Gifted Children/Jigsaw Puzzles?


lu wrote at 2007-06-29 21:20:54
This can not be right. My son has just turned two and can easily do puzzles with 30 or more pieces without any help.

Paul wrote at 2007-10-11 01:10:38
Our son was doing 100 piece puzzles when he turned 3. He will be 4 next month and is doing 300 piece puzzles. He was doing 12 piece puzzles upside down when he was 2. The floor puzzles are great. The puzzles with extra large pieces are good too. A 300 piece puzzle with regular sized pieces took him about 4 hours. He eventually got that down to around 45 minutes. The picture on the puzzle has a lot to do with keeping his interest. Dinosaur puzzles are by far his favorite. Puppy dog puzzle... not so much.

sb wrote at 2007-12-27 03:29:31
My three year old loves puzzles and can do 100 piece ones by herself.  She will not look at the box to see how it is supposed to end up, but puts it together with instinct.  I don't know where she gets it, certainly not from her parents.

Mum2E wrote at 2008-08-29 07:45:02

I've been searching the internet for the same reasons. My not yet 2 and a half year old son can easily put together 50 pieces (small, not self correcting pieces). I was wondering if this was good?


trixie wrote at 2008-10-05 15:02:09
I don't understand why everyone is so hung-up on wishing their kid is "gifted". Kids are only young once, why don't we just let them be young. While education is very important, they are going to have plenty of time for that. Why don't you just focus on having fun with your child because I feel that BONDING with them at this age is going to be more beneficial for them than being able to say your gifted 3 1/2 year old can put together a 200 piece puzzle.

shakesrear wrote at 2009-06-02 11:46:27

I'm a bit surprised at these guidelines. My 4-year-old was doing 12-piece puzzles at 2 and my 2-year-old is now doing 50-piece puzzles completely on her own (I haven't tried any higher, but I think I should since the 50-piece ones are too easy for her).

I don't feel that they are gifted, but it's perhaps too early to say. I feel that the 4-piece puzzle for a 3-year-old is really an absolute minimum and there must be a wide range that is normal. But what would be interesting is the threshold for gifted children.

JO2810 wrote at 2009-11-23 11:29:28
This Jigsaw - the Safari is recommended for ages 8+. It doesn't tell you on amazon that it is recommended for 3 years +, it says 'Not recommended for children under 3 due to choking hazard' this is a warning that is carried on most toys. But this is not a guide for how old the recommended user is. Check out the makers website which advises that it is for age 8+

I personally believe every child is different, and it is down to the individuals attention span, some children don't like to sit and play with toys that take too long to complete. I think toys usually carry a good recommended age guide. I have an 18 month old who does (at the minute) enjoy jigsaws so I have bought her a 24 piece for christmas, I know she will love it, but she will only be able to do it with help. Its a huge floor one with her favorite characters. Hope this helps. But in answer to your question, stick with the guide on the box and to interest your child more, get something you know will interest them-but most important of all, help them. No child should be expected to open a box and complete a jigsaw for the first time.  

carolynH wrote at 2010-01-19 14:55:53
My 4 year old does 100 piece puzzles without a problem , i would say she could do more but i haven't tried her on anyhting more advanced. I would say though that i don't think she is gifted, she excels at these sorts of activities , she however still struggles with getting her colours correct all the time. All i can say is children are good at different things and the fact that she is interested in puzzles helps!  

Rachael wrote at 2010-07-13 10:53:18
My son is 2 and 4 months and has just completed his first 200 piece puzzle and can do a number of 100 piece puzzles easily. He does not show any other excepted signs of giftedness so I wonder if his ability to do puzzles is more to do with his ability to concentrate for long periods of time, as once you understand the concept of a puzzle it is really just having the ability to stick with it and a 200 piece puzzle can take him over an hour to complete as the pieces are quite fiddly for his little fingers.  

Katie wrote at 2010-08-16 00:39:45
You also might want to keep in mind that being able to pay attention to anything for long periods of time is also a sign of giftedness.

I do think it's important for parents to know if their child is "gifted" as being gifted comes with a whole host of problems that parents need to educate themselves about. It's never too early to better understand your child. :) Of course pushing your child too hard is not good for them, but gifted children don't usually need to be pushed - they go out and do these kind of things all on their own.

Atomic Walrus wrote at 2010-09-21 22:20:00
Most of the age requirements on toys are related to the potential of the toy parts to present a choking hazard.  "Age 3 and up" doesn't necessarily mean that the toy is appropriate for a 3 year old, but rather that they're not going to choke to death on it if they stuff a piece in their mouth.

Margaret wrote at 2010-10-14 17:05:44
I came across this discussion, because I too was searching for what is considered normal for my 4 year old (as of July). He puts together 150 piece puzzles without supervision in under 2hrs. He is looking forward to doing the 300 piece puzzle next. We purchase a disney collection of puzzles that had (4) 150 piece puzzles (2) 300 piece puzzles and (2) 500 piece puzzles. He loves puzzles.

Savitha wrote at 2011-02-28 10:07:17
I am glad I stumbled on this page. My son is 3.5 yrs old and he did a 300 piece puzzle with some help from me. He does 200 piece puzzles independently and he did some 100 piece puzzles without seeing their pictures.

I am also worried that he is too addicted to jigsaw puzzles and doesnt want to play with any other toys for a long span. Eventually its puzzles for him.

Should I just encourage this skill since he seems to enjoy it so much? I do not want to become a pushy parent who wants to have a special talent at any cost!

I also think this  puzzle ability comes because he was exposed to it at an early age and he is an indoor boy and able to concentrate on an activity for a long time.  

grooveybaby wrote at 2011-03-19 00:22:09
My son is 40 months and does 24 piece puzzles. Those 4- 5 piece puzzles he did at 18months so does his cousin same age.

leepee99 wrote at 2011-08-25 18:58:28
I have just read this with interest.  My son is 2 years and 10 months and is easily doing 60 piece jigsaw puzzles.  I recently bought a box with 10 Peppa Pig jigsaw puzzles of varying sizes.  On the first day I gave them to him he had done them all except a 70 piece (quite difficult one) in 2 hours - 1 x 60 piece, 2 x 48 piece, 2 x 40 piece, 2 x 24 piece, 2 x 12 piece.  Now (the following day) is he currently trying to do the 70 piece one again and succeeding.  I fear that he is not being stretched enough as he is not old enough for nursery and I am at a loss as to what do to with him.  I'm not saying he is "special" but surely 5 piece puzzles are for very young children?

Barbara wrote at 2011-10-25 14:33:44
My son is 3 years old and has always been very good at jigsaws.  He is now able to complete an 80 piece jigsaw which in my opinion is actually quite difficult as the jigsaw pieces come in all different shapes and sizes.  We are now looking for suitable 100 piece jigsaws for his age group to challenge him, but seems to be 100 piece and more jigsaws are aimed at 5 plus age group.  

Elise wrote at 2011-11-15 07:21:41
My daughter is 3 yrs and 4months old. She just put together a 100 piece puzzle(tiny pieces) by herself today. Brand new puzzle. Granted it took her almost 3 hours and she would get up and play a bit then come back to it. But she knows how to seperate the edge pieces and looks at the colors on each piece to find others with matching colors to go with it. She dosen't ususally do a lot of puzzles, but based on all her other signs of intelligence I'm pretty sure she is intelligent for her age.

suparna wrote at 2012-04-27 07:26:40
My son (2.3 yrs) enjoys doing puzzles. He started doing 60 piece puzzle now without seeing a picture:) . Each time he follows a different approach to solve it. Sometimes he explains us how he analyses it. He keeps saying "I am so happy" and "I am so excited" while doing it.. many a times he sings in high pitch while solving puzzles. It is fun to watch him doing this.

First time it took him around 40 min to do entire puzzle..... now he does it in min. Its good to see similar stories here.

March 2012 (2.3 yrs)  

Dana wrote at 2012-12-27 04:17:49
Trixie, thank you!  I am wasting my time looking for answers to my very trite questions.  I am going to bed to get a good sleep so that I can bond with my three beautiful children tomorrow and not be exhausted.  

Margot wrote at 2013-03-03 23:15:44
Doing jigsaws involves lots of pre-literacy, maths and observational skills and problems solving skills. A child is looking at pattern and shape and learning to observe and concentrate. Doing a jigsaw is also very good for manipulative skills and hand-eye co-ordination. My first born was very good at jigsaws from an early age (50+ easily at 2 and 100 at 3) but abandoned them when she learned to read. I think it was a good preparation for reading in her own language and she is now reading two difficult foreign languages abroad (German and Russian) at University. If you give them opportunities to develop their brain power and memory when young and read with them evey day, it will pay off. However, she is having a blast now living abroad and I can honestly say I didn't force her into anything. It was a fun journey. Her younger sister was into dinosaurs and is now studying Pharmacy, but that's another story!

Home Education Mom wrote at 2013-07-31 18:39:38
I truly believe that due to the technology age, we have lost our jigsaw puzzling skill ability.  I was always a poor puzzler as a child.  My first child resists puzzles.  The next two love puzzles.  What I never realized is that kids need to be taught how to put puzzles together. It's an activity meant for both parent and child.  Our second oldest is 6 and has special needs.  He is able to put a 60 piece puzzle together.  Our 3 year old seems to have a more keen interest in puzzles.  I just ordered a new 60 piece puzzle for her to try.  She may need some guidance the first time she puts it together, but I don't think she will struggle with it much as long as she has the patience to complete it as she already has the ability to put puzzles together.   My advice to parents is to get rid of the television, and video games or at least drastically limit them and replace the toys that aren't brain building with toys that promote brain development.  Play with your child, teach your child, and you will see a huge difference in their overall development.  People think my kids are smart, but in reality they are just average kids.  If two of my average kids are able to start K-5 at age three and four, anyone's kids can do it.  I'm thinking of buying a puzzle keeper and starting our family in putting puzzles together for a little bit each night before bed.  We can frame our favorites and when the kids leave the house they can take one with them for their house.  

Maryam M wrote at 2014-03-21 02:08:12
When a toy states the age, I believe it is a safety issue and not the age group the toy is for. So a 200 piece puzzle can be safe for a 3 year old to play with or be around, but that doesn't mean they can solve it. The age is important because a parent of an 8 year old who also has a 2 year old may not buy a toy for her 8 year old that might be a choking hazard for her 2 year old.

Ryan'smum wrote at 2014-11-12 17:48:38
Well my 4 year old has been diagnosed with adhd and autism so is behind with certain things and development. And doesn't focus well enought or loses interest very quickly. But the only thing that keep him interested are games where he has to work his brain. So he can easily do 80pieces puzzle under 10minutes without looking at the box to see what it actually supposed to look like. Just got him on 100 piece and he is actually helping us with 2000 pieces puzzle that we got as a family thing to do. Guess there's no age restrictions on puzzles. As some kids at his age can't do it but some can do better then I'm sure. Just means that all kids are great at other stuff if puzzles are not their cup of tea.

Ryan'smum wrote at 2014-11-12 17:49:58
Well my 4 year old has been diagnosed with adhd and autism so is behind with certain things and development. And doesn't focus well enought or loses interest very quickly. But the only thing that keep him interested are games where he has to work his brain. So he can easily do 80pieces puzzle under 10minutes without looking at the box to see what it actually supposed to look like. Just got him on 100 piece and he is actually helping us with 2000 pieces puzzle that we got as a family thing to do. Guess there's no age restrictions on puzzles. As some kids at his age can't do it but some can do better then I'm sure. Just means that all kids are great at other stuff if puzzles are not their cup of tea.

Wiggy's Mom wrote at 2014-11-18 03:40:30
My son mastered a 100-piece puzzle at the age of 2-years old.  The subject matter of the puzzle, all things Thomas the Train, holds his interest.  However, I've tried different themes, such as dinosaur puzzles, which seem to hold his attention, albeit not as much.  Not sure if this is a sign of genius or not, but what I do know for sure, is the ability to concentrate is the key to success in most endeavors.  

Yanie wrote at 2015-01-14 14:35:19
I came to this site to find out what's to say about a 3 year old that can fairly quickly put together a 48 piece puzzle without any help. My 3 year old son has amazed me with the ability to do this and I was wondering if this was "normal".

appalayla wrote at 2015-05-25 05:59:54
My 3 year old does 45 piece puzzles in less than 5 minutes with ease, she is in grade 00 in a montessori school,she can write her whole alphabet, and numbers up to 30 and she 3 years and 5 months old, she knows every single shape including a trapeze,  whatever u call it, she knows all the planets in the solar system and all The provinces in South Africa, she can sing out national anthem which has 4 languages, and speaks three languages, English,  Arabic and gujurati,  she speaks very high English in fact correcting people's speach, she is also in grade 00 Islamic school, all her friends in both schools are either just turning 5 or already turned 5, she is the youngest in the whole school even younger than the grade 000, she went to grade 000 at age 2, she has has no difficulty inot even dressing herself correctly, and has keen interest in work, However she has severe obstructive sleep apnea, and no antibodies at all, she is on a c pap titration machine at night to help her keep her airways open, and has to go for regular vaccinations to replace antibodies  

Jemma wrote at 2015-10-01 13:10:30
Just a thought on the 200 piece puzzle for age 3... It probably meant not for under 3s due to choking hazard rather than being appropriate for a 3 year old to put together.  

Gifted Children

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Carol Bainbridge


I can answer most questions on parenting gifted children, from infants on. Questions can be about parenting, advocacy, and support and I can provide suggestions for toys and books gifted children love. I can even help you determine whether your child is gifted or bright, and I can point you to more information you might need. I can answer some questions about programs for gifted children, but can`t help much with information on colleges. Visitors wanting to know if their children are gifted might want to read the article "Is My Child Gifted?" before asking a question.


I am the parent of a gifted child and have been working with other parents of gifted children for 13 years, helping them find support and providing them with information. I founded a local gifted organization and helped organize a parent day for a national gifted conference. I have been an active member of my state's gifted association since 1999 and created and maintain their Web site. In addition, I have created a website for parents of gifted children who are looking for toys and books for their children: I am also the Guide Gifted Children Site.

I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, an MA in English, and completing a PhD in linguistics with a focus on verbally gifted children. I have been helping parents of gifted children for nearly 20 years and am currently the guide to gifted children on

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