Jigsaw Puzzles and Brain Training
The Right Fit!
Jigsaw puzzles are excellent brain training and coordination improvement tools and are quite fun! In particular, they develop your abilities to reason, analyze, sequence, deduce, logical thought processes, and problem-solving skills. These types of puzzles also improve hand-eye coordination and develop a good working sense of spatial arrangements. In schools and other training establishments, jigsaw puzzles are extensively used as learning aids.
Basically, a jigsaw puzzle is a picture, usually pasted on a thin sheet of cardboard or wood and then cut into multiple pieces. These pieces are mixed together and strewn all over. The actual puzzle is rearranging the piece to reproduce the original picture. The first puzzles were probably made in Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Various pictures and images like maps, alphabets, multiplication tables, historical events, great people, and even biblical passages came to be used in these puzzles. By the first quarter of the 20th century, wooden jigsaw puzzles began appearing. Passing through various crests and troughs in popularity, these puzzles still continue to engage young and old alike even in today’s tech toy world.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Brain Training
Jigsaw puzzles provide real fodder for brain exercise and training. When you solve a jigsaw puzzle, you are engaging your brain to retain information on shapes and colors in order to choose pieces that will fit together properly. This entire hunt for pieces denotes that your brain will need to memorize what each piece looks like or should look like and what kinds of pieces you are searching for in order to complete the picture. Doing this repeatedly reinforces short-term memory. For other brain, training options go to our Brain Teasers or Brain Training pages.
For added difficulty and thus better memory results you can use the ‘blind’ technique in solving yours. With this approach, you can only stare at the image on the face of the jigsaw puzzle box when you initially start solving your puzzle. After that, you have to work from memory to rearrange the pieces and complete the visual. It’s really very tricky, but once you complete it, you’ll have flexed your memory centers and strengthened their connections. You’ll also get a tremendous sense of satisfaction and feel proud about the power of your brain in memorizing things and constructing visuals, ‘blindfolded’.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids
Jigsaw puzzles can create classic brain-based learning experiences for children. The geographical phenomenon, historical events, important places and persons, the solar system, famous landmarks, etc have been developed and marketed as puzzles, and children take a great interest in solving them. Through these exercises, the brain’s recognition, retention, and restructuring skills are put to extensive exercise and test. In the course of things, the more a child correlates his prior knowledge with the puzzle-solving experience, the more educational value is gained.
Jigsaw puzzles not only help to sharpen memory, but they also help in improving spatial coordination and better observation skills. When solving these puzzles the brain triggers these functions most. In practical life, these spatial coordination skills can help in areas like arranging efficient utilization of space (like packing luggage) or understanding that a square peg does not fit into a round hole. Recollection and various psychological activities are also considerably enhanced with extensive jigsaw puzzle solving.