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  • Writer's pictureEllie

Pieces and Pieces of Fun!

In this crazy time, people have discovered (or rediscovered) all different ways of relaxing. Have you made sourdough bread yet? Unearthed your dusty garden tools? We have a great way for you to exercise your brain with some out-of-the-box thinking… literally! Open a jigsaw puzzle and challenge yourself to some non-screen-time problem solving.

Using Both Sides of Your Brain

Puzzles are fun... but they are so much more. They are food for the brain. When you set out to complete a puzzle, you’re getting a mental workout because both the left and right sides of your brain need to engage. The left side uses logic to determine which pieces go together, the right side contributes intuitive thinking -- which is why you just know that those two pieces should fit together. Plus, the mental workout actually improves your problem-solving skills, your short-term memory, and your attention span.

How Puzzles Affect STEM Education

All that mental exercise is especially beneficial to children. Research shows that building puzzles can help with cognitive and emotional development, increasing kids’ organization and concentration, as well as teaching them patience and self-confidence. Puzzle-making also aids in their physical development because puzzles require motor coordination and spatial skills, which are fundamental when STEM topics are introduced.

Why Is That Important?

Puzzles are a perfect opportunity to start STEM education early. Spending time as a family making puzzles is literally a building block for discussing science and math in the real world. Encourage questions while working: How many pieces are left? Does that piece have a right angle? What’s the name of that color? What percentage is complete?

This early exposure to scientific thinking can encourage kids to develop a natural curiosity about the world around them. Find a puzzle with a science or math theme, and you can start even more conversations about STEM while putting it together.

Piece Together Entertainment and Education

New puzzles by educational board game company, Genius Games, do just thatcombine family fun with a STEM challenge. Because of their scientific focus, Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles make puzzle-building an educational activity for the whole family.

With 100% medical accuracy and 200% magnification, each of the three puzzles (Human Head, Thorax, and Abdomen) teach anatomy without the textbook. The puzzles stand alone at 21-25 inches each and can be combined to make an almost six foot replica of the human body. What a great way to build a young scientist!

Spleen, stomach, sternum, and skull.

With these anatomy puzzles, no minute will ever be dull!

Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzlesnow available through Science Naturally.

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