Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles have been around for 100's of years and have been a popular pastime for both adults and children since the early 1900s.
And puzzling isn't just a great way to pass the time. There are loads of benefits to jigsaw puzzles for both children and adults.
Why children should be playing them
The benefits of jigsaw puzzles in children are enormous. Completing a jigsaw puzzle has one aim, to fit all the pieces together in the correct order. Achieving this goal requires kids (and adults) to employ problem-solving and reasoning skills.
Playing with puzzles, even simple peg puzzles given to toddlers, is great for cognitive development. Children focus on a theme whether it's letters, numbers, shapes, or animals while at the same time gaining visual and spatial awareness.
Puzzles are a great way for kids to practice fine motor skills and work on their hand-eye coordination. Plus providing you choose an age and developmentally appropriate puzzle they are great for building confidence and self-esteem.
The ideal puzzle is one that requires a bit of patience and practice but something that they can achieve. They'll probably need a bit of help, to begin with, but you might be surprised how long kids will concentrate on a puzzle and how great they are at problem-solving.
It might surprise you to know that all the benefits that children get from doing puzzles apply to adults as well. OK, so the puzzles need to be harder but you're still working on your problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and perseverance.
Completing puzzles on a regular basis improves visual-spatial reasoning just like it did when you were a kid. This helps with all sorts of things from parking the car to reading a map or packing to go away on holiday.
Puzzling has a meditative effect that can be a great stress reliever, read for on why puzzles are relaxing here, and they are great for improving memory and attention. Plus piecing together a puzzle requires both the logical, left-hand side of the brain and the creative, intuitive, right-hand side of the brain to work together.
And in fact studies have shown that keeping the brain active and problem-solving in the way you do when puzzling can help with delaying the symptoms of altzhiemers and dementia. Not to mention the fact that it improves your IQ.
If you have a job that requires a lot of attention to detail, doing a puzzle can be a great way to both unwind and to exercise that part of the brain, especially if you choose a jigsaw with lots of tiny pieces that all look alike.
A great activity for the whole family
Puzzles can also be a really social activity and a lovely way to spend time together as a family. Puzzling together requires interaction, discussion and teamwork, and there's a great sense of achievement when you finally finish a tricky puzzle. It's also a great way to unwind together and enjoy a bit of quiet time without putting on the TV.