What can you do as a family on a cold winter day that doesn’t cost a penny and encourages everyone to work together? How about working a puzzle? We have worked countless puzzles over the past 16 years and created some super fun memories. Whether you are an occasional puzzle lover or an avid fan, puzzles are a great way to spend time together and work toward a common goal. Here are some tips to help pick the perfect puzzle for your family at every stage of life!
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How to Pick the Perfect Puzzle
Consider the Age of your Family
When the kids are young, you want to find puzzles that will be challenging but not frustrating. Introduce your young toddlers to chunky wooden puzzles or big plastic shapes. You don’t want to discourage little kids. Pick a cartoon character or a puzzle with large, colorful objects.
When the kids get a little older, make the transition to larger floor puzzles that let them move around as they watch the images take shape.
If you are looking for a puzzle that will keep the children entertained while the adults are still challenged, you may want to try the Family Format puzzles from Springbok that have large pieces on the outside and get smaller as you work your way into the middle. This gives the kids the satisfaction of being able to easily work the outer border and the adults the challenge of working with the smaller pieces.
One of the things we like about the Springbok Puzzles is that the pieces fit together tight enough that if you accidentally jar the puzzle, it doesn’t come apart. This makes it a great choice when working with kids. In fact, they say you can actually pick it up and hold it after it is worked. We of course had to test this claim – and it worked!
Think about Time
My family all enjoy working puzzles. My parents regularly have a puzzle out on the table in their home. My nephews love to work the little 10 piece shape puzzles with plastic pieces that have little handles. Each puzzle level requires varying amounts of time. Kids have shorter attention spans and need to see progress quickly. Adults can watch a puzzle take shape over the course of several days.
This weekend we pulled out a new puzzle that we received for a gift and worked as a family to finish the picture. It was a race to the end as we all searched for the final pieces.
Pick the Right Size
My sister-in-law is the queen of puzzles in my extended family. One year for Christmas, we got her the largest jigsaw puzzle we could find. You can buy 3000 piece puzzles on Amazon. I’m sure there are puzzles larger than even that! I know I wouldn’t want to tackle them, but some people love the challenge!
If you enjoy puzzles but don’t want to spend days working on it, then you might want to go with something smaller. Think about how challenging you want your puzzle to be and then pick the size that fits the time you have available.
Pick the right spot
Puzzles require uninterrupted space. Can you use your dining room table or do you prefer to set up a card table in the living room and leave it out? Do you have young kids that want to sit on the floor working the chunky wooden floor puzzles? Pick a spot where you can leave the puzzle so you don’t have to move it or rush the fun.
Does your family enjoy working puzzles? What is your favorite size puzzle to work? Got a favorite memory of working puzzles with your friends and family? I’d love to hear!