The benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles

The humble jigsaw has been around since the 1700’s and kept generations of us entertained on those cold/wet days long before the advent of Blu-Ray, Netflix and games consoles. Originally developed as an educational tool, primarily for children, the jigsaw is enjoying a considerable renaissance with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Patrick Stewart, Bill Gates and even Queen Elizabeth all reportedly being avid fans.

Beneath the surface of the gentle traditions of the jigsaw puzzle however are some extremely important (and sometimes surprising) benefits and there are studies which increasingly show that adults who indulge in this pastime can gain a host of improvements to both their mental health and general well-being; to such an extent that it may well improve their overall life-expectancy. Whilst this may seem like a bold claim, reports such as the MacArthur Study provide ample supporting evidence and below we outline some of the key ways in which jigsaws have been shown to help adults in their everyday life.

 

Better mental health

The first, and one of the most important areas where jigsaw puzzles can help us is with improved memory and cognitive function. Completing jigsaws actually provides excellent exercise for the brain helping to strengthen the existing relationships between our brain cells as well as generating new connections through the application of elementary reasoning and concepts such as the process of elimination. These in turn improve mental speed and acuity and research at the University of Michigan suggests that an adult can expect to improve their overall IQ by tackling jigsaw puzzles for as little as 25 minutes per day.

Jigsaws are also particularly useful in improving short-term memory and attention to detail as we are encouraged to recognise shapes and colours and put together a mental image of the “bigger picture” as we work out which pieces will fit together and where. Regularly solving jigsaw puzzles thus helps us improve our spatial awareness, coordination and reasoning which are key skills required for a raft of everyday task from crossing the road or driving a car to sport and DIY, however these same skills can in turn be fundamental parts of far more complex tasks allowing us to be more innovative and adaptive. As jigsaw puzzles require a degree of trial and error they encourage us to take different approaches to problem solving, almost subconsciously we are devising, testing and adapting theories during the process which leads to better problem solving skills and the ability to apply critical thinking, all of which are abilities that can easily be transferred into our personal and working lives. If we think of some of the most skilled professions in the world, such as architects, chemists, engineers, pilots, surgeons or artists we can see that each requires very astute visual and/or spatial development and it is easy to understand how many of the skills we would require to complete a jigsaw might equally be applied to their roles.

Jigsaw PuzzleSource

In addition to enhancing our existing cognitive powers, researchers have found that adults suffering with impaired memory who worked on a jigsaw just a couple of times a week showed improved memory function and application and that the effects of Alzheimer’s could be slowed or even reversed. Building jigsaws actively stimulates both sides of the brain with the left side dealing with elements requiring logic and order whilst the right side provides the creative and intuitive spark. Our “humble” jigsaws is one of the few things which so effectively stimulates both sides of the brain and explains why they have been such a popular learning tool to help with child development and are now being promoted as an ideal way to protect our brains against future decline or even aid those affected by brain trauma or ailments like dementia. Indeed there is direct correlation between the number of years someone has been completing jigsaw puzzles and their chances of developing Alzheimer’s, with evidence that the risk can be reduced by up to a third so the sooner an adult starts tackling jigsaws on a regular basis the better.

Modern medicine is attempting to move towards a more “holistic” approach these days, looking at our health as a whole so things like our mood, levels of stress, concentration and fatigue are becoming just as important as any physical symptoms and another of the benefits of jigsaw puzzles is that they can dramatically improve these factors. Completing a jigsaw increases our production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that affects our mood. The more success we have, the more dopamine is released and the better we feel about ourselves, so our motivation naturally increases. Dopamine is also a major contributor in improving memory and concentration so by completing jigsaws frequently an adult can potentially establish a cycle of continuous improvement. Whilst jigsaws are designed to be challenging, the right puzzle can also be incredibly relaxing because our brain transitions from a Beta (wakeful) state to Alpha, which is closer to that we reach when dreaming. This is sometimes referred to as “focused” or “creative meditation” and allows us to clear our minds and put aside any external concerns as we focus on the task in hand, reducing stress and contributing to improved mood and self-confidence.

On the whole, if we’re relaxed, confident and less stressed it is far easier to concentrate which makes us more productive at home and at work. The more progressive companies are beginning to recognise this and include jigsaw puzzles and the like in their break areas to allow employees to relax  and return to work more refreshed and focused. Equally completing a jigsaw with friends or family can engender collaborative skills, building on people’s abilities to communicate and improving relationships between those involved.

 

 

Better physical health

Beyond the simple “feel good” factors detailed above, there are also some specific physical benefits of putting a jigsaw together. It can help reduce things like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate which are all major contributory factors towards our overall health. In addition jigsaw puzzles are excellent for improving and maintaining our fine motor skills, in other words our ability to manipulate smaller objects and even (to a lesser extent) our gross motor skills such as limb movement. Vision, perception and recognition are all aided through the use of jigsaws and all of these factors can prove to be of vital benefit to our general well-being, the more mentally and physically stimulated we are the more readily our bodies can combat the effects of ageing.

Jigsaw puzzle

Source

As you can see from the above, jigsaws can be advantageous to us in both mind and body, so if you are one of those who hadn’t really considered the benefits in the past, hopefully this article will have gone at least some way towards convincing you. If you would like more information on how jigsaws can be used to aid childhood development or to assist those suffering from Dementia why not check out our articles on each!

 

The Best 1000 Piece Christmas puzzles for 2018

This year we are spoilt for choice with 1000 piece Christmas puzzles.  With most of the new jigsaws from our suppliers now in stock we will try to give you a guide to the best Christmas puzzles of 2018.

 

Gibsons Christmas Puzzles

I will start with one of our most popular brands Gibsons.  Established in 1919 they have been proudly providing entertainment to customers for nearly a century.  They moved into producing jigsaws in the 1980’s with their first puzzles which were photographic images of Britain from the Air.  Starting with just six puzzles in the range they now have a collection of over 250 jigsaws all of which we stock at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store.  The Christmas range from Gibsons is increasing every year and this year they have six new 1000 piece titles available.  These are:

Christmas Festive Fun – A hundred years ago – and still today – for children everywhere there was a growing anticipation for the festive season. The hope for snow and tobogganing, decorating the Christmas tree with candles and glittering baubles, and placing sprigs of holly around the home, all these became part of the family tradition.Then it was Christmas day and the excitement of waking up to find Santa Claus had filled your stocking with toys and gifts. Finally it was time for the family feast, pulling fabulous crackers and wearing fancy paper hats, opening presents and having fun.

Christmas Festive Fun

Christmas Festive Fun

 

Christmas Toy Shop – The bright glowing lights of Steven’s Toy Shop beckon on this magical Christmas Eve shopping trip. The children stare through the window, imagining the delights that Santa will bring them on Christmas morning.

Christmas Toy Shop

Christmas Toy Shop

Christmas Treats – The village outside the window is covered with snow, but it is warm and cosy inside the cottage. Baking with Grandma is a special Christmas tradition for Luke and Tilly. With a multitude of treats to bake for the rest of the family, Grandma and her helpers have a lot of work on their hands.

Christmas Treats

Christmas Treats

Driving Home for Christmas (Limited Edition) – With celebrations in the village well under way, residents make their final journey home before Christmas. Greeted by warm mugs of mulled wine, sleigh rides and the brightly lit carousel, everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit! This is our sixteenth limited edition Christmas puzzle in this ever-popular series.

Driving Home For Christmas

Driving Home For Christmas

Seventy-Six Santa’s Christmas chaos reigns in this festive ski resort. Seventy-Six Santas, large and small, have been let loose and are getting up to all sorts of mischief. Can you spot them all?

Seventy Six Santas

Seventy Six Santas

Toymakers Workshop Grandpa’s shed is a place of wonder for Timmy and Lucy. All their favourite toys are made right here at the bottom of the garden. Grandpa is working on a brand-new dolls house for Lucy and teaching Timmy his trade, while the household pets snooze in the shade.

Toymaker's Workshop

Toymaker’s Workshop

 

Ravensburger Christmas Puzzles

This year’s offering from Ravensburger is Let’s Visit Santa.  This is the 22nd limited edition puzzle designed and developed by Ravensburger UK team.

Let’s Visit Santa Taking children to visit Santa is a great moment, creating new memories, rekindling old ones and reminding us of the excitement and magic of the festive season. This wonderfully detailed and colourful puzzle captures that special time. A kindly and realistic Santa listens as a youngster whispers details of his very special Christmas wish. Mum, dad and sibling watch patiently, enjoying the warm fire, wonderful toys, twinkling lights and lavish decorations.

Let's Visit Santa

Let’s Visit Santa

Taking children to visit Santa is a great moment, creating new memories, rekindling old ones and reminding us of the excitement and magic of the festive season. This wonderfully detailed and colourful puzzle captures that special time. A kindly and realistic Santa listens as a youngster whispers details of his very special Christmas wish. Mum, dad and sibling watch patiently, enjoying the warm fire, wonderful toys, twinkling lights and lavish decorations. This Santa is so perfect, he could almost be the real thing!

 

Falcon de Luxe Christmas Puzzles

Jumbo’s Falcon de Luxe range was established in 1976 and is still producing high quality puzzle images in a range of traditional categories such as: Cottages, Scenery, Animals, Transport and Christmas.   There are four new puzzles from Falcon for Christmas 2018 including:

Christmas Shopping is the title of this beautiful limited edition 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle, which includes a free 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle – both of which are part of the Falcon de luxe Christmas collection. The puzzle images illustrate the magical story of Father Christmas heading out on Christmas Eve delivering all of the presents in time for Christmas day. As well as the true meaning of Christmas – spending time with loved ones. The first beautifully festive image is of people together doing their Christmas shopping. The second Cheery image portrays St. Nicholas delivering a sleigh full of presents over beautiful decorated London.

Falcon de Luxe Christmas Shopping

Falcon de Luxe Christmas Shopping

Whitesmyth’s Cottage in Winter is the title of this beautiful 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that is part of the Falcon de luxe Cottages collection. This picturesque painting captures a thatched roofed cottage set in the countryside to a neighbouring village, where you can see the spire of the nearby church. Decorating the scene is a light surface of snow covering the land. The snow gives the image that extra Christmas feeling, getting you into that Christmas spirit. This jigsaw puzzle has been painted by the very talented artist Dominic Davison who is quickly becoming a one of Falcon’s popular artists.

Whitesmyth's Cottage in Winter

Whitesmyth’s Cottage in Winter

Playing in the Snow is the title of this beautiful 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle, which is part of the Falcon de luxe Nostalgia collection. The puzzle image captures a picturesque winter scene of families and friends enjoying themselves in the snowy winter’s evening. The joyful image sees groups of children, couples and families all wrapped up warm, as they enjoying themselves sledging on the paths which have frozen over from the ice cold weather. This picturesque 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle has been illustrated by the very talented artist Fiona Osbladstone.

Playing in the Snow

Playing in the Snow

Winter Birds is the title of this beautifully illustrated 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle, which is part of the Animals collection. The colourful image depicts a stunning array of birds in different locations in the winter season. The image features a variety of different birds that can be found throughout the winter months, including Blue Tits, Song Thrushes, Great Spotted-Woodpecker, Red-necked Pheasant and many more! This 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle has been illustrated by the very talented artist Anne Searle.

Winter Birds

Winter Birds

House of Puzzles Christmas Puzzles

House of Puzzles is the Scottish designer and manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles with unique shapes.  Our range features over 200 images ranging from nostalgic scenes of old to farming scenes.  The jigsaws are all painted by fantastic artists be been manufactured into interesting and challenging puzzles.  This years Christmas offering from them features:

Christmas Eve – A lovely design of Santa flying over the village in his sleigh on the way to delivery his presents to the families.  This is the 13th Christmas Puzzle from the House of Puzzles

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Sleigh Ride – A beautiful Christmas scene of a horse drawn sleigh ride through the village.  With children playing on the ice, snowman building and Christmas tree decoration this is lovely jigsaw to do in front of a nice warm fire!

Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

Coach and Carols – The fifteenth edition of the Find the Difference series from House of Puzzles.  This scene by artist Ray Cresswell features carol singers in the village.   There are 15 differences to find between the image on the box and the puzzle inside.

Coach & Carols

Coach & Carols

Hopefully this guide has given you chance to see the best selection of Christmas Jigsaws for 2018 for all of our favourite suppliers.  Good luck choosing this years Christmas puzzles and if you need any help please do contact us.

Joe Rushton
The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store

Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles 2018!

The countdown is now on for Christmas 2018.  The newly released Christmas jigsaw puzzles are arriving weekly at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store adding to our wide range.  There are titles from all our main suppliers including Gibson’s, Ravensburger, Falcon de Luxe and Wasgij.  With new releases due from House of Puzzles shortly there is something for everyone’s taste.  Below you will find a guide to this year’s new Christmas puzzles along with our favourites from previous years.  We will be adding to the list as the new jigsaws arrive so check back regularly or follow us on our Facebook page for up to date information.

Falcon de Luxe Limited Edition Christmas Jigsaw 2018

Falcon have released their Limited Edition 1000 piece jigsaw Christmas Shopping which comes with another lovely 1000 piece puzzle free of charge.  The puzzle images illustrate the magical story of Father Christmas heading out on Christmas Eve delivering all of the presents in time for Christmas day. As well as the true meaning of Christmas – spending time with loved ones.  By artist Daniela Pirola this is a great value puzzle for either a gift or treating yourself!

Christmas Shopping - 1000 Pieces

Falcon have also release the Limited Edition 500 piece puzzle Christmas Market by local Yorkshire artist Kevin Walsh.  The puzzle image illustrates a beautiful Christmas market during night time with snow flickered over the small village.

New Wasgij Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle 2018

Wasgij Christmas 14 Santa’s little Helper is a hilariously festive 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The image shown on the box sees Santa’s grotto with children lining up to finally seeing Santa Claus. Santa was all ready to see the next child but has now been distracted by something in the sky – so what could it be? use your imagination, and the clues provided on the box, to find out why everyone is looking so shocked. Try to imagine you are the Lady with the buggy and piece together what she can see. But that is not all! once you have finished puzzling together the fantastic 1000 piece Wasgij solution puzzle, you can then puzzle together the free 1000 piece box image puzzle!

 

Gibson’s Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles 2018

Gibson’s Limited Edition Jigsaw Puzzle 2018

Driving Home for Christmas is Gibson’s 1000 Piece Limited Edition puzzle from for 2018.  With celebrations in the village well under way, residents make their final journey home before Christmas. Greeted by warm mugs of mulled wine, sleigh rides and the brightly lit carousel, everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Street: 12 Days of Christmas Calendar

The nights are drawing in and the snow is starting to fall. As the 25th of December edges ever closer, the residents of Christmas Street are getting into the holiday spirit, preparing for revelry and merriment with their loved ones. Unbox twelve festive surprises this December with our Christmas countdown puzzle. Behind each door you’ll find an irresistible treat in the form of an 80 piece jigsaw. The twelve puzzles eventually create one gorgeous, panoramic, Christmas scene. Let the countdown begin!

Christmas Street - 12 Days of Christmas Calendar

Santa Scramble Bauble 250 Pieces

Santa Scramble is the ultimate festive gift that is bound to spread some Christmas cheer. Adorned with twinkling snowflakes, this gorgeous bauble may look like an innocent tree decoration, yet encased inside are 250 piece of Christmas chaos! Illustrated by Armand Foster, the jigsaw inside this festive trinket will provide hours of entertainment and look magnificent in any tinsel-laden Christmas tree.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ravensburger Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles 2018

Let’s Visit Santa – 1000 Pieces

Let's Visit Santa

Let’s Visit Santa

Taking children to visit Santa is a great moment, creating new memories, rekindling old ones and reminding us of the excitement and magic of the festive season. This wonderfully detailed and colourful puzzle captures that special time. A kindly and realistic Santa listens as a youngster whispers details of his very special Christmas wish. Mum, dad and sibling watch patiently, enjoying the warm fire, wonderful toys, twinkling lights and lavish decorations. This Santa is so perfect, he could almost be the real thing! this is the 22nd limited edition puzzle designed and developed by Ravensburger UK team. High quality 1000 piece cardboard jigsaw puzzle. The finished puzzle measures 70 x 50cm when complete. Suitable for ages 12 years and up. Made from strong premium grade cardboard, with linen finish print to minimise glare on puzzle image. At Ravensburger have over 50 years’ worth of experience in the manufacture of puzzles.

House of Puzzles Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles 2018

Chistmas Eve is the House of Puzzles Christmas puzzle for 2018.  Available in both 1000 piece and 500 pieces this jigsaw shows a beautiful scene of Santa flying his sleigh over the village. Designed by artist Ray Cresswell

Christmas Eve - 1000 Pieces

Christmas Eve – 1000 Pieces

Can I Help – 1000 Pieces by House of Puzzles

Can I Help - 1000 Pieces

Can I Help – 1000 Pieces

Sleigh Ride – 1000 Pieces by House of Puzzles

 

Find all our Christmas jigsaws here.  With over 60 titles and more arriving weekly there is plenty of choice

 

 

Top 10 Summer Jigsaw Puzzles!

Summer has arrived and we have put together our top 10 favourite summer puzzles.  With the long warm evenings there is no better way to relax at the end of a day than with a Jigsaw.

Sunflower Garden – 1000 Pieces by Falcon de Luxe
Sunflower Garden

Sunflower Garden

The Sunflower Garden is the title of this beautifully illustrated 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle which represents the stunning flowers and varied wildlife that can be found in a garden. The puzzle image expresses an array of plants, insects and animals, all of which bring the image to life. But the main attraction of this puzzle is the big beautiful sunflowers that have sprung to life.

The very talented artist Anne Searle, who is one of Falcon’s most popular artists, has painted this beautiful scenic jigsaw puzzle image

Happy Days Scarborough – 1000 Pieces by Ravensburger
Happy Days - Scarborough

Happy Days – Scarborough

This nostalgic 1960’s scene shows the view from Scarborough’s South Cliff Gardens across South Bay and beyond. Holidaymakers enjoy the sun and fresh air, taking in the fresh air and the wonderful view. The impressive 19th century Grand Hotel dominates the skyline, with the Spa buildings below. In the distance we get a glimpse of the Futurist Theatre (now sadly closed), harbour and castle beyond. Scarborough claims to be Britain’s first true seaside resort and over the years has built a reputation as a hub for music and the creative arts.

Butterfly House – 1000 Pieces by Gibsons
Butterfly House

Butterfly House

 

A kaleidoscope of colourful species from all over the world live in the butterfly house. Visitors can follow a trail through the flowers, vines and foliage as butterflies fly over head. The Butterfly House is full of vibrant flowers, glistening chrysalises and busy feeding stations. Conditions have to be just right to keep the butterflies happy and flying at their best. With temperatures of 27 degrees by day, this truly is a tropical environment.

 

Deckchair Dreaming – 500 Pieces by Gibsons
Deckchair Dreaming

Deckchair Dreaming

 

Who said being a grandparent was easy? After a busy morning entertaining the grandchildren, it’s finally time for Grandad and get some well-earned rest in the afternoon sunshine.

 

 

Norfolk Broads – 1000 Pieces by Falcon de Luxe
Norfolk Broads

Norfolk Broads

 

Norfolk broads is the title of this captivating 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle. The stunning image captures a Norfolk broad with beautiful wildlife covering the front of the image. The image also features people walking past a spectacular windmill in the background with a crisp detailed rainbow just over it.

 

 

Staithes – 1000 Pieces by Gibsons
Staithes

Staithes

Any visitor to the town of Staithes is going to be astounded by how much history such a small place can have. Staithes is famous for its past fishing industry and hundreds of years of mineral production, an industry that continues to this present day. Staithes is nestled between the sea and the North York moors.

At the foot of the village is a beautiful small harbour, sheltered by high cliffs, piers and rock armour. A small fleet of brightly painted cobles can usually be found here. These are the traditional fishing vessels of this coast and are used by local fishermen to catch crabs, lobsters and cod.

I Love Summer – 1000 Pieces by Gibsons
I Love Summer

I Love Summer

Britain’s premier cartoon illustrator, Mike Jupp, continues to delight jigsaw puzzle fans year after year and his ‘I Love’ range cannot fail to amuse both young and old. I Love Summer, details Mike’s hilarious capacity to capture the comical and ridiculous side of everyday life. The chaotic commotion of British summer is shown in this jam packed puzzle, where all things summer-like have gathered, from baby-carrying seagulls to ominous thunderstorms – the glory of a Great British summer is portrayed in the most hilarious way possible.

Summer by the Stream- 1000 Pieces by Gibsons
Summer by the Stream

Summer by the Stream

Summer days in this picturesque 1950s village are always bustling with activity. Fishing in the stream, harvesting vegetables in the garden, and nattering with friends are the order of the day in this cheerful scene.

Hummingbird Garden – 500XL Pieces by Jumbo
Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbird Garden

 

Hummingbird garden is the title of this beautiful jumbo Premium Collection jigsaw puzzle of some very colourful hummingbirds and flowers.  The pieces in th

is 500XL puzzle are twice the size of a standard piece.

 

 

Cinque Terre, Italy – 200XL Pieces by Jumbo
Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

 

Cinque Terre is the title of this wonderful jumbo Premium Collection jigsaw puzzle of the beautiful location in Italy, cinque Terre.

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed our top summer jigsaws and you can find them all online or in store at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store  Follow our Facebook page for all the latest puzzle updates, new arrivals and competitions!

 

 

Falcon de Luxe Summer Arrivals

Falcon de Luxe

Falcon de Luxe Summer Arrivals are here. The six new releases are the beautiful 1000 piece puzzles Sunflower Garden, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Wartime Morning, Autumn Green and Map of the Lake District.  There is also a new 500 piece puzzle called Happy Puppies.  These add to the lovely adult jigsaw collection from Falcon that we have in store.

 

The Sunflower Garden – 1000 Pieces

The Sunflower Garden - 1000 Pieces

The Sunflower Garden – 1000 Pieces

 

The Sunflower Garden is the title of this beautifully illustrated 1000 piece puzzle by Falcon de luxe which represents the stunning flowers and varied wildlife that can be found in a garden. The puzzle image expresses an array of plants, insects and animals, all of which bring the image to life. But the main attraction of this puzzle is the big beautiful sunflowers that have sprung to life.  The very talented artist Anne Searle, who is one of Falcon’s most popular artists, has painted this beautiful scenic jigsaw puzzle image.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 1000 Pieces

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - 1000 Pieces

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 1000 Pieces

 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the title of this captivating 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle. The stunning image captures the annual series of military tattoos performed by the British armed forces, Commonwealth and international military bands as well as the artistic performance teams in the Edinburgh castle. It captures the stunning display of celebration fireworks and honouree between the British and the Scottish.  This 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle has been illustrated by the very talented artist Steve Crisp.

 

Wartime Morning – 1000 Pieces

Wartime Morning

Wartime Morning – 1000 Pieces

 

Wartime Morning is a delightful 1000 piece puzzle, which is part of the Falcon de luxe Nostalgia collection. The puzzle image displays people in a remarkable village starting their morning journey during the war.  A lovely old fashioned example of how people would still get on with their everyday lives regardless of the war going on.  This picturesque 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle has been illustrated by the very talented artist Vic McLindon.

 

Autumn Garden – 1000 Pieces

Autumn Garden

Autumn Garden – 1000 Pieces

 

Autumn Garden is the title of this beautifully illustrated 1000 piece Falcon de luxe jigsaw puzzle which represents the stunning flowers and varied wildlife that can be found in a countryside garden. The puzzle image expresses an array of plants, insects and animals, all of which bring the image to life.

The very talented artist Claire Comerford, who is one of Falcon’s most popular artists, has painted this beautiful scenic jigsaw puzzle image.

 

Map of the Lake District – 1000 Pieces

Map of the Lake District - 1000 Pieces

Map of the Lake District – 1000 Pieces

 

This 1000 piece jigsaw map of the lake District from Falcon de luxe is a highly detailed birds-eye view of the lake District and features landmarks in this great mountainous region. Brought to life by the extremely talented artist Adrian Chesterman, you can enjoy piecing together many of the popular areas within the Lake District.

 

 

Happy Puppies – 500 Pieces

Happy Puppies - 500 Pieces

Happy Puppies – 500 Pieces

 

Happy Puppies is the title of this delightful 500 piece jigsaw puzzle which is part of the Falcon de luxe nostalgia collection. The puzzle image captures charming little puppies in various locations and positions. The puppies look so cute you wish they’d be one of your own. One puppy for this jigsaw would not be enough, perfect for any dog lover. This picturesque 500 piece puzzle has been illustrated by the very talented artist Sarah Adams.

 

 

If you would like to look through our full range of jigsaw puzzles from Falcon de Luxe please visit us at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store.

 

 

The Benefits Of Jigsaws In Childhood Development

When we think of a jigsaw there is a tendency to remember scattered childhood hours spent safely ensconced indoors when the elements conspired to make more active outdoor pursuits redundant.

The reality is that jigsaws can be an extremely important development tool for children even from a very young age, and that doing jigsaw puzzles can actively stimulate and improve cognitive function in a variety of ways. Studies show that children who were encouraged to play with jigsaws from just two years old show improved spatial skills compared to their peers and that by the age of five a child who used jigsaw puzzles a couple of times a week performed complex tasks with much greater ease than one who had not.

Moreover, many of the skills developed are those sought after in particularly specialised trades, such as architecture,engineering, technology and mathematics but there is also evidence which underlines that jigsaws can be important in helping to encourage a child to broaden their creative abilities within more aesthetic areas such as art and design.

So, what are the elements that come together to make jigsaws such an excellent learning platform and how do we ensure that we harness this potential to help our children get the best start we can give them?

 

Firstly, let’s look at the sort of skills required to complete a jigsaw, and how such skills can be beneficial throughout a child’s life.

Jigsaws challenge us to use a far wider range of abilities than most traditional toys and puzzles. They test spatial awareness, colour recognition and reasoning in terms of whether a piece will fit with those around it. They test our motor skills and coordination – can we manipulate and fine-tune our movements to fit the pieces together? Logic, deduction and memory are vital to recognise similar colours or shapes which may fit a certain space and perseverance and patience are ultimately rewarded once a challenge has been completed, whether it be finishing the jigsaw entirely or simply finding that one piece that seems to help all the rest fall into place!

How many of our children’s’ other toys provide such a variety of skills all being developed and tested in conjunction with one another? If you were to ask most children if they wanted to do some problem-solving activities, logic puzzles or motor-skills tests they would quite rightly look at you as though you were alien; but pop a jigsaw down in front of them and they’d probably be happily doing all of the above without a moment’s hesitation.

Don’t forget that jigsaws don’t necessarily have to be a solo venture, particularly with younger children. Parents or carers should be actively encouraging youngsters to work either with them or with other children to complete a jigsaw puzzle as this promotes cooperation and the development of social interaction which can be key skills in shaping a child’s early development path.

In combination, these factors all make go to make learning fun, and most people would agree that learning is often far more effective when it is enjoyable.

Jigsaws also inherently encourage the user to follow a basic learning cycle which is not only popular with teachers but has also been adopted as the core mechanic behind what a lot of businesses seek to maintain..

This cycle looks a little like this:

Source

So in terms of our jigsaw, the child is using each of the above processes in sequence from the moment they pick up the first piece of the puzzle until it is completed. By the time they reach school age and then subsequently move on into adulthood it is a cycle they will have become familiar and comfortable with. Even though a child will generally view a jigsaw as simply another from of play, there are very few other forms of play which are as progressive or can actively develop so many fundamental skills that can be carried forward for the remainder of their lives.

 

In summary, we can see that jigsaws can help a child build and broaden three key skill sets in unison, with physical skills, cognitive ability and emotional well-being all catered for, but how do we ensure that our children get the most from these opportunities?

We’ve already established making learning fun is very important. A child will naturally be more interested in a jigsaw which contains subject matter that appeals to him or her. Getting them to attempt a variety of different jigsaws puzzles over time is fine in terms of keeping the challenge fresh, but be wary of overwhelming them.

Equally it is important to ensure the jigsaw offers the right level of challenge. Whilst most jigsaws for children carry an age guide these can be very general and children develop at differing rates so it is important to ensure that the jigsaw puzzle is sufficiently taxing to bring a real sense of achievement on completion, but not so hard as to cause the child to discard it completely.

Jigsaws can also be beneficial to a child’s general well-being, allowing them a period of quiet and relaxation in what can be a busy and confusing world at times and bringing a sense of achievement on completion which reinforces their sense of self-worth. With that in mind it is important to help them only if it is clear that such help would be appreciated, nothing spoils an activity more for a child than having a meddling adult stealing their fun!

It may even be fun to attempt a jigsaw of your own whilst your child completes theirs. Children love to copy their elders and much of what they learn in their formative years comes from such mimicry and through shared experiences. Completing jigsaws together is an excellent opportunity for some gentle social interaction with a child whilst they learn but be careful not to allow them to become too distracted (or yourself too engrossed) by what you are doing!

If you are interested in buying a jigsaw for your child, why not have a look at our wide range of Children’s and Educational Puzzles!

 

 

 

How Jigsaws Can Help With Dementia

To some of us the jigsaw is an old childhood friend which kept us occupied for hours (and out of our parents’ hair) on rainy days or long journeys.

Jigsaws however are being credited with a far greater therapeutic effect than simply relieving boredom as there is increasing evidence that they can be a major contributory factor in delaying or even reversing the effects of dementia.

Whilst we are not suggesting the jigsaw has become a magical cure-all for those affected by Alzheimer’s, there are a number of ways in which doing jigsaw puzzles can clearly benefit sufferers. We have outlined below just a few of these benefits.

 

Doing jigsaw puzzles can help improve cognitive function.

Researchers have found that sufferers who worked on a puzzle just a couple of times a week for around three-quarters of an hour at a time displayed either improved memory capacity and recollection or a marked reduction or slowing of overall decline. Building puzzles actually stimulates both sides of the brain with the left side providing logic and order whilst the right side brings creativity and intuition, all of which are applied in the process of putting together a jigsaw. Jigsaws are a popular learning tool to help children develop their ability to recognise shapes and colours, to apply elementary reasoning and introduce concepts such as the process of elimination and dementia sufferers can similarly benefit from practicing these skills.  

 

It improves visual perception.

With Alzheimer’s there is also often a decline in eyesight and puzzle building involves searching for pieces which match a combination of specific shapes, colours and patterns so this helps build visual acuity as well as exercising the short-term memory. Scanning for the pieces of a jigsaw is an almost constant process and in some instances can provide a gentle work-out for the eye muscles to help maintain ocular health.

 

It offers increased social interaction.

Dementia is often aligned with a sense of loneliness or separation from the world, so completing a puzzle with friends or family members gives them a wonderful opportunity to chat and spend time with others whilst both encouraging collaboration within a group and giving a sense of shared accomplishment.

 

Puzzles help relaxation.

Jigsaw puzzles can be very relaxing, as mentioned above doing puzzles exercises both sides of the brain and this can help calm people down who are easily agitated and bring a sense of focus for those who are often restless. So whilst a jigsaw puzzle requires concentration, concentrating the mind actually brings relaxation which brings greater contentment.

 

It can improve general well-being.  

Relaxation, which we’ve touched on above, can help dementia sufferers with their breathing, heart rate and also reduce their blood pressure which are key factors to better general health. Not only can doing jigsaw puzzles help in this regard, but they can also give a sense of accomplishment and pride. Many with Alzheimer’s become frustrated that they are no longer able to do tasks they once took for granted, so rebuilding their confidence in their own abilities through completing puzzles helps re-instil a sense of purpose. In addition jigsaws help strengthen spatial and visual skills and can help dementia sufferers to combat a decline in coordination and manual dexterity. It is often said that the simplest pleasures in life are the best and the enjoyment of completing a jigsaw puzzle in itself can go a long way to improving their sense of well-being.

 

So, the above is just a glimpse of the ways jigsaw puzzles can help those with dementia, but there are certain things we still need to take into consideration when deciding what kind of puzzle will help; no two dementia cases will necessarily be the same and it is important to keep the needs of the individual in mind.

Firstly choose the puzzle carefully. Whilst children’s puzzles will probably be too easily completed try to avoid anything too complex, a jigsaw puzzle needs to be challenging but not impossible. Simpler puzzles may be appropriate where the Alzheimer’s has become more advanced but still needs to stimulate the intended recipient.  Also bear in mind that Alzheimer sufferers often struggle with impaired vision so it may be worth covering the table or work-surface with a cloth which offers a good contrast against the pieces so they are easier to see. (White is often the safest bet unless the chosen puzzle happens to be a snow scene!)

Try to pick a puzzle which will be pique their interest. Jigsaw puzzles are available in a vast range of subject matter so find a genre that you know will appeal to them and hold their attention, you may even opt to get a personalised puzzle made using a family photograph or favourite picture to make the completion of the puzzle even more involving for the sufferer. In certain cases it may be appropriate to try them with a selection of puzzles with varying themes depending upon their interests, but be wary if overwhelming them in the process.

You should also ensure that whomever is using the puzzle is able to do so in comfort. Ensure there is adequate light and space for them to work in and that they are seated comfortably, it can be very easy to lose track of time when immersed in a jigsaw puzzle!

In summary, we can see that there are a number of ways in which jigsaw puzzles can benefit those suffering from the various forms of dementia in either the longer or shorter term. Puzzles as a whole have long been used to stimulate the brain and have now shown they can play an important part in helping to delay or reverse the effects of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.  In helping to stem the tide jigsaw puzzles allow sufferers to once again feel engaged and active and provide a little extra quality of life which would otherwise have been missing.

If you are interested in buying a jigsaw that may benefit someone you know, here are our top choices:

The Country Station – 100XXL Piece

 

The Corner Shop – 100XXL Piece

 

Gold Hill – 100XXL Piece

 

Boat Float – 100XL Piece

Extra Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles

The demand for extra large pieces jigsaws puzzles is growing each year in the UK.  As the population ages and unfortunately the eyesight starts to wane, these puzzles provide the ideal solution for jigsaw fans.  The puzzles are perfect for those with either sight or handling difficulties.

The 500XL puzzles have pieces that are twice the size of a standard jigsaw piece.  When finished the puzzle size is the same as a 1000 piece puzzle (approx 69cm x 50cm).  At The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store we now stock a wide range of these puzzles from House of Puzzles and Gibsons

A Bit of a Pickle 500XL

A Bit of a Pickle 500XL

Regatta Day 500XL

Regatta Day 500XL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The puzzle pieces in the 250XL range are twice the size of those in a standard 1000 piece puzzle. When completed the jigsaw has the same surface area as a standard 500 piece puzzle (approx 49cm x 36cm).

Five Little Ducks 250XL

Five Little Ducks 250XL

Cat's Cookie Club 250XL

Cat’s Cookie Club 250XL

 

 

 

 

 

 

The puzzle pieces in the 100XXL range are five times the size of those in a standard 1000 piece puzzle. When completed, the jigsaw is the same size as a standard 500 piece puzzle(approx 49cm x 36cm).

Gold Hill 100XL

Gold Hill 100XXL

Daddy's Little Helper 100XXL

Daddy’s Little Helper 100XXL

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to look through our range of extra large piece jigsaw puzzles please visit us at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store.

House of Puzzles Spring Arrivals

We would like to introduce the spring arrivals of House of Puzzles jigsaws.  There are some fantastic new images available with eight 500 piece jigsaws and a 1000 piece Find the Difference puzzle.  These include Egg Hunt, Fly Past, Puddles and Fred’s Shed.

Happy Puzzling from all the team at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store

These are all available to order from The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store along with over 1200 different jigsaw puzzles.  We offer Free Delivery on all orders over £20.

Gibson’s New 2018 Puzzles

We would like to introduce the 2018 range of jigsaws from Gibson’s.  There are some fantastic new images available this year including Gold Hill, Trooping the Colour and Ye Old Mill Tavern.  There are also lots of new additions to the popular Extra Large Piece puzzles including the 100XL, 250XL and 500XL sizes.

Happy Puzzling from all the team at The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store

Full list of 2018 puzzles

A Morning Stroll 636 Pieces
A Tribute to our Finest 1000 Pieces
Autumn in New York 1000 Pieces
Bark Lane 636 Pieces
Beehives, Beans & Bonbons 636 Pieces
Brixham Marina 500 Pieces
Butterfly House 1000 Pieces
Cat’s Cookie Club 250XL
Cat’s Cookie Club 500 Pieces
Daddy’s Little Helper 100XXL
Daddy’s Little Helper 500 Pieces
First Catch 1000 Pieces
First Catch Gift Box 500 Pieces
Going Once, Going Twice 1000 Pieces
Going Once, Going Twice 250XL
Gold Hill 1000 Pieces
Gold Hill 100XXL
Green Fingers 500 Pieces
Horsing About 1000 Pieces
Lamplight Lane 1000 Pieces
Le Tour de Yorkshire Gift Box 500 Pieces
Nearly New 1000 Pieces
Nearly New 500XL
Paw Drops & Sugar Mice 1000 Pieces
Paw Drops & Sugar Mice 500XL
Paw Drops & Sugar Mice Gift Box 500 Pieces
Spirit Of the 80s 1000 Pieces
Spitfire Skirmish 500 Pieces
Steep Hill 1000 Pieces
Steep Hill 250XL
Summer by the Stream 1000 Pieces
Summer by the Stream 250XL
Tea on the Isle 500 Pieces
The Gardener’s Round 4 x 500 Pieces
The Missing piece 500 Pieces
The Ploughing Match 500 Pieces
Trooping The Colour 1000 Pieces
Trooping The Colour Gift Box 500 Pieces
Up Main & Down Loop 2 x 500 Pieces
We Will Remember Them 1000 Pieces
Wonderful Woodstock 1000 Pieces
Woodland Seasons 2000 Pieces
Woodland Seasons 4 x 500 Pieces
Woofit’s Sweet Shop 1000 Pieces
Woofit’s Sweet Shop 500XL
Ye Olde Mill Tavern 1000 Pieces
Ye Olde Mill Tavern 500XL