My husband and I have always loved to work on puzzles. Generally, we’ve worked on them after the children have gone to bed as a way of spending some time together. When we are done for the night, we try to tuck them away using our puzzle storage board. But, sometimes we forget.
Turns out, our forgetfulness was our saving grace. It allowed our children to come across our puzzle and start to work on it themselves! Their desire to help us turned into twenty minutes of focused, quiet time and some serious puzzle progress.
We’ve found that by leaving a puzzle out where we walk past it often, we inadvertently pause in our often fast-paced life to see if we can find at least one piece that fits. That one piece can turn into two and after a while we’ve found we’ve put together a border, face or bird. It’s sometimes a much needed slow down, although it can also be a distraction!
After finishing the first puzzle we left out, the kids asked us to take out another one that we could all work on. Now we are making our way through roughly a puzzle a month (depending on its size, complexity and our schedule).
In order to keep our puzzles new and exciting, we’ve started to exchange with family and friends. I’ve also had some luck finding complete puzzles at Goodwill. If pieces are missing, we sometimes try to create them with cardboard and crayons, etc.
My kids also like receiving puzzles as gifts. For example, I’ve had great success using companies like Shutterfly to make puzzles out of photos of them, things they’ve made or pictures they’ve taken. They also love the puzzles that you can color in. A few puzzles we’ve even decided to Mod-Podge and frame to hang on our wall.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can try a Something’s Amiss puzzle. With these puzzles, the “puzzle on the box is more than a bit different from the puzzle in the box!” So, you’re not totally sure what the puzzle will look like while you’re building it! There are also 3D puzzles which literally take puzzles to another dimension.