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Hidden Pictures Are Puzzles, Too!

Puzzles for Young Learners

If I were to ask you all to think back (waaay back for some of us!) and tell me one thing that you remember about your childhood doctor’s visits, I’m sure many of you would call out Highlights Magazines. Highlights for Children magazines have been around for nearly 70 years. My mother used to read them, I read them as a child, and now Ayva’s a Highlights fan! In honor of National Puzzle Day, my friends at Highlights sent samples from their Puzzle Club collection for Ayva to test out.

I’m going to be honest. I do let Ayva play on the computer sometimes. Just about every day, though, I pull out a puzzle or a Highlights Hidden Pictures magazine to let Ayva stretch her wits a bit.  Practicing puzzles manually is absolutely a necessity for young children with growing brains. Hidden pictures may seem like a good way to pass time when your little ones are bored (and it is), but they are also gaining valuable skills in the process. Puzzles are great for preschoolers because they help early learners learn to focus, exercise persistence, and to think logically.

girl doing puzzleWhen parents think about puzzles, though, we often think of the kind with little pieces that get stuck all over the place. You know the ones that you start and everyone gets frustrated, so you take a break, and when you come back to it, and you’re almost finished, there’s one piece missing? Call me crazy, but I actually love those things! Anyway, those aren’t the only kind of puzzles there are. Take a look at a few other puzzle options for early learners if you’re not interested in ones of the jigsaw variety:

Highlights Magazines

Hidden Pictures

Highlights for Children was my first introduction to Hidden Pictures back in the day, and they’re still creating fun, challenging, age-appropriate puzzles to this day. Beautiful pictures with a diverse offering of themes makes Highlight’s Hidden Pictures stand out. The puzzles for young children comes with stickers and pictures clues that makes this a good independent activity for children in preschool and kindergarten.

Connect The Dots

Yes! Connect the dots are considered puzzles. The children are using logic (which number should they connect to next) to make sense out of random dots on a page. You can find simple connect the dots activities inside of Highlights High Five Hidden Pictures books, or make one of your own using picture dots.


Mazes can take awhile for young learners to get used to, but once they do…watch out! Some of the skills children develop as they’re learning to navigate their pencil through a printed maze are decision-making (Should I go this way or not), thinking ahead (If I go that way, I’ll get stuck), and perseverance (that didn’t work. I’ll try another way).


Even if your child isn’t reading, yet, a simple find-a-word can help them with learning to identify letters and sight words. Highlights offers a few leveled options in their Puzzle Club magazine offerings, or you can use an online generator to create your own using words that your child might already be familiar with such as their name.


Are you ready to get your little puzzler thinking logically? The Highlights Puzzle Club for Kids would be a good way to do that! Learn more about the club for children ages 4 – 7 on the Highlights website.

Now, if only I could figure out the “why my child despises sleep” puzzle, all would be great with the world!