The Brain Benefits of Puzzles
We recently have been putting a lot of puzzles on our web site. As I was thinking about the puzzles I realized how fun they are how they must engage your brain. I decided to look up puzzles and the brain. I found tons of sites on all kinds of puzzles that you could buy or down load for free. Most of the sites say that their puzzles challenge and tease your brain, and improve your skills, but very few talk about how puzzles improve your brain.
After much searching using various key words I finally found a few sites. This is what I found; in 1767, John Spilsbury, a mapmaker and British engraver, put a map of Europe on a sheet of wood, sawing around each country. He used this as a way to teach geography. Soon the puzzle caught on but mostly for entertainment. When power tools were invented the interlocking puzzle pieces became popular. Newspapers and Magazines have found that publishing puzzles increases the number of their subscriptions.
Wikipedia says, “A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver”. There are many different kinds of puzzles. There are word searches, riddles, mental games, slider puzzles, matching games, optical illusions, sudoku, Rubik’s cube, and many, many others. Some of you may remember the Chinese puzzle boxes that were used to hide jewelry. To open them you would have to pull little levers and slide pieces of the box in a certain order before you could open the wooden box.
One year we got a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building. Our whole family spent weeks and weeks putting it together. We had a lot of fun spending time with each other and working together to get this thing constructed. It almost became consuming. We finally got it assembled and put it in an honored place on our bookshelf.
Puzzles are excellent for training your brain. They stimulate mathematical and logistical problem solving. They help to improve your abilities to analyze, deduce, reason, sequence, and help to develop problem-solving skills. Jigsaw puzzles in particular help your sense of spatial arrangements and improve eye-hand co-ordination. Puzzles are used in many training establishments and schools as learning aids.
I think that most people love puzzles of one from or another. They are great for kids of all ages. My daughter gave me a Nintendo DS for Christmas 2 years ago. She gave me the brain training game. I thought that I would never like the sudoku game as it was a numbers game, but found that I love it and keep it in my purse. I try to play it regularly to exercise my brain. Plus, it’s fun.