Puzzle Love

My husband called me from his two week business trip in Hawaii and asked me what he should bring home to the kids as a gift.  He suggested souvenirs like T-shirts or shell necklaces.  My internal reaction was “Heck no! The last thing I want is another trinket at my house.”  But instead I kindly suggested he bring home a puzzle instead.

Chad loved the idea and got right on it.  He bought this Maui puzzle from Eric Dowdle.

maui puzzle

I thought of the puzzle idea because we have some puzzle love going on at our house lately.

The puzzle love started back with General Conference last year where one of my readers gave me the idea to put out  a puzzle during Conference for us to work on. That way the kids were in the room and listening, but not bored.  We did a few puzzles together as a family and were hooked.

Now puzzles are a regular part of our life and homeschooling.  We have Crew work on puzzles before he can play video games and Elle works on them when she needs a break from traditional subjects.  She finished this 750 piece New York puzzle not too long ago.

puzzle new york

I love the conversations I hear as my kids sit around the puzzle together.  I love to watch them explore and problem solve.  I love to see their excitement over finding a missing piece.  I love to see their “stick-to-it-ive-ness” develop as it may take them days to finish a puzzle.  I love that puzzles take us back to a slower, calmer, less flashy era. Jigsaw puzzles are the antithesis to the instant gratification that technology bombards us with. Plus puzzles are so good for the brain.

In fact, JIGSAW PUZZLES develop, encourage and require

  • observation skills
  • fine motor skills
  • concentration
  • visualization
  • spacial reasoning
  • problem solving
  • logic

They also

  • clear the mind
  • sharpen memory
  • work both sides of the brain simultaneously
  • and develop patience

What more could you want from little pieces of cardboard?

I am lucky enough to have a puzzle table downstairs where we often have a puzzle going on.

puzzle table collage_Fotor

It works well for our family, except for those times when littler people come to visit and they wreck our work up.  Then my kids get upset.  We have tears and we have to start over.  So I am looking into making an under the bed puzzle storage solution.   The I Heart Organizing blog had a great tutorial on how to make one.

Photo courtesy of I Heart Organizing

Because we are loving puzzles so much I decided to arrange a puzzle exchange with my sister and sister-in-law.  After we have done a puzzle a few times, we pass it on.  They give us puzzles they have already completed.  That way we don’t have to spend lots of money, but we always have fresh puzzles to do.  And when we get our puzzles back after being gone, they will seem new again.

Puzzles are for every age, every ability, every interest, every kid, and every family.  We love our puzzles!




6 thoughts on “Puzzle Love”

  1. I also love puzzles, and do one annually whilst i listen to the Hottest 100 on our national day. I have found freecycle great, though this year I just grabbed a $3 puzzle from Kmart in time! Thrift shops are another choice too…

    1. Sarah, a puzzle and music: that sounds like a fun day! I have never checked out Freecycle, but I should. Thanks for the tips.

  2. My dad loves puzzles and we always seemed to have one out at Thanksgiving growing up. Now he picks them up at Deseret Industries, builds them, indicates whether or not there are any pieces missing, and donates them right back. A great way for variety without having to give up shelf space. 🙂 There’s something about having a puzzle out that makes it impossible to walk by without fitting a piece or two!

    1. I love the idea of donating puzzles and not taking up shelf space. Thanks for sharing this great idea, Missy.

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