How to Make Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle EDB Files for ClassIn
Jigsaw Puzzles: A Fun and Rewarding Hobby
Jigsaw puzzles are a type of tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of often irregularly shaped interlocking pieces, each of which typically has a portion of a picture. When assembled, the puzzle pieces produce a complete picture. Jigsaw puzzles can have various images and designs, such as scenes from nature, buildings, animals, artworks, or patterns. Jigsaw puzzles can also vary in size, shape, difficulty, and number of pieces.
Jigsaw puzzles are not only a fun and entertaining hobby, but also a beneficial one. Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition, visual-spatial reasoning, concentration, memory, problem-solving, creativity, and productivity. Jigsaw puzzles can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by providing a relaxing and mindful activity. Moreover, jigsaw puzzles can enhance social interaction by fostering collaboration, communication, and bonding among family members or friends.
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In this article, you will learn more about the history, benefits, tips, and software of jigsaw puzzles. Whether you are a beginner or an expert puzzler, you will find something interesting and useful in this article. So let's get started!
History of Jigsaw Puzzles
The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker from London, is credited with inventing the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. He called his product "dissected maps" and used them as educational tools to teach geography to children. He created eight different maps of Europe, Asia, Africa, America, England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and France.
The popularity of dissected maps soon spread to other subjects such as history, alphabets, botany, zoology, and mythology. The term "jigsaw puzzle" was coined in the late 19th century when fretsaws (also known as jigsaws) were used to cut the wooden pieces more precisely and intricately. The use of cardboard instead of wood also made the production of jigsaw puzzles cheaper and easier.
In the early 20th century, jigsaw puzzles became a mass-produced entertainment for adults as well as children. They featured colorful images of landscapes, celebrities, artworks, advertisements, or cartoons. Some companies even offered weekly or monthly puzzle subscriptions or contests with prizes. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, jigsaw puzzles provided an affordable and reusable amusement for many people.
After World War II, jigsaw puzzles continued to be popular as a leisure activity. Advances in printing technology enabled more realistic and detailed images on the puzzle pieces. New types of jigsaw puzzles emerged such as three-dimensional puzzles (including spherical or architectural ones), double-sided puzzles (with different images on each side), or irregular-shaped puzzles (with no straight edges or corners). Today, jigsaw puzzles are available in various formats such as online games or apps.
Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
Doing jigsaw puzzles can have several benefits for people of all ages. Here are some of the main benefits of jigsaw puzzles, according to various studies and sources : - Mental exercise. Doing jigsaw puzzles can be considered a complete brain exercise since it exercises both the right and left sides of the brain. The right side is in charge of creativity, emotions, and intuitive thinking, while the left side is the logical, objective, and methodical side. When you do a puzzle, both sides must communicate and work together, increasing cognitive function and neural connections. The occipital lobe, the area where the brain connects colors and shapes, is also activated. - Better visual-spatial reasoning. To assemble a puzzle, you have to see different pieces and place them within a larger image. Doing this exercise regularly helps you improve your spatial reasoning, which is the ability to understand how objects relate to each other in space. This skill is useful for many activities such as driving, packing, or playing chess. - Greater attention to detail. When solving a puzzle, especially if the pieces are very similar, you have to pay attention to small differences in colors or shapes that will help you complete the image. The ability to capture small details can help you in all aspects of your life, especially at work or school. When you are more detailed and precise, the quality of your work or learning improves. - Improved memory. Doing jigsaw puzzles strengthens neural connections and increases the generation of new connections. This increases mental speed and thought processes. When you pick up a piece, you have to search among the others for a color or shape that you have in mind and visualize the image on a large scale to see which pieces go together. When you exercise the part of the brain in charge of storing this information, it helps to maintain and improve short-term memory. - Increased IQ. Researchers from the University of Michigan, led by Dr. Susanne Jäggi, found that spending 25 minutes a day solving puzzles and riddles can raise your IQ by 4 points. This is because puzzles enhance your mental abilities such as vocabulary, reasoning, concentration, and problem-solving. - Improved problem-solving ability. To solve puzzles, you have to take different approaches to try to solve a problem, since it is a trial and error test. You also learn the value of formulating theories, testing hypotheses, and changing your perspectives when something doesn't go as planned. These skills can be transferred to life, making you more informed in problem-solving, using more critical thinking, and being more adaptive. - Reduced stress. Doing jigsaw puzzles can help you relax and reduce stress by providing a relaxing and mindful activity. When you focus on finding the right piece, you enter a state of flow that calms your mind and distracts you from worries or negative thoughts. Puzzles also release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and motivation. - Enhanced creativity. Doing jigsaw puzzles can stimulate both sides of your brain, which can boost your creativity and productivity. When you use your imagination to visualize the final image or try different combinations of pieces, you activate your right brain. When you analyze the shapes, colors, and patterns of the pieces or follow a logical order to solve the puzzle, you activate your left brain. By using both hemispheres simultaneously, you enhance your creative thinking and generate new ideas. Tips for Jigsaw Puzzles
Now that you know some of the benefits of jigsaw puzzles, you might want to try them yourself or improve your skills. Here are some tips for jigsaw puzzles that can help you enjoy them more and solve them faster and easier:
- Choose the right jigsaw puzzle for your skill level and preference. There are many types of jigsaw puzzles available in the market or online, with different images, designs, sizes, shapes, difficulties, and numbers of pieces. You should choose one that suits your taste and ability level. If you are a beginner or want a quick challenge, you can start with a smaller puzzle with fewer pieces (such as 100 or 300) or with larger pieces that are easier to handle and see. If you are an expert or want a longer challenge, you can try a larger puzzle with more pieces (such as 1000 or 2000) or with smaller pieces that are harder to fit and find. You should also pick an image that appeals to you or has some meaning for you, such as a favorite place, animal, artwork, or movie. - Organize and sort your jigsaw puzzle pieces. Before you start assembling the puzzle, it is helpful to organize and sort your pieces into different groups or categories. This will make it easier for you to find the pieces that match each other or belong to a certain area of the image. You can use different criteria to sort your pieces such as color (for example: blue for sky. green for grass, red for flowers, etc.), shape (for example: edge pieces, corner pieces, curved pieces, straight pieces, etc.), or pattern (for example: stripes, dots, letters, numbers, etc.). You can use trays, boxes, bags, or other containers to store your sorted pieces and keep them organized. - Solve your jigsaw puzzle faster and easier. Once you have sorted your pieces, you can start assembling the puzzle following some steps or strategies that can help you solve it faster and easier. Here are some of them: - Start with the edges. A common and effective strategy is to start by building the border or frame of the puzzle. This will give you a reference point and a sense of accomplishment. To find the edge pieces, look for the ones that have a straight side or a corner. You can also use the image on the box as a guide to see where each edge piece belongs. - Work on sections. Another common and effective strategy is to work on smaller sections or areas of the puzzle that have a distinct color, shape, or pattern. For example, you can work on the sky, the grass, the flowers, or the buildings separately. This will help you narrow down your search and focus on specific pieces. You can also use the image on the box as a guide to see where each section belongs. - Use trial and error. Sometimes, you might not be sure if a piece fits or not. In that case, you can use trial and error to test different possibilities until you find the right one. You can also rotate or flip the pieces to see if they match better. However, be careful not to force the pieces together or break them. If a piece does not fit smoothly or naturally, it probably belongs somewhere else. - Ask for help. If you get stuck or frustrated, you can always ask for help from someone else. Doing puzzles with others can be more fun and rewarding than doing them alone. You can also learn from each other's skills and s