What Skills Do Puzzles Develop?

There’s no denying that we live in interesting times in our modern era. With the rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media in recent years, attention spans have been gradually dwindling year after year.

While there’s no doubt that all of the above mentioned things can be incredibly useful tools when used properly, recent research has been revealing that more and more people consider themselves addicted to at least one, and in some cases, all, of the above items. And oftentimes, this addiction can have extremely negative consequences on the mental health and cognitive functioning of these individuals.

One of the best ways to avoid falling into this trap is by keeping your mind sharp by regularly solving puzzles and other similar activities. Not only do puzzles have tremendous benefits for your cognitive abilities, they also help to develop certain skills in several other key areas.

So exactly what skills do puzzles develop? Read on to find out.

Skills Developed by Doing Puzzles

Puzzles are a terrific way to help anyone develop and/or improve essential skills like problem solving, reasoning, and focus. They can be especially beneficial for toddlers and young children. Those early years of development are absolutely crucial. Puzzle solving can be a great way to help support a child’s learning and development.

Here are just a few of the essential skills that can be developed by working on puzzles – whether you’re young or old.

Problem solving

Working out how to solve a puzzle from start to finish is a great way to test one’s problem-solving ability. It requires an individual to think critically while coming up with a strategy to reach the desired outcomes – useful skills that can be transferred into everyday adult life as well.

Cognitive functioning

Puzzles are especially good at promoting cognitive development, particularly with young children. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an alphabet or numerical puzzle, colors or shapes, or any combination of these things – puzzles are a fantastic way to help children get a solid foundational grasp of these educational essentials.

Hand-eye coordination

In order to solve puzzles, you’ll need to employ a significant amount of hand and eye coordination. Many parents believe that letting their children play video games or something similar is a great way to develop these skills – but puzzles can achieve that objective just as well, while also offering plenty of other great benefits!

A Few Additional Benefits to Doing Puzzles

It’s a proven fact that puzzles offer numerous fantastic benefits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a toddler doing them who is just learning to develop their fine motor skills or a fully grown adult trying to test their brain power – everyone has something to gain by doing puzzles.

Here are just some of the proven benefits that can be gained from doing puzzles.

Keep dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay

Studies have shown that by keeping your brain active and engaged on a daily basis, you can significantly decrease your likelihood of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Solving puzzles can even help to support the growth of new neurons while also strengthening existing connections.

Increased IQ

Spending a little bit of time each day working on puzzles has actually been proven to increase your total IQ. A study at the University of Michigan found that just 25 minutes of puzzle solving on a daily basis can help to increase your IQ by as many as 4 points. This should really come as no surprise when you consider all of the skills that puzzles can help you to develop.

Improved self-confidence

Perhaps the most important benefit (especially for young children in today’s social media age) that can be gained from solving puzzles is an increased sense of self-confidence. An individual can get a tremendous boost to their self-esteem by figuring out the solution to a puzzle on their own, which can help to promote an overall sense of pride and accomplishment.

Other Methods to Develop Your Brain

If you’re interested in a few other fun ways to help to keep your mind sharp (while also developing the same skills and reaping the same benefits that we’ve covered in this article), then we’ve got a few great suggestions for you.

Learn a new language

It’s never been easier to pick up a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language than it is today thanks to the availability of incredibly popular free apps like Duolingo, dedicated language programs like Pimsleur, online tutors, or local classes. Whatever learning method you choose, picking up a new language is a perfect way to challenge your mind and keep it engaged on a regular basis.

Play chess

There are numerous documented benefits that can be gained from playing even just one game of chess every day. Chess is known to promote mental health well into your later years, as it actually works to challenge both sides of your brain while you play. It’s also beneficial for boosting focus, creativity, memory, and even total IQ.

Try a new hobby

Picking up a new hobby can be a great way to keep your mind sharp – so long as it’s something that keeps you actively engaged. We’re not talking about video games or watching TV series either. Think more along the lines of learning a new musical instrument, writing, painting, photography … anything that challenges you to develop new skills.


Working on puzzles on a daily basis is an extremely cheap, effective, and above all, rewarding way to develop essential skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re a two-year-old toddler or a 60-year-old adult, we all have so much to gain from solving puzzles. Hopefully after reading this article you feel a bit more inspired to start tackling some puzzles yourself – or any of the other great brain development activities suggested. And if you have small children? You should get them started with puzzles as soon as they’re able. There’s literally nothing to lose and so much to gain.


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