Growing up as an only child, I didn’t really have anyone to play with as a kid. Entertaining myself was, well, a me problem. Please note that I was still growing up before the major era of technology, so playing games on an iPad or computer was not really a thing. But anyways, being a lonely kid without technology meant that I really enjoyed activities that I could do alone. What does that mean? I loved jigsaw puzzles.
I love jigsaw puzzles to this day. When I am very stressed with work and classes, there is nothing better than taking an hour off and putting together a picture. That’s the other thing: When you finish a jigsaw puzzle you have a pretty picture you can hang on a wall! And there are so many cool options to choose from. This one hangs in my kitchen and puts a smile on my face every time I look at it. I also like that puzzles are something that you can work on for hours and not get tired, or you can spend as little as 30 minutes a day on it and still feel like you are making progress.
In terms of brands, I am a loyal fan of Buffalo Games’ jigsaw puzzles. I have tried puzzles from other brands, and found none of them to be as good. How am I judging puzzle quality? Well one simple thing: how easy it is to tell whether two pieces go together. For Christmas a few years ago, I got a 4000-piece jigsaw puzzle (of a different brand), which was gorgeous. The problem with it was that it was impossible to tell whether two pieces actually go together. I had to look at the pieces and make sure they align to the millimeter. And sometimes even when they did perfectly align, I later realized that the piece didn’t actually go there. Now imagine doing this on a jigsaw puzzle where half of it is just the sky, which is basically the same color. That was not the best experience ever. That is not a problem I ever encountered with the Buffalo Games puzzles, so those are the ones that I continued buying. They also have a wide variety of collections, from dogs and cats to city scenery. They also have some fun quarantine themed jigsaw puzzles!
It also doesn’t have to be an activity you do by yourself! Although personally, I find jigsaw puzzles most therapeutic when I do them by myself, it is also a fun activity to do with others. You will also have a keepsake from the fun experience! It is also a great thing to do while catching up with someone.
In case you do not believe me, there are plenty of benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles provided by people who actually know what they are talking about (you can just Google this). For example, according to an article from the Baylor College of Medicine, doing puzzles can improve memory and help reduce stress. Studies have also shown that “doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving. Using the puzzle as an exercise of the mind can spark imagination and increase both your creativity and productivity,” according to the article.
What is also pretty great about jigsaw puzzles is that they are not too expensive, especially if you look for them on sale. There are also a lot of jigsaw puzzles in second-hand sale groups, since some people actually take apart the jigsaw puzzles they collected (I am not going to get into this, but those people are monsters).
Overall, jigsaw puzzles are cheaper than therapy and bring a lot of joy and benefits. Look at these cute cats.