Educational Benefits of Haba Layer Puzzles

Haba make some beautiful wooden puzzles. Two of our favourites are the Colours & Shapes 3 Layer Puzzle and the First Numbers 3 Layer Puzzle. Both of these puzzles are full of learning opportunities for little ones. We have included some ideas on how to include them in play highlighting just how valuable they can be for education and development.


The bottom layer is five solid colours (red, green, blue, yellow and orange). The middle layers each have a shape with the corresponding colour (circle, triangle, square, star and diamond). The top layer has an image which also matches the colour and the shape (book, tree, balloon, star and kite). For example, red has a solid red colour on the base, then a red circle on the middle piece and a red circle shaped balloon on the top piece.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learning colours – To complete the puzzles correctly, the correct colours need to be placed on top of each other.
  • Learning shapes in our environment – By matching the 2D shape with the corresponding image, children can begin to understand how shapes exist in the world around us e.g. a book can be a square or a kite can be a diamond. 


The bottom layer has dots to represent each number (one on the left to five on the right). The middle layer has the number of objects to match (one sun, two snails, three flowers, four apples and five butterflies). The top layer shows the numerals from one through to five. The colours of these puzzle pieces also match to assist in correct placement (yellow, blue, orange, green and pink).
Learning outcomes:
  • One to one correspondence to five – There are two opportunities to count objects to five with the bottom layer being dots and the middle layer being images.
  • Understanding the relationship between counting objects and the numeral.
  • Fine motor skill development – Placing the puzzle pieces in correctly to ensure they fit flat.
  • Visual perception – Understanding which pieces go in first as the middle layer is slightly smaller in size than the top layer.
  • You can create a game of memory by turning the 10 pieces of either puzzle over and matching them to their corresponding piece.
  • You can create a large memory game by combining the two puzzle’s pieces as they both use the same five colours.
  • You can use the pieces for sorting – shapes/pictures or numerals/objects. You can even combine both puzzles and sort number/shape/object.
  • Colour identification - Find items around the house that match the colours shown on the puzzle pieces.
These puzzles are more than just a puzzle - they make learning fun!

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