You are probably aware of – and love – Sudoku puzzles, but did you know that 2 x 2 Sudoku puzzles are also great for the development of children’s cognitive skills?
These puzzles are a mini version of the classic Sudoku. They are perfect for kids because they require them to use their logic and deduction skills to fill in a 2 x 2 grid (four options) with numbers, letter, or even images without repeating any value in any given row or column.
2 x 2 puzzles are the easiest form of Sudoku puzzles and are great for kids. They propose four unique values which can be images, shapes, numbers or letters that kids need to place on each grid to complete the puzzle.
The benefits of 2 x 2 Sudoku puzzles for kids
Several studies have shown that adults who play Sudoku reinforce their cognitive abilities and keep their brains sharp for longer than those who do not complete any puzzles.
In one study, a total of 19, 000 people undertook cognitive testing online to determine how Sudoku puzzles influenced their cognitive abilities.
The researchers found that individuals who did these puzzles displayed greater speed and accuracy in their performance.
If you’re already a fan of Sudoku puzzles, then you probably already know why these puzzles are a great option for your child.
While no studies to date have focused on the benefits of Sudoku puzzles for kids, we know that these puzzles:
- are engaging, fun and educational
- help kids work on their cognitive skills and can improve cognitive flexibility
- help kids work on their problem-solving skills
- help kids work on their working memory capacity
- are a great option to pass time
- make it easy to share your passion with your child
- help kids develop their logical thinking skills
- help your child work on their attention to detail skills
- help children work on their spatial awareness skills
There is no doubt that Sudoku puzzles for kids are great for their development, but only if you choose the right ones.
How to choose the right sudoku puzzle
Choosing the right sudoku for kids might be tricky for children because it is important to avoid puzzles that are too easy or too hard.
It may also be tricky because kids develop at different rates, meaning that your child could find the puzzles proposed for their age to be too simple or too complicated depending on their level of development and on the exercises and activities that they are accustomed to.
The easiest approach is to be begin with 2 x 2 puzzles for kids to evaluate your child’s level and to avoid frustrating them and making them give up on Sudoku puzzles all together. Once they have understood how the puzzles work, you can propose more difficult puzzles with time.
Remember that the more your child completes Sudoku puzzles, the more they will train their brain and work on different skills such as memory, logical thinking, and focus and concentration.
What’s the best age to start Sudoku puzzles for kids
There is no “right age” when it comes to introducing your kid to Sudoku puzzles, especially because children’s ability to complete these puzzles depends on their development and on their cognitive skills.
Most kids can complete simple 2 x 2 puzzles at around age five, but kids who are accustomed to undertaking activities with numbers, or activities that require them to use logic and reasoning skills, will find these puzzles easier.
Your child will also be able to complete Sudoku for kids if they know how to differentiate between rows and columns, differentiate between different cues (images, letters, numbers or forms), and if they understand the main principle of Sudoku puzzles – no repetitions in the rows and columns.
Some kids can do these puzzles even earlier, while others will require more time before they can understand how Sudoku puzzles work.
As with all things relating to kids, the best approach is to start with easy 2 x 2 puzzles, explain the instructions clearly to your child, and help them to complete the first puzzles.
Multiple reasons to love picture Sudoku for kids
I am a huge fan of picture Sudoku puzzles because they help kids practice on multiple skills such as their:
- Fine motor skills – kids need to cut out the images that they will use to complete the Sudoku puzzles for kids.
- Critical and logical thinking skills – kids need to focus on what image goes where
- Focus and concentration skills – all Sudoku puzzles require focus and concentration
Picture sudoku puzzles also allow kids to cut out all the images they will use, then use trial and error to place the different images on the grid without pasting them. They allow them to make mistakes, learn, and correct themselves before making their final decision. Once they are sure of themselves, they can paste the images.
Easy Sudoku puzzles for kids that use pictures are therefore great at developing different executive function skills. They are also great for calming kids!
This site proposes numerous printable 2 x 2 Sudoku puzzles that your child can start practicing with today. There are puzzles for children between the ages of four and six, and other puzzles for those between the ages of seven and nine.
All the puzzles proposed are different and are based on specific themes, so check them out and transform your child into a sudoku master today!