark creativity in kids. Approaching problems open minded, and with the expectation that there could be more than one solution, is very important concept in child's early development. P'Kolino makes a wide range of multi solution puzzles. All their colorful puzzles are made out of wood, and are a lot of fun to play with. I think they are worth considering as educational toys.


This wooden peg puzzle game contains nine interchangeable pieces and a board where they are to be placed. The mix and match vehicle game is fun to play since all pieces are designed to fit into all positions. At first, your little one will probably place pieces into any slots, which is OK. As time goes by, encourage him or her match the car parts. Although the age recommendation is 2-4 years, our son started playing with it when he was 18 months old. By two, he had no issue matching and placing all pieces on the board. As far the quality goes, this is another superb product of Melissa & Doug. When playing this game, use the opportunity to tell a story about each car: what is it used for, color, size, and the sound it makes. Your little one will love to repeat this story back to you when solving the puzzle.



Musical sound puzzle contains eight instrument pieces and a playing board. When instruments are placed in the correct position the corresponding sound is played. This is another product of exceptional quality and value by Melissa and Doug. This game is recommended for toddlers older than 24 months, although our son was playing with it a little sooner than that. Overall, our little one had a lot of fun with this toy. One thing that we did not like is that one of the fields would activate by turning the light on and off. We had to keep the toy covered in order to prevent random sounds from coming from it in the evening hours. I am not sure if this issue was something that only we had experienced, or it was an overlooked design flaw.


P'kolino six piece puzzle is one of the most unique toddler toys we have for a couple of reasons. First, the art work is very unusual, as you can see from the picture above. By the way, it is very appealing to toddlers. Second, there are three sets of two identically shaped puzzle pieces. Therefore, each piece can fit into two spots. At first, your toddler will probably be looking for shape fit only, which is OK. The idea is to go through two stages of matching: shape and colors. For this reason, we have had a lot fun putting this one together with our son. Also, we made up robot names for the each character on the board. This mix and match puzzle is made out of wood. It does not have any sharp edges.
Website Builder