Games and Puzzles

The One Hobby Your Family Needs Right Now

As many of us have been spending more time at home these days due to the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the need for distractions that are both calming and creative has become all the more urgent. Though Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services can help to while away the hours, television isn't the panacea we hoped it would be. We want a pastime that will help pass the time, sure, but one that will also leave us improved for the effort. It's a big ask, but it turns out there is a hobby that accomplishes exactly that: jigsaw puzzles.

Related: How to Relax in the Comfort of Your Own Home 

Jigsaw puzzles have become such a hot commodity during the quarantine that some stores are completely sold out, and it's easy to understand why. Puzzles are cheap, family-friendly, and offer a sense of accomplishment at a time when many other goals have fallen by the wayside. But jigsaw puzzles are more than just a way to get your kids to unplug from their devices (hopefully). 

Jigsaw puzzles have a surprising impact on brain health.  By challenging our short-term memory to determine which pieces might fit together, we give it a boost, as well as improve our problem-solving skills. It turns out that trying to find that perfect match is actually forcing us to form theories and test hypotheses as well as giving our visual-spatial reasoning a workout. If that all sounds impressive, it is — or at least the potential results are. Studies have found that doing jigsaw puzzles can delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Conversely, watching three or more hours of television a day as a habit can lead to worsened cognitive performance

Time to look in the closet for that thousand-piecer, isn't it? 

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