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Why jigsaws aren’t just for fun – they’re also good for your health

27 July 2020

If you’re into puzzles, you probably already know how compelling a good jigsaw puzzle can be. Whether you’re completing it alone or with family or friends, time can fly by! Jigsaws are fun activities for kids at home, too. But they also have other long-lasting benefits, such as helping with brain function, encouraging mindfulness and supporting early childhood development. 

Doing jigsaw puzzles can help the brain to function

When we’re doing jigsaws, we use both the left (‘analytical’) and right (‘creative’) sides of the brain. This strengthens connections between them, increasing our capacity to learn, understand and remember things. We’re also using our memory, as well as our problem-solving, visual perception and spatial awareness skills, to complete the picture.

Puzzles are good for your health

We know that physical exercise helps us to keep healthy, but there is also increasing evidence that exercise to keep our brains fit is just as important. ‘Brain training’ involves doing puzzles and activities that stimulate the brain. Jigsaw puzzles are a form of this. Think of them as a kind of brain athletics!

Focusing on a jigsaw is a form of mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of noticing what’s happening right now in our bodies, and how we’re feeling. It’s a useful skill to have in this fast-paced, technology-dependent world. Many people use colouring books for adults as a form of mindfulness meditation, but did you know that doing jigsaw puzzles can have a similar effect to mindful colouring? Being wholly focused on the puzzle in front of us can give us a break from stresses and distractions and nurture a calming ‘flow’ state. This can help us to face the challenges of our daily lives, deal with difficult emotions and make decisions.

Jigsaw puzzles assist early childhood development

It’s not only adults who benefit from jigsaw puzzles. They’re also excellent creative and mindfulness activities for kids. What’s more, they help young children to develop key skillsincluding hand–eye coordination, spatial awareness, visual perception and fine motor skills (small movements largely in the hands and fingers). Children’s jigsaws usually have larger pieces, perfect for little hands to practise gripping and connecting.

Are you feeling inspired to stimulate your brain, practise mindfulness or assist with your child’s development? Hinkler has a great range of jigsaws to suit everybody, from our 100-piece children’s jigsaws to our popular adult Mindbogglers puzzles, including the new 2000-piece deluxe collectionwith exquisite original artwork. 

Happy puzzling!