On Monday 29th January 2018, the nation will be improving their intellect and cultivating their craniums in honour of National Puzzle Day, the event that celebrates all things mind boggling! From crosswords to Rubik’s Cubes, sudokus to jigsaws, all are encouraged to ditch the Xbox and embrace the traditional pastime that will keep you puzzled with the hashtag, #NationalPuzzleDay.
To celebrate National Puzzle Day, Gibsons, the independent, family-owned British jigsaw puzzle and games company, are giving away a free jigsaw when £20 is spent at Jigsaw Puzzles Direct, the online jigsaw puzzle retailer. Jigsaw puzzles are currently seeing a huge resurgence as families are choosing to turn off their screens and spend time playing a game or completing a jigsaw instead. Jigsaws aren’t just a fun family pastime – completing them generates an array of benefits, both mentally and physically:
Improves problem solving skills: There is one task when puzzling – to join the pieces up to create the image. Although there are many different options, there is only one correct solution which motivates all to see the challenge through.
Meditative benefits – Completing a jigsaw has a similar affect to meditation as it generates a sense calmness and peace. Because our minds are focused, we find ourselves concentrating on the puzzle alone which empties our brains of the stresses and anxieties that we face every day.
Improves your attention: Jigsaw puzzles are known for the addictive affect they have on those who try to complete them. Once you start, you simply can’t stop! The varying colours, shapes and sizes of the pieces hold the attention of even the most impatient of people.
Fine motor skills: Jigsaw puzzles are fantastic when improving fine motor skills which is why they are often completed by toddlers and young children. Yet this is still relevant for adults as the small pieces require people to work carefully to slot the pieces together.
Harnesses brain power: completing a jigsaw works both sides of your brain, the left hand-side that thinks logically and the right; the creative, intuitive and emotional side. So, when you piece together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both brainpowers.
Memory improvement: Jigsaws have been proven to sharpen our memories as puzzlers must remember where a certain piece fits within the wider picture, which can be tricky if you have had a break for a week or two.
Social skills: completing a jigsaw with a friend or family member promotes discussion and interaction as team work is essential for finishing a tricky puzzle!
Independence: completing a jigsaw puzzle is also a fantastic solo pastime, especially for those who live alone. The hobby is so absorbing that hours can whizz by without you realising!
Perseverance and resilience: Jigsaw puzzles are hard to complete and the satisfaction one feels after slotting in the final piece of a frustrating jigsaw is second to know. Completing a jigsaw requires persistence and is an important lesson for all ages.
Traditional fun: In 2018, we are swamped by technology and there are now very few hobbies that don’t require an app, TV or element of digital technology to enhance them. Completing a jigsaw puzzle is a fun and entertaining pastime that enjoyed without any kind of electronic involvement. It can completely segregate you from the digital world which, in a world dominated by tweets, trends and snapchat stories, can be essential to our mental well-being.