Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles
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The first jigsaw puzzle was created as an education tool in the 1700's and was made out of wood. In the early 1900's cardboard puzzles were made available, but manufacturers didn't hold out much hope for this new "cheap" puzzle. How wrong they were! Putting together a jigsaw puzzle is an activity for the entire family, from the youngest child to great grandma. A lot of people use jigsaw puzzles as a solitary activity, but in our family it's group fun! Where else, for less than $3.00, can you entertain your family for an entire evening? Our kids range from 3 to 10 and this is how we keep it fun:
Don't get too complicated OR too simple. 500 pieces is a good one for families with varied ages of kids. It takes time but not so much that the kids get bored.

Have everyone help pick out the edge pieces. Set these aside and then look the puzzle over and have each person pick out a certain color or part of the puzzle. Give everyone a bowl or container to hold their pieces unless you have A LOT of room where they can put them in a pile.

Everyone joins in on assembling the edge pieces, but then have them work on their sections. As it goes along they can start putting them on the puzzle and helping it each other, but it's less chaotic for everyone to have a "mission" at first.

No drinks near the puzzle, and have snacks like pretzels or crackers that don't have grease or toppings to mess up the hands. If necessary take a snack break a few times. You don't want to almost finish and end up with lemonade spilled on the puzzle!

Puzzles range from a couple of dollars to fairly expensive. Start cheap, even consider picking some up at thrift stores. Also, once you put together a puzzle two or three times you could trade with other family members or friends who like to do puzzles. You could even start timing how long it takes to put it together for each family and get a friendly competition going!

The reason I love doing puzzles as a family is that we turn off the television and the radio and we talk, we laugh and we interact with no outside influences. It's amazing the things you can learn about each other!

Puzzle Resources

Spilsbury Puzzles and Games



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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