This blog is designed to showcase people and experiences that corner the market on character and make the world a better place. I hope that my stories will positively influence and inspire you to seek out similar elevating experiences that you can share with others. I'll also post ideas, activities, book reviews, quotes or personal anecdotes that might just add a little J.O.Y. to your journey. Welcome!
Our youngest child LOVES reading Garfield and working puzzles,
so this was The. Most. Perfect. gift:
Christmas morning 2011
He got this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, which, in turn, gave him time, LOTS of time, with his dad (who VERY reluctantly agreed to help him with what he referred to as a "ridiculous puzzle").
I love that Joshua loves jigsaw puzzles because working them aids with short-term memory because we have to retain information on shapes and colors as we choose the perfect-fit pieces. Monica Dennis explains it really well in guest post over at the Intentional Caregiver. Basically, the process of putting a puzzle together forces the logical left side of the brain to work in tandem with the creative right side of the brain which results in the production of dopamine. That's the neurotransmitter that regulates mood (look at how relaxed they look!) and affects concentration and motivation. They tried several times to get me to play work with them, but my only success came when I found the piece that John was certain was missing -- not in that chaos of pieces that all look the same to me, but by itself, hiding, on the floor!
Like knitting, puzzles can be addicting (Joshua could not WAIT to find that next piece and I found him at the table by himself many times during the week!) because of the chemical that this type of challenge triggers. The end result?
New Year's Eve 2011
There's nothing puzzling about the benefits of a week's worth of father-son bonding time. Just one more piece, guys!