6 Surprising Benefits Of Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles aren’t just a hobby or a good way to pass time and relax, they also have many health benefits. Here are 6 surprising advantages of jigsaws and instructions for how to make your own puzzle!
1. Mental Stimulation
Putting the pieces of a puzzle together is a complete brain exercise that uses both sides of the brain. The left is the logical and methodical side and the right is primarily the creative and emotional side. Doing a puzzle helps to activate both sides which enables them to communicate with each other, increasing cognitive function. Doing these sorts of activities can help to prevent cognitive decline.
2. Improved Attention To Detail
An excellent eye for detail is the most crucial ability to have when completing a puzzle, particularly if the pieces are similar. These abilities feed into our daily lives from recognising slight colour changes to the edge of a part of the image.
3. Better Problem-Solving Skills
Solving a puzzle requires brain power. From sorting the edge pieces apart from the middle to fitting the detailed parts together, it all needs a certain level of concentration. Doing this on a regular basis can help the brain to develop its problem-solving skills which will also transfer into your everyday life. It will make you more innovative in your solving of day-to-day issues and sharpen your critical thinking.
4. Increase Your IQ
A recent study by academics at the University of Michigan, under the direction of Dr. Susanne Jäggi, found that spending 25 minutes or more each day deciphering puzzles and riddles can increase IQ by up to 4 points. It was also found that these daily exercises helped in delaying memory loss and dementia.
5. Better Teamwork Skills
If you like to do puzzles with your family and friends, this is also proven to increase your collaboration skills. So much so, that it is encouraged that companies include puzzles in workplaces to help build collaboration amongst colleagues. Yale University researchers found that when workers can puzzle together at their place of work, it helped them improve their relationships and the ability to cooperate and improve their teamwork skills.
6. Decreased Stress and Better Mood
The brain produces more dopamine when you solve puzzles. Mood and optimism are controlled by this neurotransmitter. Additionally, it has an impact on motivation, memory, focus, and learning. Every time we complete a puzzle, including when we just put a piece in the right spot, dopamine is released. This motivates us to carry on and keep pushing ourselves until the task is complete, which then results in feelings of fulfilment and satisfaction.
How To Make Your Own Puzzle:
With all these benefits in mind, you may be feeling inspired to get puzzling, but what better way to start than making your own?
You will need a few basic pieces of equipment to work with on this project, and only 4 steps to follow.
Materials You Will Need:
- A printed puzzle template which you can download from here
- A few sheets of card for the back of the puzzle
- A pair of scissors
- A bottle of PVA glue
Step 1: Download a template for your puzzle. This can be found on our Love Paper Creations page.
Step 2: Print your template onto any A4 printer paper you have to hand.
TIP: Using thicker paper with a matte finish can really help make your puzzle have a better-quality finish.
Step 3: You now need to start preparing the back of your puzzle as it needs to be sturdy and robust. You can use any thin cardboard to make your pieces a little sturdier. Want to make your puzzle even more robust? Stick up to three sheets of thick card to each other. You need to ensure to let each layer dry before sticking your top layer on top of them.
TIP: Be careful not to get glue onto your top layer of the puzzle as it may damage your design.
Step 4: Once your puzzle is dry, the next step requires scissors. Use the dotted lines on your guide for cutting the puzzle. The more careful you are when cutting, the better your pieces will fit together.