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Keep Your Wits Sharp With These Brain Workouts

Even before “brain training” became the new wellness buzzword, neuro-scientists have known that the brain, just like a muscle, benefits from exercise. “Use it or lose it” is the battle cry of the new cognitively fit. Maybe that’s simplifying the case a little, but it does stand to reason that the brain, capable of forming new synaptic connections in response to novel stimulus, could use a little workout to keep its top performance.

Research backs up this view. Clinical studies have demonstrated time and again that people with professions or hobbies that provide constant mental stimulation hold off on age-related cognitive decline for far longer than their less-stimulated peers. One interesting study at the University of Oxford in 2009 found that a group taught to juggle over a month showed increased brain activity in MRI scans as opposed to a control group who didn’t learn a new skill.

In other words, your brain’s not even that picky! Given any novel stimulus, challenging your brain to solve new problems makes its overall performance improve even at unrelated tasks. Especially creativity skills tend to go way up when you make a habit of solving brain-teasers, because you’re challenging your brain to look at things from a different perspective.

OK, that’s it for the health benefits speech. Beyond that, puzzles are just fun. These 3D puzzles are the perfect thing to keep around your desk, office, or rec room to fidget with. Even after you solve them, they make great conversation pieces for entertaining guests. Keep a few in your living room and when somebody with kids come over, they’ll head right for the puzzles and happily amuse themselves.

In choosing these, we steered away from the common varieties of puzzles you’ll find at your local store. We’re looking for puzzles that are both elegant to display, and fun to solve, with a degree of challenge to ensure they’re not too easy, but also not frustratingly impossible. If you get stuck, take your time. The point with physical puzzles like these is to keep them around and ponder them during idle moments. No cheating by looking up solutions online now, we’re making you promise!

3D Wooden Brain Teaser Puzzle by Sharp Brain Zone. Genius Skills Builder T-Shape Pieces with Tetris Fit. Educational Toy for Kids and Adults. Explore Creativity and Problem Solving. Gift Desk Puzzles

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  • BUILD YOUR BRAIN – Intellectual challenge for problem solvers and game lovers, this wooden T-shape piece puzzle delivers hours and hours of fun and mystery; take apart and put back together
  • RELAXING CHALLENGE – This educational toy provides a tough challenge but also allows you to relieve stress, relax your mood, and enjoy brain stimulation; fun for families, students, children
  • DEVELOP SKILLS – Clever 3D puzzle design builds genius skills, including ability to problem solve, spatial imagination, creative thinking, and more; play again and again to exercise your brain
  • HIGH QUALITY – Wooden puzzle pieces are precision cut, closely fitted, and built to last; painted finish; very sturdy and attractive, great for puzzle enthusiasts and teens
  • WONDERFUL GIFT – Educational and fun wooden puzzle recommended for age 6+ and anyone who loves a challenge; 6.9cm x 6.9cm x 6.9cm cube with 54 individual pieces

If you only get one wooden puzzle set, be sure to get this one! This is a box of interlocking “Tetris” style pieces, with several challenging configurations to solve – including packing them back in the box they came in! But even without solving puzzles, the pieces are also ideal for plain old building-block fun. A lot of bang for your buck with this large set.

Mensa Japanese Puzzle Box (1 Piece)

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  • Japanese puzzles boxes have amazed and intrigued People for Generations.
  • It takes patience to open these puzzle boxes.
  • Can you unlock the secret?

Mensa started out as the organization for high-IQ members, but these days they’re basically a marketing label for brain teasers. However, they do know a good puzzle! This is one of those sliding-panel numbers where the trick is to get it open. It’s beautifully decorated, making a classy decorative piece for your living room. As a bonus, it works as a partially secure storage compartment.

Inpay - Set of 6 Puzzle Wooden Puzzle Cube Games - 3D Interlocking Blocks for Teens and Adults - Brain Training Intelligence Travel Toys Leisure Games (E)

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  • → Assemble different wooden blocks into a diamond shape. Assemble different parts accurately into 3D shapes. A challenging 3D puzzle game.
  • → Portable Puzzles: These puzzles can be solved anywhere: in the car, school, home or office. They are super lightweight and can be placed in a pocket. These handheld gashapon machines can be endless fun with friends.
  • → How to use: These wooden jigsaw puzzles are composed of several smaller parts. You need to break them down and put them back in a very precise order to reshape the shape, challenge the puzzle and exercise logic and creativity. This is also great for passing time, worrying, and avoiding the use of gadgets and electronics
  • → Assembling requires careful observation and thinking, and analysis of its internal structure. Our puzzles help to exercise the brain, develop intelligence, improve problem-solving ability and reduce stress
  • → Satisfaction guaranteed: If you are not completely satisfied with purchase, simply let us know and we'll give you a satisfactory solution. For a risk-free purchase click "Add to cart". It can easily be used as a decoration for your home, office or meeting room.

There’s several wooden puzzle sets out there, but this one stands above the rest in having a variety of different designs and approaches, and for not including the default six-point “burr” that seems to be in every collection of this type. Get this to have an instant puzzle collection for those busy hands around your home and office.

BLACK DRAGON 2-Layer Smart Egg Labyrinth Puzzle (Maddening)

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  • Insert the wand into the egg from the top
  • Move the wand through the labyrinth using the paths and holes available
  • The inner labyrinth moves up and down and turns for added difficulty
  • Complete the labyrinth by pulling the wand out of the bottom!

We like this one for being a unique take on puzzles we haven;t seen a lot of. It’s a variation on the classic hidden maze variety, with a bar set through the puzzle which you have to navigate through the egg. The ornate dragon design on it makes it a decorative piece for the knick-knack shelf.

3D Dinosaur Puzzles, Educational Toy for Kids and Adults, STEM Learning (6 Pack)

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  • ✔️ 【6 pc Puzzle Bundle Set】This bundle pack includes: T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Parasaurolophus. No tools or glue is required to build your very own dinosaur puzzles!
  • 【SAFE AND NON-TOXIC】Each puzzle comes with wooden punch out sheets with easy to follow step by step assembly instructions. Made with safe, environmental friendly plywood that has grooved edges which makes it safe for children!
  • 【HIGH QUALITY PLYWOOD】Our DIY 3D Wooden Puzzles have easy punch-out sheets that are high-quality and fun to use. The fact that our supplies are made of non-toxic plywood that is safe for the environment is an added bonus. Because this puzzle is often used by children, we made sure that the edges of each item have a smooth finish and no jagged edges.
  • 【EDUCATIONAL】 DIY 3D Puzzles are fun and educational STEM Toys, building cognitive, physical, . Also a very interactive activity for both children & adults! Recommended for ages 8+.
  • 【GREAT GIFT】 Finding a good gift can be hard, especially if you’re looking for one that can also help boost a child’s education. Our dinosaur 3D wood puzzles are great for boys and girls who like to engage in STEM learning with the best interactive materials available. Give for a birthday, Christmas, or another occasion.

So who said puzzles have to be abstract? These 3D dinosaur models are both challenging puzzles and satisfying model-building, with a handsome display piece when you’re done. This is a lot of dinosaur for the buck, and it will be a favorite for kids as well. These kinds of puzzles are a classic that have been around for years, but due for a revival.

Soma Cube Puzzle Wooden With 50 Playing Cards 3D Brain Teaser In a Large Size

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  • DELUXE VERSION with 50 playing cards - Enjoy hours of fun developing thinking skills. Each card have a building shape challenge on one side, and the solution on the other side of the card.
  • HANDMADE & FULLY ORGANIC: Crafted with quality, using premium grade monkeypod wood using only holistic and eco-friendly natural processes
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE: When you buy the Original Winshare Puzzles and Games product, we will replace any defective or broken parts, If it breaks – ever
  • SYMBOL OF AUTHENTICITY: Look for our logo and name on each Game retail packing to ensure you have an original Winshare Puzzles and Games premium product
  • LARGE VERSION: The size of the assembled cube will be 3.5" x 3.5" x 3.5"

Speaking of vintage classics, the Soma cube is in a class by itself. Invented by a mathematician and featured in Martin Gardner’s classic Scientific American column, the Soma cube has become a puzzle staple on a par with Tangrams. The pieces are based on a mathematical formula; the solution not only makes a 3×3 cube, but builds into dozens of more challenging shapes as well. It’s not so much a puzzle as a whole subculture of spatial reasoning. Use the cards for a multiplayer game, challenging your opponent to beat your best time or use two sets to race. Or take turns picking shapes for the other player to solve. It’s fascinatingly versatile once you learn to “think in Soma!”