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Jigsaw Puzzles – Fun, Education, and Therapy

Updated on January 21, 2018
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Jigsaw Puzzles

Winged Light Messenger
Winged Light Messenger | Source

Jigsaw Puzzles

The jigsaw puzzle has been in existence since the 17th century. Children were the first to use these puzzles and with the passage of time adults developed an interest in these puzzles to while away the hours for fun and relaxation.

The first puzzles were made of wood and primarily used as a tool for children’s education. With the advancement of technology cardboard puzzles became the next popular medium for jigsaw puzzles in the early 1900’s. A picture is glued onto cardboard and a large cutting knife is used to cut the pieces according to a designed template. Mass production has made the cardboard jigsaw puzzle available by the millions.

The 21st century invented the laser beam and this process is used to cut puzzles from acrylic and wood. The acrylic is stronger and longer lasting than the cardboard. Wooden puzzles also have long life. Both the acrylic and the wood are water proofed and their colors are long lasting. Cardboard, wood, or acrylic are all popular today. It is a matter of usage and personal choice.

With today’s technology a person can put together a jigsaw puzzle online or by using their hand-held electronic devices. Many of these puzzles can be downloaded for free from the Internet.

Millions of people enjoy assembling jigsaw puzzles. And this mental exercise of assembling pieces into a finished product is great for brain stimulation of color, shapes, and improving memory.

Assembling Jigsaw Puzzles

Family and friends enjoy fun, conversations, and relaxed hours together when assembling puzzle pieces.
Family and friends enjoy fun, conversations, and relaxed hours together when assembling puzzle pieces. | Source

Jigsaw Puzzle Popularity

Jigsaw puzzles are popular for children, men and women. It is a worldwide activity. This hobby is affordable, relaxing, educational, therapeutic, and rewards a person with a feeling of accomplishment or contentment upon seeing the finished product.

Children learn to identify animals, flowers, their ABCs and so on. These puzzles help them with hand and eye coordination, learn to identify different colors as well as shapes. This problem solving device helps to stimulate brain function and and to take pleasure in creative thinking.

Both men and women enjoy the problem solving involved in this hobby as well as the calm and quiet of releasing stress from their lives. Their mental and psychological being is refreshed by disappearing into another world. This is a fun way to recharge mental and physical energies enabling the return to reality with refreshed energy and clear thinking.

Doing jigsaw puzzles is a wonderful family activity for the entire family as it lends to conversation and pleasant hours spent together. Friends are also welcome to join the family group. There is always room for one more person.

Puzzle Assembling in Progress

A window view overlooking a garden while assembling a puzzle is absolutely restful.
A window view overlooking a garden while assembling a puzzle is absolutely restful. | Source

Joining Interlocking Pieces

Arranging the interlocking pieces can be simple or challenging depending on the number of pieces or the complexity of the puzzle. There can be 100 pieces or 5,000 pieces. Sometimes the 100 piece puzzle can be more difficult than the puzzle which has thousands of pieces.

For example the 100 piece puzzle may be a one color theme or swirls of color which have no distinct clues or guidelines. A 3,000 piece puzzle of a country side scene may have clear cut definitions for a wall, a cow, a purple tree and so on. It may take longer to assemble because of the many pieces, but the puzzle itself is relaxing and not challenging.

The number of pieces to be arranged is determined by the person’s or family’s interest in their ability to finish their masterpiece. Three hundred to 1000 pieces appear to be the most popular for the average player. The pieces range in size from mini to jumbo.

Similar Colors Joined

Join like pieces together to reach the solution of the puzzle with ease. Gathering similar colors appears to be the easiest method to start the assembly process.
Join like pieces together to reach the solution of the puzzle with ease. Gathering similar colors appears to be the easiest method to start the assembly process. | Source

Jigsaw Puzzle Assembling Tips

  1. Use a sheet of cardboard about two inches on all four corners beyond the size of the puzzle. This will make for easy transportation in case you need to remove the puzzle from the table.
  2. Work from any table which will hold the puzzle along with the sheet of cardboard.
  3. Open the box and start to remove all straight edge pieces. These are the pieces which will make the edges of the puzzle. It is helpful to have the picture in front of you to help place the border right side up. Sometimes it can be difficult to rearrange the pieces to their correct placement especially if some of the border pieces are not interlocking.
  4. After the border has been completed start to sort out any distinctive colors which will help to give clues. For instance, gathering red brick which make up a walkway. Or gather all the blue colored pieces for the sky.
  5. The next set of pieces will be any distinctive markings which will help once again with the direction of the piece placement. Examples may be the letters in a sign, a red hat, birds in flight, and so on.
  6. The last step is to look for the shapes of the pieces and start connecting.
  7. Store the puzzle and its pieces in a safe area to avoid loosing a piece of the puzzle.

Relieve Burn-out and Stress

Research has discovered that assembling these puzzles helps to stimulate brain function and provide therapeutic relief.
Research has discovered that assembling these puzzles helps to stimulate brain function and provide therapeutic relief. | Source

Jigsaw Puzzle Benefits

  1. Fun and entertaining
  2. Educational
  3. Brain stimulant for creative thinking and problem solving
  4. Relieve stress
  5. Therapeutic for certain mental disorders
  6. It is an activity for the entire family or friends to enjoy
  7. These puzzles are affordable.

Blue Woman

An attractive woman in colors of blue.
An attractive woman in colors of blue. | Source


  1. Purchase or donate puzzles to schools, churches, and children's nurseries or daycare centers
  2. Clinics, doctors offices, clinics, and hospitals of mental or physical handicaps
  3. Community recreational centers, senior citizen centers, retirement homes, and nursing homes
  4. Special private or public non-profit organizations or favorite charities
  5. Custom order a special photo of an individual, a family portrait, a pet, a special interest, or a special message
  6. Frame puzzle to be hung on the wall or unframed to be placed on a table and enclosed with a glass top

If the puzzle is not to be a gift disassemble and reassemble for another future date or trade with another person who enjoys solving these puzzles.

How to Solve a Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles, anyone?

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