Fun for the whole house
While you concentrate on finding all the sky pieces, your partner puts one piece in their back pocket so they can heroically put the last one in, and we all scream with joy every time we find an edge. Meanwhile, the puzzle of just the kids just arrived at granny & gramps’ house to brighten their days spent at home…
Apart from being fun, working on solving jigsaw puzzles improves brain functioning in early childhood development and aids us all in sharpening our cognitive abilities. Brain games are a great way to keep your mind active in times of isolation and social distancing. There are three main cognitive benefits to puzzling: physical, mental and emotional, according to Education Researcher, Michelle Manno.
How can puzzles improve brain functionality?
- Physical: Physically, the human brain is challenged by puzzles as they can improve hand-eye coordination. When you see a puzzle piece with your eyes, your brain analyzes not only the colour and pattern information – but also its shape. Then your brain triggers movement of your hands which results in improved motor skills.
- Mental: Cognitively, solving a jigsaw puzzle improves your memory! We find that our day-to-day is so BUSY. By taking the time to focus all of your attention on one thing in your day, your brain makes stronger memory connections. This in turn improves your overall problem solving skills as you become more effective at focusing your attention on the task at hand.
- Emotional: On an emotional level, doing a puzzle is a true test of your patience. When you start a puzzle, you are setting a short-term goal that you can actively monitor progress on. The world has come to a standstill; many tasks and activities that we would normally be able to do effortlessly throughout our days – like grocery shopping – have now turned into major “outings,” and easily take three times as long. Exercising your patience is an important skill to practice now more than ever.
Deep life lessons in puzzling
- Always start with the edge pieces because once you create the frame, the rest will fall into place.
- If a piece doesn’t fit, don’t force it – the right one will come along.
- When you are trying to put something back together, look at the pieces one at a time and stay organized. Soon the picture will become clear.
- Take a moment to admire the completed picture when you are finished, be grateful for all of the pieces that had to fit perfectly together, and be proud of what you accomplished.
How to choose the puzzle-perfect image
Choosing the right photo from your gallery is essential! Here are some tips to picking the best image for your puzzle!
- Subjects: Check the composition of the subjects in your image (the people in the photo). We love mid-range close ups of subjects for puzzles so when the image is printed the subjects are clear and easy to see.
- Colour: Make sure that you pick a photo with an interesting colour scheme. A pop of bright colour – like a yellow dress – can be fun to incorporate into a puzzle to give the kids something to work towards finding all the pieces for!
- Open space: Choose a photo with minimal open space like blue sky or sandy beaches. Choosing an image where the background is varied in terms of texture and colour (like a forest or city with buildings in the background) will make the puzzle more interesting and easier to complete.
Even though pieces of the world are apart right now, we feel a collective spirit rising up. As we spend more time inside, ignite the feeling of closeness from past travels and spark conversations about future adventures. Help each other put the pieces of your vacation back together with a puzzle of your beloved travel memories for your home.