The Mental Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

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Do you enjoy board games and wood crafts, or jigsaw puzzles? Many people do, and the appeal is clear. Easy 300 piece jigsaw puzzles are a great way to keep a kid occupied and give them some mental exercise, but 300 piece jigsaw puzzles may be a little too easy for the parents. So, they can find 750 piece jigsaw puzzles, or for a real challenge, get their hands on a 2000 piece puzzle. Not only are 300 piece jigsaw puzzles good fun for kids, but they are also quite affordable, and they provide mental health boosts of all kinds. So, when it comes to moderately difficult puzzles, an older child may get a proper challenge, and puzzle lovers can try their hand with some of the biggest and meanest puzzles around, and see if they can get the complete picture. And on a related note, what are some health benefits of playing board games in general? You might be pleasantly surprised by the answers.

All About Puzzles

The very idea of puzzles, speaking broadly, goes back to the Greeks, when Archimedes mentioned the dissection of a square in 250 BC. Fast forward a bit, and you find simple wood puzzles that English kids had in the early 1800s, which could be used to assemble a map of the British Empire. Puzzles as we know them today came up around the early 1900s or so, and they were popular then as they are now. Puzzles are very affordable, and just about anyone can buy a puzzle box and play with the puzzle over and over, making them a great budget-oriented hobby. What is more, puzzles don’t need electricity and don’t have moving parts or sharp edges, so they are totally safe for even little kids to use. Just make sure your kids don’t try to swallow tiny puzzle pieces.

Now, what are those health benefits of playing with 300 piece jigsaw puzzles or monster 1000 piece puzzles? Children need to get a lot of physical and mental exercise alike, and puzzles can do their part to exercise a child’s creativity and problem-solving skills. Assembling all the pieces of a puzzle will exercise a kid’s brain just fine, and the child may feel great about themselves when they finish 300 piece jigsaw puzzles or 500 piece puzzles all on their own. A few kids can work together to assembled bigger puzzles as a group activity, too.

Scientific research can back all this up. For example, research shows that doing puzzles will activate a person’s brain while relaxing them psychologically, and this is a practically meditative state (and the health benefits of meditation are well documented). In fact, the neurotransmitter dopamine is known to activate when playing board games such as puzzles, making them fun, especially when the puzzle is completed. This may be true for a puzzle player of any age.

What is more, mental exercises can help an Alzheimer’s patient, no drugs needed. This isn’t to say that puzzles are a miracle cure; rather, doing puzzles and similar mental exercises can activate the brain and actually slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions. Studies have confirmed that mental stimulation such as puzzles, crossword puzzles, and regular social interaction can help slow down Alzheimer’s progress. That, and an Alzheimer’s patient can simply have fun interacting with family and doing puzzles.

Related Board Games

A lot of this is true of board games in general, which vary widely in content, intended age group, and complexity. Many board games are made for kids, which feature colorful boards and pieces and simple gameplay to introduce them to the world of tabletop gaming. Parents may like how these games keep kids away from electronic screens for hours on end (many surveyed parents say that their kid are using screens too much). Meanwhile, other board games are meant for older players and can easily occupy players for hours at a time, ranging from sports board games to tabletop war games that use miniature figurines (such as Civil War games or World War II miniatures games). These can teach strategy, risk evaluation, critical thinking, teamwork, good sportsmanship, and more, and no electronic screens are needed. Collecting and painting game miniatures can be a hobby in itself, too.

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