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Using Brain Games to Help Avoid Overeating and Drinking Too Much, or Just to Relieve Boredom

Updated on November 19, 2013

Two of my favorite puzzles, both made by Binary Arts

To your right:  Back-Spin Puzzle To your left:  Top-Spin Puzzle
To your right: Back-Spin Puzzle To your left: Top-Spin Puzzle

Choices we can make

When we cannot get out of our chairs often and move around, many of us pass the time by foraging for snacks within reach and they always are ... on the coffee table in front of us, on the TV tray to our right or left, or being passed around frequently. Our glasses or bottles are also within reach because that sip is needed after a loaded chip, a handful of popcorn, or that salty appetizer. We don't need to eat and eat more snacks, no matter what they're called.

If our hands are occupied, we find that we sip and dip less. I have noticed that hand-held puzzles are ideal for this purpose and others. I will make additional suggestions about this toward the end of my Hub, but now I will talk about some puzzles and how they work.

The goal of the puzzle on the right is to have all the yellow marbles in the yellow holder, the red in the red container, and so on. There is one marble missing and, since the top and bottom of the puzzle have the same pattern, a person can move the marbles from top to bottom in addition to areas on one side.

The goal of the puzzle on the left is to put the numbers in 1-20 order. The number pieces can be moved up or down their track and the round purple piece is movable either circular direction and number pieces can be moved to number line area each direction. The Binary Arts company has extremely durable and well-made products. These two are probably from the 80s.

To your left:  Drive Ya Nuts by Milton Bradley  and To your right:  SwitchBack by Binary Fames
To your left: Drive Ya Nuts by Milton Bradley and To your right: SwitchBack by Binary Fames

I have not solved the SwitchBack but purchased it recently from a thrift store. The Drive Ya Nuts can be solved but it takes some concentration and logical thought.

Upper right:  The Missing Link
Upper right: The Missing Link

I love all of these and they can be solved without as much concentration as others. That does not mean they are easily solved, however. The two with marbles have one marble missing in each and the sections can be rotated so that a marble can be moved across and/or down and up. The goal is to have the same color together. The Missing Link is made by Rubix and the sections can be rotated, again with the goal of having a color its own chain color. When traveling to New Mexico, I left it on the dash of the car and the heat from the extremely hot sun warped it a bit. I want to find another. I'm not sure who made the other two ... they are great fun, however.

An excellent Rubik puzzle
An excellent Rubik puzzle
A Rubik ball, a star, and two sizes of the cube
A Rubik ball, a star, and two sizes of the cube

More Rubik puzzles

I must admit that I've never solved the square, the ball, or the star ... perhaps I have a fairly short attention span. The Rubik UFO is much easier but does require reasoning skills. The two sides of the UFO both have the colored parts and the sections can be moved around.

Additional information and suggestions

  • The puzzles I have listed on this Hub do not have loose pieces (with the exception of Drive Ya Nuts), so it is better to use this style when groups of people are involved. I will describe more puzzles on the next Hub and these will have bits and pieces you would not want to go missing. Care also should be taken if there are small children around.
  • In addition to keeping our hands and mind busy so that continuous snacking and drinking are avoided, these puzzles also help smokers refrain from wanting a cigarette as much. They can also help those who have quit smoking.
  • These puzzles can be entertaining and solvable by children/adults with challenges such as autism and mental retardation.
  • I purchased the puzzles that are pictured at garage sales and thrift shops so the expense was very small ... but the entertainment factor is huge!

Please read my next Hub for more challenging and interesting puzzles!

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