Benefits of puzzles

Puzzles...what a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon! Relaxing indeed, but also mentally stimulating and educational and above all fun! Puzzles go centuries back with the first puzzle first documented in a book called The Voyage of Robert Dudley......to the West Indies in 1595! Despite puzzles being commonly embraced as a means of entertainment their benefits extent above and beyond their 'fun' aspect.


Why puzzles? What are the educational benefits however of using puzzles? Puzzles are environmentally friendly, cheap, physically neutral (as opposed to drugs), and require low levels of stress to be accomplished. Puzzles help us both relax and recharge ourselves while at the same time they help us develop our cognitive and learning skills. They constitute an easy and fun activity for all ages and most importantly research has shown that puzzles are excellent for children with light retardation or autism!


Some of the most pronounced and well known benefits are:

Puzzles teach...
1. Cognitive skills; toddlers learn shapes, colours, sizes and a form deeper understanding of how a small unit forms a part of the whole set.
2. Problem solving; even the simplest puzzles require children to think and develop a rage of approaches to achieve their goal, enhancing in addition their reasoning skills.
3. Confidence; getting a puzzle solved enhances greatly children's confidence and sense of accomplishment.


Puzzles offer...
1. Improved word power and vocabulary.
2. A great way to learn Greek.
3. A way to keep you mentally active and fit.
4. An appealing learning method for a range learning styles.

References
http://www.examiner.com/article/educational-benefits-of-puzzles
http://www.squidoo.com/kids-and-puzzles
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/benefits-of-solving-puzzles.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb00997.x/abstract