Seeing kids hunched over their gadgets and playing computer games for hours on end may seem the norm. A screen and solitude now appear to have replaced the days where children went outside, rode a bike around the block or played with the other kids in a nearby playground.
It is no different in adults, though. Apparently, we are capable of multitasking – watching TV, browsing social media and ordering online from your Smartphone. Very productive or finicky? How about some concentration and fun? Ditch your electronics for a while and do a crossword puzzle for a change.
Puzzles are not dead
If you think old-fashioned puzzles and games are dead, then you are wrong. If your looking for something to stimulate your mind, spark conversation and boost quality time together, you can find this in many quality crossword books like those from Pennydell puzzles. Puzzles come in many formats, at different levels of difficulty to suit both kids and adults. These mind-stimulating games will still be here even if giant electronic companies continue to come up with new units every month or so.
While there are already mobile apps available that you can download on your Smartphone, nothing beats playing traditional puzzles with your friends and family. Even infants and toddlers love doing simple jigsaw puzzles (even if they end up losing some of the pieces in the process). Puzzles are not only a source of entertainment and a bonding experience. They can also do a lot for your well-being.
Puzzles’ benefits for kids
Away from the lights and noise of increasingly expensive electrical toys, kids love puzzles. For one thing, infants and small children love brightly colored puzzles, blocks or books. Although the objective of a puzzle maybe easy-to-understand, mastering the use and solving the riddle or challenge is fun and helps brain development. The benefits of puzzles for kids include the following:
- Enhances problem-solving skills
- Develops motor skills
- Improves eye and hand coordination
- Encourages socialization and collaborative play
- Boosts confidence and self-esteem
Educational programs are also available online for kids to learn. However, the internet can be a dangerous place especially for young kids and unsuspecting parents, and an annoying hazard with marketers always looking for new contacts and advertisers pushing a new product. Although the internet will always be tempting and available, parents can manage the time spent by their kids online, and encourage more stimulating activities with toys and puzzles.
Puzzles’ benefits for adults
If you thought puzzles and board games were only something you played in your youth when you couldn’t think of anything else to do, then you are wrong. The board game market is forecast to grow to $12 billion globally by 2023, growing at 9 per cent per year from 2017. Playing puzzles can also provide important benefits among adults, including the following:
- Sharpens memory and lessens the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurological disorders
- Improves and boosts IQ
- Increases vocabulary and spelling skills
- Improves visual-spatial skills (e.g. deciding when to switch lanes when driving, estimating how many items can fit in a container, better directional skills)
- Reduces stress and improves work productivity
- Makes you feel challenged yet happy and fulfilled
With the advent of technology and online games, playing board games and puzzles may have waned a little bit over the years. However, a lot of people are still hardcore fans. Bookshops and toy stores still carry a wide variety of puzzles and games for kids to enjoy. Indeed, with current projections, these traditional games are here to stay.