I must admit to being a lifelong jigsaw fan, and although I rarely do them these days, I still find it impossible to resist when I see a part-completed jigsaw on someone's table.
Experts will probably tell you that jigsaws are good for developing children's fine motor skills (using their fingers to manipulate the pieces) and maybe spatial skills as they compare the shapes. But jigsaws do more than that – they offer real lessons for dealing with life, study, careers and business.
These are the things that jigsaws taught me…
- the ability to get started with the pieces that you can fit together without being overwhelmed by all the pieces that you can't (yet)
- the perseverance to keep going through the slow patches when nothing seems to fit
- the patience to wait and watch until enough of the picture emerges before expecting the final pieces to fit
- the confidence to know that time will come
- the idea of context, of how the same piece can appear different depending on its surroundings, the vantage point, my focus
- the idea that the journey is more important than the conclusion.
Jigsaws can be enjoyed alone, or they can be a collaborative effort with all the challenges and lessons that entails.
You can also do a jigsaw many times, and it becomes a source of relaxation, a time to reflect – a bit like doodling.
There is also no age range for jigsaws, they work in their different ways from early childhood to old age.
Hmmm… maybe I'll put a jigsaw on my Christmas list. 5000+ pieces please.