Last Christmas my children said they had the best family day, not because of huge piles of expensive presents, but the fact that we sat around the table after dinner with games and puzzles. My daughter asked for a Rubik's Cube, we had a maze puzzle game and also a few big jigsaw puzzle to do. Actually doing jigsaw puzzles, surprisingly, have plenty of benefits for your mental health and well being - you can pick them up in shops like The Works who have great variety of discount jigsaws, perfect for all age groups:
A work-out for your brain
A jigsaw puzzle is a full on mental workout! That's why experts say that people who do puzzles can decrease the chances of developing Alzheimer’s, memory loss or dementia in older age. From simple wooden puzzles for toddlers to 1000-piece jigsaws they're really is something for all ages.
When you are sat down, doing a puzzle your full focus will be on the puzzle. Our brains are often so busy with other day-today thoughts - it is an activity that you can really lose yourself in.
Whether you sit around the table with the kids or have a puzzle tray on your lap, jigsaws are a pretty good thing to relax and chill out with. Put some music on or just enjoy the silence. Family's rarely all sit down together these days, it is a great way to reconnect.
We have an Xbox and smart phones. The Xbox gets used every day, my son is a huge Minecraft fan and my girls use their phones to watch YouTube and Face Time their friends. Getting stuck into a jigsaw puzzle is like a good book, you'll find it hard to stop, meaning finally getting away from those screens for a while.
It is such a great buzz when you finally complete a puzzle, especially a big, complicated one. Finishing a puzzle is great for your self-esteem and if you've completed it as a family, a huge sense of teamwork.
For young kids, simple puzzles are great for those fine motor skills, teaching gripping and hand and eye coordination. For older people it keeps your hands and fingers nimble. My children have been doing puzzles since the age of two.
Let's not lie about it, some of the small-pieced fiddly puzzles could be quite frustrating. Putting puzzle pieces together is a great way to teach patience to children. Plus, bigger puzzles can be left out and added to bit by bit every day.
How many times do you find yourself sat in front of the TV of an evening, not particularly enjoying what you are watching? I often feel like I should be doing something else to keep my mind feeling fresh. Dig out those jigsaw puzzles and enjoy a new, inexpensive hobby that can be enjoyed by all ages.