It’s Puzzle Day!!
I’m so glad puzzles have a National day! Puzzle building is one of my favorite pastimes. Growing up we were always building puzzles at home. My parents had this big old hefty desk. It was part of the furniture set they got from my mother’s grandfather as a Wedding present. He had a furniture store. ALL that furniture was big and heavy. Anyway, the desk was seldom used for writing bills or doing taxes. It almost always had a big and difficult puzzle going on it. My dad loved making puzzles and continued to make them until just before he passed away, even in ICU! We also did simpler puzzles on the kitchen table after supper if my dad just wanted one we could complete in an hour or so. Those were usually only 300 – 500 pieces.
According to National Day Calendar, Puzzle Day can be a crossword, jigsaw, trivia, word searches, brain teasers or Sudoku.
Why the Jigsaw Puzzle is Different
The jigsaw puzzle is known to work both sides of the brain at the same time. Spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills.
Crossword puzzles and word searches increase vocabulary.
Sudoku exercises the brain as well. By testing memory and logical thinking, this puzzle stimulates the brain and can improve number skills.
My uncle and all his children all work sudoku puzzles. They talk about the puzzles they are working. They are engineers and a college math professor. A natural fit for them.
Puzzles and Kids – a natural combo
I would hazard to say that if a child has toys, he has puzzles. Puzzles have been given for avery long time as parents instinctively knew that not only does it occupy their time but the child is gaining skills along the way. Because we built puzzles regularly from a child on up, I look at puzzles differently. I look at colors, shades, shapes, size and THEN pick up the piece. I know what I’m looking for before I even pick up a piece. As an adult I can look at a color and say, no, that’s off, that color we saw (or at home) was more this or that. Why? Because we spent SO much time as a child learning to see the differences in shades and hues. It helped with my spacial relations. When I applied for college and they tested me, I scored nearly 100% on spacial relations and mechanical reasoning. All because we built endless puzzles.
Completing puzzles builds confidence. When a person finishes a puzzle they enjoy a sense of accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment builds confidence.
That being said, if a puzzle is too easy, it will not work the areas of the brain as those that are challenging but still doable. If they are so hard the participant cannot finish it, there’s no enjoyment and confidence can be dulled over time. So choose those that challenge but don’t discourage. My dad never asked us to help with his really hard puzzles on the desk. But he never discouraged us, either. It was there if we wanted to challenge
Mix it Up
While Sudoku and some crossword puzzles are not my
As we Age
Studies have shown repeatedly that puzzle building helps keep the mind sharp. It helps keep the mind alert. The brain doesn’t get lazy and slide into dementia. And even caretakers of people with
So today grab out a puzzle of some type and work it. If you have a family, pull one out that all can do and work on it after supper. At least in my area it will be WAY too cold to do anything outside. We are being encouraged to stay inside in the next couple days due to temps below zero and the windchill temp way below zero. A puzzle with a cup of warm cocoa or hot tea sounds like a wonderful way to while away the evening.
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