Skip to content

Train Your Brain and Celebrate National Puzzle Day!

Locked away inside your skull lies a mysterious, squishy mass of wrinkles that hold the keys to memory, concentration, mood regulation, and memory.

Sarah Burns · about 1 month ago

  • toy
GettyImages-1132582488

Getty Images

January 29th is National Puzzle Day! What’s so great about puzzles? If you want your body to be at its best, you work out, hydrate, and cut back on junk food; puzzles work in much the same way for your brain. Feeling a little crabby? Grab a healthy snack and a puzzle for a quick mood boost. You’ll be fighting off dropping blood sugar while increasing dopamine production, resulting in improved mood and focus. Over time puzzles can expand your capacity for pattern recognition and problem-solving, improve executive functioning, and stave off mental deterioration later in life.

Best of all, puzzles are fun! Our brains enjoy being challenged. Our brains’ reward centers start buzzing when we put the pieces together, discover the word that fits, or manage to crack the code.

Have a Puzzle Party

National Puzzle Day celebrates the benefits that puzzle games have on the brain, so break out some puzzles and brain train as a team! You can incorporate large puzzles everyone can solve as a group or mix it up by splitting off into teams and working on smaller puzzles.

GettyImages-1132409844

Jenny Dettrick / Getty Images

GettyImages-160233854

GA161076 / Getty Images

GettyImages-1032983396

ViewStock / Getty Images

GettyImages-1170634860

LOUISE BEAUMONT / Getty Images

Remember, there’s more out there than just putting the pieces together. Consider doing crosswords in a group for some verbose verbal variety, or throw some Sudoku books in the mix for puzzlers that prefer solo solving.

Aim High

That 2000-piece puzzle might be a challenge you relish tackling all on your own, but if staring down all those cardboard shapes scattered about is a little anxiety-inducing, enlist the help of puzzle-partners! The combination of teamwork and problem-solving washes brains with a serotonin dose, resulting in warm fuzzies for a cozy puzzle party.

See The Bigger Picture

Fam

Mod Podge Rocks Blog

Flex those crafting skills, and choose your favorite photo for a truly one-of-a-kind puzzle experience. This tutorial by Mod Podge Rocks will help put the pieces in place.

Time For a Challenge

Break off into teams, pick your puzzles, and set a timer. The first team with a completed puzzle wins! Have puzzles of varying difficulties available, so it’s fun and challenging for all different skill levels. Eeboo’s 1000 Piece Zodiac Puzzle (it glows in the dark!) might leave you starry-eyed,

This Ravensburger 100XL Horse Dream Glitter Puzzle might be more your speed if you want to do several different puzzles or invite your favorite six-year-old to join you.

Plus, just look at it! It’s basically a cupcake for your eyes. And speaking of food...

Noshing Necessities

GettyImages-586354212

merc67 / Getty Images

Easy to eat snacks, nothing messy. Think finger foods, charcuterie boards, small plates to catch crumbs, and of course, lots of napkins. Consider cups with lids to avoid spills, and have baby wipes nearby for sticky fingers and minor mishaps. You want the pieces stuck together because they fit, not because Aunt Sarah spilled salsa on them again.

Commemorate Your Accomplishment

After a satisfying day of collective puzzlement, immortalize your efforts by mounting and framing your masterpiece. Find Inner Piece can show you how.

ModPodgePuzzle large

Find Inner Piece

Pour-mod-podge large

Find Inner Piece

Having a framed puzzle is more than just displaying a nice photo; it’s the physical manifestation of having fun while working together to solve a problem. It’s a keepsake of memories you built together, one piece at a time.