Who doesn’t want improved neurological health, better cognitive performance, higher mental aptitude… You know, get a better brain box and stuff!
There are a wide range of products and activities that make an even wider range of claims on how they’ll whip your noggin into shape. However, there is some dispute over whether their efficacy is exaggerated and the accuracy of results from testing and scoring these various fields of cognitive ability.
What is known, and this knowledge is reinforced by this contested field with experts and scientists arguing from all sides, is that that human brain is a complex muscle, an intricate organ, a practically magical spongy ball of smarts that we are still coming to understand. Keeping this still mysterious tool active and engaged is not a bad thing; definitely not detrimental to health or ability, on that we can all agree. Even if certain products won’t raise your IQ to Einstein levels, even if some tests are only narrowly applicable, keeping your brain engaged is definitely a positive!
While software and interactive programs have become increasingly popular – and hotly contested over their claims – in recent years, there have always been activities that keep the mind sharp. Last time we discussed the merits of Chess, and this week we come to jigsaw puzzles. [If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!]
Jigsaw puzzles have been the gym equipment of the brain for decades, and there is substantial evidence that they help maintain, if not in fact improve, mental well-being. Jigsaws are more than just shaped pieces that interlock to form a completed picture, they are PUZZLES that challenge our brains! They challenge our shape recognition and our spatial intelligence, they stimulate fine motor skills and encourage creative thinking, they require focus and a developing ability to problem solve while exercising both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Through exercising these skills, the brain is strengthened via its natural process of attempting to increase efficiency in a repeated activity.
At Serious Puzzles we offer a huge variety of products under the Jigsaw Puzzle umbrella, and below are just some of the ones that fit the more standard definition. Jigsaws can incorporate a lot of additional aspects and factors, but that shouldn’t undercut the effectiveness of what is commonly understood as a jigsaw puzzle.
Heavenly Peace – Featuring art by James Meger, this puzzle depicts a charming winter scene with beautiful fallen snow, curious wildlife, a cozy cottage, and a traditional Christmas theme. Its 1500 piece count offers a significant step up from the challenge level of the average jigsaw, and like all Sunsout puzzles it was made in the USA.
Cookie Cutouts – This cheerfully colorful collection of Christmas cookies boasts a 2000 piece count and repeating patterns of designs and colors for a serious challenge with a seasonal flair. A reissue of a classic puzzle image, this puzzle is perfect for sharpening the mind on a cold winter’s night or in a warm, cookie-smell filled kitchen! As with all Springbok puzzles it was made in the USA.
Coral City – Piece yourself away to a magical underwater kingdom through this beautifully blue jigsaw puzzle featuring artwork by the beloved Fantasy artist, Ciro Marchetti. The heavy use of blue shades strengthens the challenge of this jigsaw, while the 1000 piece count offers accessibility to most puzzlers. Spiel Spass puzzles are made in Germany
Double Retrospect – Keith Harings recognizable artistic style pairs with a monstrous piece count to form the Guiness World Record holder for largest jigsaw puzzle, though it’s more like a jigsaw wall or a puzzle mural! If you don’t think you’re up for breaking the World Record of 1000+ completed jigsaws, you can at least get a feel for record breaking puzzling by completing this epic project. Get ready for a brain workout! This is like the marathon of jigsaw puzzling!
Whether they feature an epic size or complex imagery or feel more along the lines of the standard fare, jigsaw puzzles will always exercise the most important muscle we’ve got. Take your pick, the choices are numerous, and introduce some brain-strengthening fun to your life or even into this Holiday Season’s gift giving!