Puzzles are known to stimulate brain function and improve memory. They are popular not only to toddlers and kids who have developing brains but also to adults who wish to boost their brainpower. Over time, different creative types of puzzles have emerged – from 9-piece animal puzzles for toddlers to a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle for those who want an extra challenge and custom puzzles based on the image preference of the buyers.
These custom puzzles can be an image of anything converted to pieces that make up a whole picture puzzle or a word puzzle that has customized words according to preference. The options are endless. Puzzles can now be personalized while still serving the purpose of challenging the mind and for pure entertainment.
Puzzles That Improve Cognitive Health
With the wide array of puzzles to choose from, here are some of the most popular types of puzzles in the market:
The most common type that people think about when the word puzzle is mentioned are crossword puzzles. In the past, these puzzles have been on the last page of newspapers to provide entertainment and a good challenge to the subscribers. It became a popular activity for families to answer these newspaper crossword puzzles and has become a part of their routine.
Another type of word puzzle is letter arrangement games such as Scrabble and Word Factory, also known as Boggle. These word puzzles are more interactive as there is a need to compete with other players. The players are provided with a pool of letters to choose randomly from and are tasked to form the best high-scoring words out of the random letters. It allows the players to think deeply, and it enhances their vocabulary. It boosts quick thinking and creativity. However, if you get stuck for a long time in a word puzzle and need some assistance, there are online tools such as a word generator that can help you.
The most popular example of this category is the Rubik’s cube. It was first called a Magic Cube back in the ’70s and started to enter the market during the ’80s. It is a geometry-based 3D puzzle that has six different colors on each side, forming a cube. There are movement patterns necessary for rotating the cubies to maintain the shape of the cube and keep the same colors on each side.
In solving this type of mechanical puzzle, the brain is activated, and its cognitive mapping function is stimulated.
Because this type of puzzle requires problem-solving skills, players develop this specific skill to break down the limitless options on how to solve it. They can store more algorithms in their memory and realize that every twist and rotation leads to a different result.
Perhaps the most popular type of puzzle across age groups are picture puzzles. Toddlers who are starting to develop their problem-solving skills and are starting to connect pieces as part of a whole are introduced to simple picture puzzles. These puzzles are usually composed of only nine pieces, and the images are simple. Alphabets and number puzzles are also popular as an introduction to education.
Jigsaw puzzles are also a popular type of this category. Adults enjoy complex jigsaw puzzles that have a thousand pieces as their hobby and as a form of relaxation. It releases tension and gives them a sense of satisfaction after completion. Older adults are fond of doing picture puzzles as well to keep their minds busy and engaged.