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Celebrate National Puzzle Day With Some Brain-Boosting Fun

January 29 is National Puzzle Day! Give your brain a workout with fun ways to celebrate.

Sarah Burns



What’s so great about puzzles? If you want your body to be at its best, you work out, hydrate, and cut back on junk food; puzzles work in much the same way for your brain. Feeling a little crabby? Grab a healthy snack and a puzzle for a quick mood boost. You’ll be fighting off dropping blood sugar while increasing dopamine production, resulting in improved mood and focus. Over time puzzles can expand your capacity for pattern recognition and problem-solving, improve executive functioning, and stave off mental deterioration later in life.

Best of all, puzzles are fun! Our brains enjoy being challenged. Our brains’ reward centers start buzzing when we put the pieces together, discover the word that fits, or manage to crack the code.

Have a Puzzle Party

National Puzzle Day celebrates the benefits that puzzle games have on the brain, so break out some puzzles and brain train as a team! You can incorporate large puzzles everyone can solve as a group or mix it up by splitting off into teams and working on smaller puzzles.


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Aim High

That 1000-piece puzzle might be a challenge you relish tackling all on your own, but if staring down all those cardboard shapes scattered about is a little anxiety-inducing, enlist the help of puzzle-partners! The combination of teamwork and problem-solving washes brains with a serotonin dose, resulting in warm fuzzies for a cozy puzzle party.

This Gailison Rainbow Popsicles 500-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle might be more your speed if you want to do several different puzzles at a time, or invite a friend to join you.

See The Bigger Picture


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Flex those crafting skills, and choose your favorite photo for a truly one-of-a-kind puzzle experience. This tutorial by Mod Podge Rocks will help put the pieces in place.

Time For a Challenge

Break off into teams, pick your puzzles, and set a timer. The first team with a completed puzzle wins! Have puzzles of varying difficulties available, so it’s fun and challenging for all different skill levels. Eeboo’s 1000 Piece Zodiac Puzzle (it glows in the dark!) might leave you starry-eyed.

Plus, just look at it! It’s basically a cupcake for your eyes. And speaking of food...

Noshing Necessities


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Easy to eat snacks, nothing messy. Think finger foods, charcuterie boards, small plates to catch crumbs, and of course, lots of napkins. Consider cups with lids to avoid spills, and have baby wipes nearby for sticky fingers and minor mishaps. You want the pieces stuck together because they fit, not because Aunt Sarah spilled salsa on them again.

Commemorate Your Accomplishment

After a satisfying day of collective puzzlement, immortalize your efforts by mounting and framing your masterpiece. Find Inner Piece can show you how.

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Find Inner Piece

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Find Inner Piece

Having a framed puzzle is more than just displaying a nice photo; it’s the physical manifestation of having fun while working together to solve a problem. It’s a keepsake of memories you built together, one piece at a time.

How do I Know Which Puzzles are Right for Me?

With so many options out there, chooseing a puzzle can be, well, puzzling. But there's no need to fall to pieces – use this list to find the perfect fit.

Here are the BEST Puzzles for:

Beginner Puzzlers

Trying a puzzle for the first time can be a little confusing. These puzzles are designed to help improve shape recognition in toddlers with chunky, easy to grasp shapes, fewer pieces, and vibrant colors.

Family Night

We love family puzzle night SO much, we made a whole list just for Family Puzzles – but there's always room for more favorites!

A Challenge

Get lost in the meditation of finding the exact piece you were looking for in a pile of hundreds that look almost exactly the same, or giggle and grit your teeth through frustration with a two-sided puzzle that’ll have you wondering which way is up.

Art Lovers

Works by contemporary artists are simply too lovely to keep in a box. It’s a delight to see the brilliant imagery come together, and you’ll absolutely be daydreaming about where to hang the completed puzzle as you search for the pieces.

A Quick Puzzling Break

A pint-sized puzzle is the perfect single-serving size – or think a little more outside the box with an activity book to unlock the secrets of the cosmos, or piece together the creatures of the sea.

Games for a Group!

Did you know that games can also be puzzles? Grab some friends with the gift of gab for a few word games, then test your balancing skills and dexterity with an anxiety-inducing stack of classic wooden blocks.