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Creative Kids: here’s how to download and print puzzles for your child

Boost language, encourage problem-solving and aid planning skills with fun games, writes Chrissie Russell

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Lana-Rose Breslin (5) loves puzzling at home

Lana-Rose Breslin (5) loves puzzling at home

Lana-Rose Breslin (5) loves puzzling at home

Puzzles, word-searches, colouring in — they’re the go-to entertainment that every parent needs to have in their arsenal.

More, now than ever, there’s nothing to beat handing over some (washable) pens or crayons and a bit of light entertainment in a bid to buy five minutes of much-needed peace amid the stress of working from home and the strain of home-schooling. That’s why we’ve got a full five days’ worth of puzzling and colouring in this week’s Irish Independent.

But while parents can enjoy a cuppa and moment of calm, they can also rid themselves of any guilt that the kids should be doing something ‘more’. Because puzzles, colouring and word games come with a host of physical, mental, social and emotional benefits — and they’re fun! “Puzzles and games are much more than just sources of fun,” says Andrew Fuller, author of Unlocking Your Child’s Genius and creator of mylearningstrengths.com. “My research shows that they promote learning strengths in children and young people.” He cites colouring-in as useful for helping to develop planning skills, word-searches are excellent for language, and completing mazes can encourage problem-solving.