Sudoku puzzles are often seen in newspapers and magazines or available easily online. It is impossible for kids not to see these puzzles and get curious. So why is sudoku good for children as young as kindergarten and how do we introduce sudoku to them?
Is Sudoku Good for Kids?
The answer is yes. Sudoku puzzles for kindergarten kids can be solved or are generally suitable for kids ages 4 to 8. These sudoku puzzles are great for kids in more than one way. They can see it as an entertaining game to pass time or an opportunity to share a common hobby with adults or with their young friends. In a deeper sense, sudoku is a very good instrument for teaching young children the skill of abstract reasoning.
When teaching children to play sudoku, it is important to teach them to ask two main questions: What? and Where? Knowing what and where to place a certain number is how they are taught to solve the puzzle, and this is the type of abstract reasoning that sudoku requires.
When children learn to ask these questions, they learn to think a little deeper. This is excellent for abstract reasoning, which is used in sudoku and other areas of life. Also, sudoku teaches children patience, focus, logical thinking, and decision-making skills, and it greatly improves memory.
How do you Introduce Sudoku to Kids?
The first move is to start with just a 3×3 grid. Make sure that the child can identify each number being used. Explain the difference between a row and a column as well as the terms horizontal and vertical and ensure they have a basic understanding of each.
The next step you can teach your kindergarten kid is to choose a row or column that already has some numbers. This step will show kids the process of elimination and narrowing down the possibilities. Show them that there are several numbers already in place, which will guide them toward solving the remainder of the puzzle.
Look at the rows or columns that already have one or two numbers in them, and then consider which ones might fit in the empty boxes.
Also, while explaining the rules of the puzzles, let kids try to apply them right away to a grid.
They are more likely to understand the rules and dynamics of the game faster through active experience. It is also more exciting to them and it can spark their interest in trying to solve the puzzles by themselves.
Let them make mistakes. Yet, take each opportunity to teach them. Reinforce the idea they cannot duplicate a number or a letter. Call their attention to the clues.
However, if the kid has a hard time or is intimidated by numbers, try using pictures or colors instead. The goal will remain the same, and you’ll just be replacing the numerical figures with something more familiar to your child.
It is very important to teach your children that mastering sudoku takes time and practice. Encourage them to keep trying and progress to more complex levels as they feel comfortable and need extra challenges. It will keep their minds sharp and prevent them from feeling bored.