Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!

 

 

This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)

 

Is this awesome motorcycle puzzle a toy, or adorable room decor? Hmm. Both, we think. This 7-piece set is handmade, sturdy and toddler-approved. (Berkshire Bowls, $19.99)

 

 

These handmade maple letter puzzles for toddlers are so well-crafted and sweet, we wouldn’t be surprised if you wound up snagging all 26. Or at least enough to spell out your child’s name. (Ludimondo, $6.)

 

 

We are in love with this soft Eco-Felt 8-piece purple hippo puzzle which is only 6 inches across, so it’s perfect for a small gift–or to stick in your purse and bring to the doctor’s waiting room for maximum distraction with minimum size. (AnnsCraftHouse on Etsy, $6)

 

Not only is this handmade giraffe puzzle charming, it’s made from ancient birch trees that hail from the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains. So once your kid learns to put it together, maybe she can learn to spell “Carpathian.” (ArtGiftStore on Etsy, $10)

 

This color wheel puzzle is so gorgeous, and requires some serious hand-eye coordination and color recognition. I think even older kids will love exploring it as they grow. (InvenioToys, $45)

 

Could there be a cuter way to learn the alphabet? This wooden apple alphabet puzzle for preschoolers consists of 29 pieces of hardwood poplar–3 to complete the stem . Definitely for the 3+ crowd, just in case it’s too yummy-looking to resist putting in a small mouth. (InvenioToys, $37)

One of our favorite puzzles for toddlers, this gorgeous natural wooden puzzle  from one of our favorite shops for natural toys lets kids play with the elements–water, fire, air and earth–as represented by a cave, flames, waves and a rainbow. It’s a little pricier than the rest, but it’s a keepsake that we would frame long after those sweet toddler years are over. (Natural Pod, $74.95.)

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