The Mental Benefits of a Puzzle



Some hobby items or toys have endured in popularity for many decades, from the Hula Hoop and various board game titles to jigsaw puzzles. But these are not just toys for kids or a way to pass an afternoon (though they are those things, too). These puzzles can serve as substantial mental stimulation for the young and old alike, and everyone in between, and there are more health benefits to doing puzzles than some may realize. Tough puzzles and hard puzzles with many pieces, such as a huge 1000 piece puzzle frame or even a 2000 piece puzzle will make for a real challenge, and for younger players of puzzles, 300 piece jigsaw puzzles are probably the best level of challenge. What is more, completing jigsaw puzzles and similar games and activities makes for a good substitute for the constant use of electronic screens common today, and getting kids used to non-electronic forms of entertainment can have the benefit of getting them used to more physical and tangible work, and this, combined with other lifestyle factors, means that 300 piece jigsaw puzzles and more can make for a healthier lifestyle that is not based on constant PC or handheld game use. And for older adults, 300 piece jigsaw puzzles and bigger ones can keep a brain strong and healthy. How does this work?

The Nature of Puzzles

It can be argued that the very first puzzle was a dissection of a square that Archimedes wrote about in 250 BC, but in a slightly more modern sense, British kids were given simple puzzles with large pieces that were used to assemble maps of the British Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By the 1900s in the UK and the United States, puzzles as people know them began to appear in earnest, and a wide variety of images can appear on them and a puzzle may be more or less challenging based on the total number of pieces as well as the image itself. Some of the most challenging puzzles have little color variance among the pieces, such as a jigsaw puzzle of a blue sky with a few wispy clouds. Puzzles are inexpensive, too, being just a sheet of cardboard with an image printed on it, then cut into pieces that go together, a nice contrast to expensive computer and video games that are often expensive to buy (not to mention the consoles themselves). Puzzles are also durable, and will not have any maintenance issues unless pieces are bent or get wet, and may last for many years simply by being stored in their boxes. 300 piece jigsaw puzzles and bigger puzzles are clearly convenient. But how can they stimulate the mind for a player, young or old?

The Health Benefits

Computer games and handheld electronic games not only douse the eyes with a lot of blue light (which can in fact interfere with sleep), but they are not tactile outside pressing buttons or moving joysticks, and the human mind and body are designed to be stimulated more physically, anything from sports and martial arts to using physical toys, which certainly includes puzzles. The human body is simply meant to move, and this is essential to the correct formation of neurons, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills for young kids, and these skills can be maintained by adults who get the right stimulation through any number of sports, martial arts, and physical hobbies or toys like puzzles.

Puzzles are physical in the sense that they require the constant motion of picking up pieces and placing them in the correct spot on the puzzle. What is more, this involves the mental stimulation and problem-solving skills of seeing how different pieces come together to form a single image, and this can even help develop spatial awareness and creativity in kids, and help maintain these mental faculties in adults, including the elderly. In fact, puzzles and activities like 300 piece jigsaw puzzles have been demonstrated to help slow down the effects of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, by stimulating the mind. Other activities like maintaining strong social bonds can also have this effect, and a puzzle has the benefit of being cost-friendly, easy to store, and durable.

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