Five Benefits of Puzzles

Puzzles aren’t just fun. They can actually make you smarter and give you skills that you’ll use in other parts of your life. This is why many schools incorporate puzzles in their curriculum. After all, if you can get kids to learn without them even realizing they’re learning, you’ll be able to push them further than they could have imagined. Here are five benefits of puzzles from the experts at Solve It!

Improve Problem-Solving Skills

Learning content involves the medial temporal lobe of the brain where memories like facts and events are stored for recall later. This is what most schools’ curriculums focus on, and content is important to a large degree. However, problem-solving skills are going to be more useful in real life because they will translate to almost every part of a person’s life. Puzzles activate the frontal lobe, which is where decisions and judgments are made and they train that part of the brain to activate when a person is confronted with a problem to solve.

Improve Patience and Perseverance

In today’s world of short attention spans, patience and perseverance seem to be in short supply. However, as older generations know, patience and perseverance are necessary for success. You have to stick with something and keep trying to get better before you can reach your goals. You also have to have patience while this process plays out. Puzzles teach us to keep striving for a solution for that burst of adrenaline when you succeed. They teach us that patience and perseverance will be rewarded so we’re more likely to use those skills in challenging situations in the future.

Improve Short-Term Memory and Focus

Although the brain is not a muscle, it works in a similar way. We have to exercise it for it to get stronger in areas like short-term memory and focus. Puzzles allow us to strengthen our short-term memories and ability to focus by remembering things we’ve tried that didn’t work so we don’t keep trying the same things over and over again. Each time we try a solution, a new connection is made in our brain, which in turn is making our memory and focus stronger.

Improve Visual and Spatial Coordination

When you look at a puzzle, your brain attempts to see how the different parts fit to make a whole. It looks for a solution based on the shapes and sizes of the parts. This is known as visual and spatial coordination and the better you are at visualizing solutions to puzzles, the better you will be at coming up with solutions more quickly for all sorts of puzzles and problems, especially those that involve fitting smaller parts into a larger whole (think about putting together machines or repairing cars).

Improve Mood

While you’re working on a puzzle, your brain is producing dopamine, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating mood. Essentially, as you work on a puzzle and you find parts that fit and get closer to a solution, your brain releases more dopamine and the better you feel. It’s basically your body’s reward system and puzzles bring it out in abundance.


Puzzles might seem like toys, and in a sense, you are playing with them as you put them together. But they’re also learning tools that can give your brain a boost.


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