My Beginner Puzzle Picks

As the mom of three boys, I’ve seen my share of toys cycle through our house. Some of them, unfortunately, have suffered pretty short life spans. Sometimes it’s because of the quality of the product. Other times it’s because my kids just aren’t that interested. Other toys, however, have stood the test of time. I’m finding myself finally parting with some of these now that my youngest is in school. And one thing I’m amazed by is how well certain toys have stood up, and also how many hours of enjoyment we’ve gotten from them.

One type of toy in particular that I’ve been cleaning out lately is puzzles. All of my boys have always enjoyed puzzles, but Boy #3 is especially obsessed. He’s to the point now where he can do a 100-piece puzzle by himself, in not too much time, and he’s better at spotting matching pieces than I am! So the wooden puzzles that have been in our house, some for 12 years, are not quite giving him the challenge he needs.

I’ve noticed, as I’m cleaning out our puzzle and game cupboard, that the majority of our puzzles are from Melissa & Doug. It wasn’t intentional at the time, but looking back, I think it was because:

  1. The quality, whether wooden or cardboard, is excellent. They’re not going to fall apart easily and can withstand more than one hand-me-down.
  2. The selection is incredible. From beginning puzzles to more advanced, they have ability levels to meet the needs of any child. Plus, since the subjects aren’t actual cartoon characters or other commercial brands, they aren’t going to go out of style. They have a huge variety of subjects, all with appeal to kids. Many have an educational focus, which is always a bonus!
  3. The price is right. As with all Melissa & Doug products, in my opinion, you get the high quality without paying a high price. I have always found the products, puzzles included to be very affordable and definitely worth the price.

I wanted to share a few of the puzzles with you that represent the variety that Melissa & Doug produce. I’m going to start offering some select products in my own OpenSky shop here on my blog. I’m only going to promote and sell things or brands that we’ve used and found to be great products/brands, or things I personally love. I will make a little commission off anything I sell, so I want to be up front about that. However, please know that I would never endorse or sell anything that I didn’t think was a good product or worth the money.

That being said, I’m going to share some great Melissa & Doug puzzles for beginners in this post. If you’d like to know more about each puzzle, just click the little “See Details” button and it will take you to my OpenSky shop, where you can even order the puzzle. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping…

Beginner puzzles


I think this was Boy #1’s first puzzle, and it has been well-loved and still looks fantastic. Amazingly, we still have all the pieces too! I love the pegs on the pieces that make it easy for little fingers to pick up too.


This puzzle has jumbo pieces and pegs, perfect for even littler fingers!

This farm puzzle even makes the animal noise when a piece is placed correctly. So cute!


Kids who love their cars will love this puzzle that makes vehicle noises!


I like that the pieces can even stand up on this puzzle, so kids can continue to use it even when they’re beginning to read and spell words.

My boys are all very tactile, so they loved the board books that had things for them to feel. They would’ve loved this puzzle, too, that adds another sensory experience to playing with puzzles!


They can feel all the different textures on the vehicles with this puzzle.

This puzzle is great because kids can see the number and then see what the number represents when they pick up the puzzle piece.

I like this Safari Peg Puzzle because it’s a little bit different subject than a lot of puzzles you can find.

Another fun chunky puzzle, especially attractive to boys.

My boys LOVED these puzzles. This one lets you “catch” bugs with the magnetic net.


This puzzle lets kids go fishing in the ocean. I think these puzzles are also great for hand-eye coordination, a skill that boys especially struggle with.

Look for upcoming posts on my intermediate and advanced puzzle picks!

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