Discover 6 Amazing Benefits of 3D Puzzles - Bookshelf Memories

Discover 6 Amazing Benefits of 3D Puzzles

Whatever your age, there are benefits to be had from 3D puzzling. Even more so when you enjoy the activity. That part’s crucial as you’ll soon discover! We’ve taken a deep dive into the scientific portals of the web to discover the research studies on puzzles, analyze the findings, and bring you the scientifically proven benefits of 3D puzzles. Use it for yourself, or work it into your research for gift-buying someone (after reading this) who you feel could benefit from 3D puzzles, be that a basic 3D wooden geometry puzzle or an immersive DIY book nook kit for beginners.

The 6 Scientifically Proven Benefits of 3D Puzzling

  1. Your brain rewards you with a dopamine release because it feels good

Person holding up a smiley face mask

Addictions happen because of dopamine. Your brain releases it when something makes you feel good. Wouldn’t you agree that it feels much better to complete a puzzle that you can look at whenever you like than have a night on the town that you struggle to remember in the morning? That’s the power of dopamine. According to famed puzzle creator, Scott Kim, there are only two rules for a puzzle. It should 1) be fun to solve and 2)  have a right answer! The best are those with a memorable impact.

There are plenty of problems in the world that have had potential solutions proposed for decades, yet we still struggle with the same issues today. Traffic congestion, obesity, financial woes, and on, and on it goes. None of it is fun to solve. Puzzles are. They’re designed with a solution in mind, and the fun part is the journey to solving the puzzle. The reward for completion is a significant release of dopamine – a chemical messenger in the brain that’s generated every time you feel good. Too much dopamine causes addiction, which is why the majority of us are addicted to our screens. We feel good scrolling social media, interacting, and binge-streaming our favorite shows. Swap that habit!

  1. It enhances your short-term memory

Diagram illustrating the three memory types - sensory, short, and long term memory

Jens Himmelrath (Uploader of original file was Kurzon at en.Wikipedia), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Information not rehearsed or processed can quickly be forgotten

Did you know that your brain has three memory banks? There’s sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.  Sensory memory is information stored for a few seconds at most. Short-term memory stores information for up to thirty seconds and long-term memories can be stored infinitely. People who struggle to recall things within 30 seconds after an event suffer from forgetfulness, which by definition is short-term memory loss. There’s a secret to improving your short-term memory, and it’s knowing the significance of the number 7. 

Ever noticed instructions for anything generally tend to be below 7 steps? There’s a reason for that.  Harvard University professor, George A. Miller published the most cited study on human psychology in 1956, which has since become known as Miller's Law. The findings relate to how our brains process information. Anything other than 7 (+/- 2) items isn’t retained in memory. If you’ve studied music, you’ll recognize the infamous mnemonic phrase “Every Good Boy Deserves Fun” (or favor, or fruit). It’s five words so minus 2 of the magical number seven.

When completing 3D puzzles, particularly, immersive ones with various moving parts requiring several steps to complete sections at a time, then fit it all together. Instructions would be off-putting if they required 279 steps to complete. Short-term memory improves when you can process information in bite-size chunks. 3D puzzles like our DIY book nook kits do!  

  1. You’ll feel far less stressed

person laying downlooking relaxed

Technically, any hobby that you love to do will reduce your stress levels. It doesn’t have to be 3D puzzles. But, if you’ve tried your hand at any puzzle activity as a pastime and gave up, it’s likely just because of boredom. Going back to point #1 above, you need to experience a dopamine boost to feel encouraged to repeat the activity. For that reason, it’s worth trying any type of 3D puzzle that helps you build something you can use such as a 3D bookshelf insert like our DIY Tokyo Alley Book Nook kit -  or any other DIY book nook kit that could be enhanced by the likes of learning how to light up a book nook with LED lights. The puzzle is the journey. The reward is the completion of it, which in the case of book nooks, you’ll have built a beautiful piece of home décor that can bring you joy every time you’re in the room. Particularly when it’s illuminated as the soft warm glow helps elevate moods, thus combatting stress.

  1. Hobbies, in general, help increase intelligence

blackboard with the word problem scored out a solution beneath it

Outside of the broad categories of learning, it’s theorized that people have multiple intelligences. If we go by Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences(1), at least three of the currently recognized intelligences are engaged when tackling 3D puzzles.

  • Logical-mathematical intelligence – an ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and develop a capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns from following the instructions.
  • Spatial-visual intelligence - The ability to discern logical patterns and think abstractly and conceptually.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – Practicing the skillful handling of miniature (and delicate) objects.

Since the theory was published, teachers are now implementing the theory in classroom settings(2). For everyone else no longer in academia, know that the theory goes like this: Everyone has multiple intelligences, and it has nothing to do with your IQ. We’re all skilled in our own ways. Your challenge is to discover your strengths – based on what you’re best at – and engage in activities that use them. 3D puzzles are best for spatial learners, but they do engage more than one of the eight multiple intelligences.

  1. It improves dexterity and that wards off arthritis

a hand and wrist with a red hotspot indicating where arthirtic pain eminates from

Any activity that engages your fine motor skills helps to improve dexterity, which in turn decreases arthritis symptoms. With the increased use of technology, be it smartphones or working long hours on your laptop, the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is heightened. The advantage of 3D puzzles is that there’s a range of hand and wrist motions required to complete the puzzle, thus, when building any type of 3D puzzle, your fingers, hands, and wrists are performing multiple exercises, therefore, strengthening the finger and wrist muscles.  

  1. It’s a top hobby for a digital detox

family playing card games around a coffee table with a digital free zone sign lit up

On the topic of the effects technology has on our health, it’s critical to disconnect from it. Turn the phone off, or fire it into airplane mode and take up screen-free activities. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (3) revealed that "children, preteens, and teenagers … those with more screen time have been shown to have increased obesity, reduced physical activity, and decreased health". For children under 2 years old, the recommendation is no screen time at all. No guidelines exist for other age groups. It's up to parents to set the boundaries.

More worryingly in that study is for teenagers, it was found that “nearly every type of technological activity predicted poor health”. 3D puzzles can be a fun family activity. That’s only one activity. If you’re struggling to remember the days before tech took over our lives, we have a curation of enough screen-free activities to plan an entire Funday!

Having explored the various advantages of 3D puzzles, we hope you’ll find something meaningful to take up as a pastime or add a puzzle to your list of possible gifts for someone in your life who you feel could benefit from a little less screen time.

Other References:

1.Gardner,H.E.,2008. Multiple intelligences: New horizons in theory and practice. Basic books.
2. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom
3.Rosen, L.D., Lim, A.F., Felt, J., Carrier, L.M., Cheever, N.A., Lara-Ruiz, J.M., Mendoza, J.S. and Rokkum, J., 2014. Media and technology use predicts ill-being among children, preteens and teenagers independent of the negative health impacts of exercise and eating habits. Computers in human behavior, 35, pp.364-375.