During the pandemic, I started doing something I have not done in over 50 years. Yes, I bought a jigsaw puzzle! It was a world map, since I enjoy traveling, and seeing where I am going or places I have been. After that, I jigged a San Francisco Giants puzzle, and a Tour de France puzzle. I need to find one for the UC Berkeley campus, as well as the Niners, Warriors, and Napa Valley.
Now before you dismiss this idea. please understand the health benefits. None other than Dr. Michael DeBakey at Baylor University have endorsed jigsaw puzzles.
Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving. Using the puzzle as an exercise of the mind can spark imagination and increase both your creativity and productivity.
A bit of history: The first jigsaw puzzle was created by a map engraver called John Spilsbury, in 1762. He mounted one of his master maps onto wood and then cut around the countries. He gave it to children in the local school to help them with their geography education. And in that act jigsaw puzzles were invented. It was an instant hit and the concept was soon copied by others and expanded into other educational images other than just maps, such as farms and religious scenes. At this time all jigsaw puzzles were created from wood, but also at this time they weren’t called jigsaw puzzles, they were called dissected puzzles. The term jigsaw comes from the special saw called a jigsaw that was used to cut the puzzles, but not until the saw was invented in the 1880’s. (Wentworth)
Most modern jigsaw puzzles are made of paperboard as they are easier and cheaper to mass-produce. An enlarged photograph or printed reproduction of a painting or other two-dimensional artwork is glued to cardboard, which is then fed into a press. The press forces a set of hardened steel blades of the desired pattern, called a puzzle die, through the board until fully cut.
My suggestion is to try one, on a rainy or cold day. I have done several, and I notice that my dexterity has improved, and my IQ has increased over 10%!!! Well, it FEELS like it has increased! My Aunt and Uncle in LA lived to at least 90. After four strokes, my Uncle managed to put together jigsaw puzzles in his spare time.
Nevertheless, please give it a try. It is much less expensive than shopping online or gambling.