Doing Jigsaws

My son is 6 and loves Jigsaws. recently he was at that age where the 100 piece was too easy but the 250/500 was a bit difficult.

Anyways today he got out a 4 pack of 250 piece steam train puzzles which leads me to the point of the topic.

We started on The Mallard and did the outside. 5 minutes later the wife is over helping. Then Gradad comes round with Granny and they are both having a little go.

What is it about Puzzles that everyone seems to love them once they are out. They become very social and everyone will drift away after a few pieces but then end up coming back for just one more go.

It’s like way more sociable than a lot of things we seem to do which are soley aimed at the individual.

I was always a Jigsaw Puzzle fiend but young kids and 1000+ puzzles left on the table never work but i’m hoping the youngest being 3 and all the interest I can get one going and not have a few missing pieces at the end.

When I was a kid they fascinated me because of a few factors. One, the process was meticulous and I liked that. It was almost strategic, deciding on your approach to solving it, min/maxing your technique. Is it better to sort the pieces, then attempt to assemble them? Is it better to look for edges or corners? Is it better to study the shapes? There is also the competitive aspect. All it takes is being able to show someone how much progress you’ve made in a short time before it’s GAME ON! How fast can YOU assemble it? Then there’s the ‘only smart people can do jigsaws’ bragging rights. Dumb people give up, so once you pick up a piece you’re kind of honor bound to finish it.

At my work, there is a meeting area that always has a puzzle going. Usually a 2000 or 3000 piece one. It’s a fun communal effort that helps temporarily help take your mind off work. It’s always slow going, but eventually there is a tipping point where everyone starts contributing a little bit more (possibly because they get easier with each piece).

Problem solving is generally more successful / accomplished quicker by groups of people than by individuals. I’d be willing to bet it’s a biologic response of humans that we gained some thousands and thousands of years ago that helped make civilization possible.

Hey cool, there’s already a topic about jigsaw puzzles!

Is there enough diversity in jigsaw puzzles for people to have strong opinions about which ones they work on?

Like, obviously jigsaw puzzles can be compared by piece count, size, and the somewhat subjective matter of how “difficult” the image looks (lots of similar areas, that sort of thing). But are there serious jigsaw hobbyists that swear by puzzles from certain companies, are there more nuanced ways that people categorize them?

Just curious, I was working on a puzzle with some friends this weekend and it go me wondering if there’s a whole niche culture behind jigsaw puzzles in the same way that what you see on the shelf for board games at Target barely gives you an inkling of what the hobby can involve, or if jigsaws are still a pretty simple affair.

Well, there’s enough variety in the market that there are novelty masocore puzzles:

There’s a movie out now called Puzzle, which of course is not really about jigsaw puzzles per se, but is still getting good reviews.

I promise I’m not trying to direct you to my Amazon shop! That said, I thoroughly enjoyed putting this together:

And you can get it for roughly the same or less as a decent jigsaw puzzle, and have a fun toy to play with at the end. Use this code: 52HCREOG (that’s the part that makes it seem like I’m shilling for a personal store.)

Code only works for those four models, and don’t think that it’s something where you can say “Well, my kid is smarter than the average bear, I’ll get it for him/her even though they’re 8.” It does take adult strength to put together and pretty sharp spatial abilties to grok the instructions, which are all visual. Wonderful as a parent/child effort, but a pure child effort will be stymied.