A jigsaw puzzle, also known as a cube puzzle, is a classic tiling puzzle which takes the simple assembly of many, often oddly-shaped and mosaic-ed pieces together. In most cases, each piece has a piece of either a background color or a picture portion; when put together, the jigsaw puzzle creates a completed picture. In its earliest days, this type of puzzle was used in schools, although many later enjoy being enjoyed as outdoor decorations in the patio, family room or den. While the primary objective of a jigsaw puzzle may be to try to solve the puzzle, there are also great memories attached to the game. As children grow, they begin to associate the game with other things such as school, friends and family. Therefore, it is important that this game be kept for later in life so that family memories can be retained.
It is important to learn how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle prior to purchasing one to ensure that all pieces will fit correctly. To learn how to arrange the puzzle pieces, a parent or adult should hold the puzzle up against a wall so that they can view the puzzle from all angles. To help identify pieces, it is helpful to use a small reference book containing pictures of the puzzle and the pieces that are needed. A jigsaw puzzle will normally contain nine major pieces; these include the five basic squares, which are always white, five cross-shaped pieces called corners, and the five edges of each square. An additional small piece, which may be round, square or circular, is called a ‘piece.’
At the beginning of the puzzle, it is good practice to turn each piece over once to confirm that the side pieces are properly positioned on the back of the board. Some solvers will allow this piece to be moved later, while many others do not. With younger children, it may be easiest to identify these specific pieces by placing the child’s name in front of the piece (e.g., if the child is called Pinky, then the name would be Pinky). Older solvers may not know which pieces are common among puzzles but usually include a few standard pieces like the square, triangle, circle and the rectangular pieces. These pieces are usually not difficult for younger children to identify as they all have the same shape.
While some solvers have become proficient at assembling two-dimensional puzzles, many of the most well-known jigsaw puzzles include three-dimensional shapes. Most of the most popular pieces come in forms of circles, squares, ovals and hexagons. The three-dimensional puzzles range in difficulty depending on the size of the pieces, where the pieces are located within the jigsaw puzzle and whether the puzzle is made with metal or wood. Since some solvers will sell their puzzles without pieces, it is necessary to determine how many pieces the buyer requires before making the purchase. Jigsaws with larger pieces will likely be more difficult than those with smaller pieces, so buyers should make sure that they have sufficient expertise in assembling the puzzle in order to successfully complete the task.
In addition to being a fun and challenging toy, there are many other benefits associated with jigsaw puzzles. These puzzle pieces can be used to teach basic math skills to young children because each piece corresponds to a number based on the position of the piece in the puzzle (e.g., the square of a puzzle piece will always be one dollar). They are also helpful in increasing hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills, as well as helping develop the sense of spatial awareness that most children need to succeed in today’s world.
Many parents who choose to purchase puzzles for children will choose to assemble them themselves. Although this requires a certain level of expertise on the part of the parent, it can be an enjoyable activity for both child and parent. Some of the puzzle packs sold commercially are very simplistic, while others are more complex and challenging. There are also free puzzle packs available for purchase, which allow you to assemble the pieces of your own puzzle without the expense of buying them. Whether you decide to assemble your own puzzles or purchase them, these unique and engaging toys stimulate both the mind and the body.