Family traditions are important. In a time when it seems as if technology is pulling our children in all of the wrong directions, it can be especially important to have established family traditions that will keep your children of all ages grounded. For some families, traditions develop around food and special times at the holidays; for other families, traditions are part of expensive family vacations. If, however, you are looking for a way to affordably create a lasting family tradition, consider simple family board or card games, or even working on jigsaw puzzles. From the easy puzzles that you first do with your children when they are young to the most difficult puzzles that have 1000s of pieces and take up the entire winter break, it is important to take the time to create family bonding activities.

In addition to helping families spend long amounts of time together, big jigsaw puzzles offer a mental challenge that help keep people of all ages alert and active. Think about the time you have watched an older parent or grandparent do nothing more than sort through 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles separating edges from the rest of the pieces. A familiar task is a way for even those who struggle with memory issues to participate.

From the easy puzzles that interest the youngest children to the most difficult 2000 piece jigsaw puzzles, there are many ways that a simple box of cardboard pieces can help you create a lasting family tradition. We live in busy and confusing times. Families often seem to be moving in many different directions, barely able to connect with each other over a family meal or away from technology. Fortunately, there are still many traditional family activities that can help you create memories that will last a life time. Whether it is putting together a large, difficult jigsaw puzzle during winter break or it is helping grandma sort out the edges from the rest of the pieces in the next in a long line of jigsaw puzzles that she will complete in a year, working together piecing together a jigsaw puzzle is a time honored tradition.

Research indicates that puzzles activate a person’s brain while also relaxing us psychologically. The neurotransmitter, dopamine, is produced when people work on puzzles. The meditative state that occurs during the process of searching for the pieces needed for difficult or easy puzzles is a calming activity that is often an important break from the fast paced, technology filled lives that we normally lead.

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