Why do Adults do jigsaw puzzles?

A partially completed 1000 piece jigsaw
A partially completed 1000 piece jigsaw

At first glance it seems odd that adults do jigsaw puzzles. People’s first thoughts when you mention ‘jigsaws’ are that they are for children, everyone has a memory of doing jigsaws when they were young or has most recent experience of encouraging learning with their own children. So why do some many adults enjoy completing jigsaws? After all a 1000 piece jigsaw, which is the most popular size, takes at least three hours and will take an inexperienced puzzler much longer.

1. They present a challenge – and they’re fun!

An adult jigsaw presents a challenge, and therefore a sense of fulfilment when finished. If you’re going to dedicate hours of your time to a jigsaw, you want it to be enough of a challenge so that it’s not easy but also that it’s not impossible – there’s no fun in that. Each jigsaw is different and so presents a different challenge.

2. They’re great fun to do on your own…

Most people do jigsaws on their own

3. … And they’re also great to complete with others.

The most popular jigsaws are Christmas scenes and many of these are completed as an annual ritual when the family gathers for Christmas.

4. They’re good for dexterity

See our post about how jigsaws help dexterity.

5. They’re good for the brain and memory

Read our post about jigsaws and Alzheimer’s.

6. They’re inexpensive – and they last

A new jigsaw puzzle normally costs around £10.00 – £15.00 so while not exactly cheap it’s a similar cost to going to the cinema. When you’ve finished you can keep the completed puzzle (mount it or roll it using a jigsaw accessory), break it up and store to do again later or donate it to a local charity shop. You can’t do that with a movie you’ve seen! And of course you can buy second-hand puzzles cheaply from a local shop or online.

Photo credit: Christmas jigsaw, joint effort via photopin (license)

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