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Jigsaw Puzzles – Fun, Education, and Therapy

Updated on October 14, 2015
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about many different things. Here are a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Light Messenger
Light Messenger | Source

Learning

Educational Puzzle
Educational Puzzle | Source

Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box - Vehicles

This box contains 412 pieces of light weight, but sturdy, wooden pieces. The pieces are very easy to use by any child of preschool age. The puzzle will last a long time and is easily passed on to the next child.

It is a fun and educational tool which is enjoyed very much by this age group. The child will want to play with it often. This toy is a wonderful way for a child to occupy quiet time or to allow an adult to have quiet time as well.

The puzzle in the box is easily stored.

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.

Melissa and Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

Children and Adult Puzzles

Children's Jigsaw Puzzle ofa truck
Children's Jigsaw Puzzle ofa truck | Source
Animals are a popular puzzle to assemble.
Animals are a popular puzzle to assemble. | Source

How to Make jigsaw Puzzle

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 time spent together. Friends are also welcome to join the family group. There is always room for one more person.


Assembling and Joining the Jigsaw Puzzle

Interlocking Puzzle Pieces
Interlocking Puzzle Pieces | Source
Joining the interlocking pieces of the puzzle.
Joining the interlocking pieces of the puzzle. | Source

Assembling the Jigsaw Puzzle

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 puzzle player. Puzzle pieces are from mini-sized to jumbo. The sizes of the pieces are another factor to be considered when deciding on a puzzle to solve.

Avoid Missing Pieces

Jigsaw puzzle on a table.
Jigsaw puzzle on a table. | Source
Success Placing the last piece of the puzzle.
Success Placing the last piece of the puzzle. | Source

How to Solve a Jigsaw Puzzle

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.

Individuals and Family Members Assembling Puzzle

People working puzzle
People working puzzle | 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.

Wooden Puzzles: 31 Favorite Projects & Patterns (Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Book)

Wooden Puzzles by Editors of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts is a book for those who enjoy scroll saw woodworking. There are 31 puzzles which are suited for children, teenagers, and adults. This book is organized by skill level…beginners, intermediate, and masters. Make these wooden puzzles from patterns for self, others, or to sell.

Gifts

  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.



Jigsaw puzzles, anyone?

Do you enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles for fun, education, or problem solving?

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      A neat look at jigsaw puzzles just in time for the giving season!