Puzzling Together in Quarantine

by Catherine Eagleson

With the current COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in place worldwide, research shows that educational and engaging pastimes such as a puzzle have never been more important. Puzzling activities such as crosswords (quick, general knowledge and cryptic), codewords, sudoku and trivia quizzes are all wonderful for keeping you engaged and focused, individually and in a group.  They boost mental stimulation, as well as improving general knowledge and (digital) literacy skills. It is natural to feel anxious in these very uncertain times, but engaging your brain by sitting down and focusing on a puzzle can help.

Solve puzzles from wherever you are

In our technological age, puzzling does not have to be a solitary activity during this period of lockdown. In fact it can be extremely interactive, and a lot of fun.  Distance is not an obstacle either.  Puzzlers can enjoy catching up to solve puzzles on Zoom. You can be in a different room, a different house or a different country.  A puzzle can be loaded on to a shared screen and puzzlers can participate to enjoy some mentally stimulating social interaction.

Adopt the intergenerational puzzling approach

It is important to remember that during this time older relatives may be living on their own at home, or are are in aged care with the limited contact with family and friends. They may not be able to see people face to face, but social interaction is what it is all about.  Puzzles are wonderful intergenerational games.  Take the opportunity to involve them in these types of activities.  On one hand it can open up a whole new world for them, and on the other, it will allow them to search their memory and general knowledge, and pass it on.  If they don’t already have an iPad/computer, set them up with one, that is installed with Zoom.  During a care visit, show them how to log on.  Once they have mastered this, include them in family Zoom puzzling get-togethers.  It will be great fun for everyone!