You have a tower of 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles in the basement. Most of them have been put together once, typically over a winter break or unexpected set of snow days. Days when you could not, or did not want, to get out of the house. There have been times when you were tempted to frame your puzzle once it was completed, but you have never done that. Instead you take the puzzle apart, all 1000 pieces, return them to the box, and make add the stack to the tower of other boxes in the basement.
There has, however, been one exception. A friend of your youngest daughter’s gave your family one of the greatest 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. This friend knows that your family is traveling to Greece this summer so she gave you a puzzle of one of the more iconic scenes of the islands where you will be visiting. That puzzle has stayed on display on the sofa table in the family room. Once it was completed, the girls wanted to keep the puzzle in the room so that it could serve as a daily reminder of the trip that will start your summer.
Difficult Puzzles are Great Rainy Day and Snowy Weekend Activities
If your children are too old for craft kits and sports board games, then it might be time to move them on to more challenging tasks like moderately difficult puzzles and then on to the harder 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. In addition to being able to keep everyone entertained, puzzles make sure that the brain is actively engaged. Consider some of these facts about the benefits of working the puzzle and keeping the brain engaged:
- The oldest known puzzle is a dissection of a square mentioned by Archimedes in the year 250 BC.
- The brain makes the most connections among its cells before a child is age 10.
- An active body makes for an active brain, so the best educators, and parents, know to make learning a hands-on affair.
- Movement gets the brain going, even the small movement of picking up and placing a puzzle piece.
- Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is produced when doing puzzles.
- Putting the brain into a meditative state, research shows that puzzles activate the brain while relaxing a person psychologically.
Whether you sell them after they have been put together for the first time or keep them on display on a sofa table or in a frame, a difficult jigsaw puzzle is a great activity that keeps people actively engaged in a group task that also allows for long conversations.