Each year on January 29th, National Puzzle Day recognizes how exercising our brains with puzzles is just one of its many benefits.
Whether it’s a crossword, jigsaw, trivia, word searches, brain teasers or Sudoku, puzzles put our minds to work. Studies have found that when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, we use both sides of the brain. And spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills.
Word searches and crossword puzzles have the obvious benefit of increasing vocabulary and language skills. Sudoku, a puzzle sequencing a set of numbers on a grid, exercises the brain as well. By testing memory and logical thinking, this puzzle stimulates the brain and can improve number skills.
Puzzles also offer social benefits. When we work on these brain teasers with someone, we improve our social interactions. Whether we join a group or play with our children, those interactions keep us socially active and teach our children social skills, too. Even working them quietly together provides an opportunity to focus the mind in a meditative way that isn’t forced.
The bottom line is, puzzles stimulate the brain, keeping it active, and practicing its skills.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPuzzleDay
Spend time putting together a jigsaw puzzle with a friend, or grab a cup of coffee and complete a Sudoku or crossword puzzle. Use #NationalPuzzleDay to post on social media.
Visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for numerous puzzles that celebrate the days.
NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY HISTORY
In 2002, Jodi Jill created National Puzzle Day as a way to share her enjoyment of puzzles. As a syndicated newspaper puzzle maker and professional quiz maker, Jodi Jill developed classroom lesson plans especially for the observance and the popularity has grown year after year.
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