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What is a Jigsaw Puzzle?
A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of numerous small, often oddly shaped, interlocking and tessellating pieces. Each piece usually has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture.[via wikipedia]
First Jigsaw Puzzle
A map of Europe was the first commercial jigsaw puzzle. It was designed by John Spilsbury in 1766. Spilsbury, formerly the apprentice to the Royal Geographer, is believed to have been the first commercial manufacturer of jigsaws. He managed to start quite a trend. For a good 20 years during the mid 1700s, all manufactured jigsaws were in the form of dissected maps like Spilsbury’s. The maps were designed as teaching aids for geography classes. As pupils put the pieces together, they would learn how different countries connected to one another. John Spilsbury certainly spotted a business opportunity. In the space of two years he marketed the eight map subjects most likely to appeal to upper class English parents: the world, the four continents then known (Africa, America, Asia and Europe), England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland. [via British Library]
Completing a jigsaw puzzle may seem like a really daunting task. Some puzzles have hundreds and even thousands of pieces, so it is really difficult to determine where to start. People usually give up and find other things to spend time on. However, there are a few tips that can be used in order to solve jigsaw puzzles. While they do not give the exact method of solving a certain puzzle, these tips will definitely give you a head start. Completing a puzzle shouldn’t be an impossible task. It should be a fun activity used to unwind and stimulate the mind.
- Before you start with a jigsaw puzzle make sure all pieces are with the printed side up.
- Separate the edges from the inside pieces (once the edges are built it can become easier to move inward)
- Try ty find one consisting of multiple areas with contrasting designs and colors (this enables the narrowing down of potential portions of the puzzle where a particular piece will fit). You can use the picture shown on the box to help you to find those area’s.
- Or you can sort the pieces by color, and work on one color at a time. When you get to large areas with the same color (such as the sky in many landscape puzzles) you can go by shape, or you can place all the pieces in a grid and approach the problem by taking a piece that already has an anchor (like an edge piece) and trying it against all the pieces laid out.
- Number of pieces (from as little as four pieces to World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle with 24,000 jigsaw pieces – UPDATE since September 2010 there is an new world record by jigsaw puzzle maker Ravensburger with a jigsaw puzzle of 32,256 jigsaw pieces called Ravensburger’s Double Retrospect. Buy Keith Haring:Double Retrospect via Amazon.com or buy Keith Haring’s Double Retrospect via Amazon.de
- 3D Puzzles
- Combination 2D/3D Jigsaw puzzles (e.g. globe)
Most manufacturers recommend the following guidelines for age-appropriate jigsaw puzzles.
- Ages 2 to 3: 4 to 12 pieces
- Ages 3 to 5: 12 to 50 pieces
- Ages 5 to 6: 50 to 100 pieces
- Ages 6 to 7: 100 to 200 pieces
- Ages 7 to 8: 200 pieces
- Ages 8 to 12: 300 pieces
- Ages 12 and up: 500+ pieces
- Ravensburger Puzzle Accessories – Stow and Go : Puzzle Stow and Go helps you roll up and transport your jigsaw puzzle in progress. It has an Inflatable tube for compact storage. The mat is sized to fit up to a 1500 – piece puzzle.
- Puzzle Glue & Go : Puzzle Glue & Go Permanently Seals 2 – 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles
- Jigsaw cutting machines
Jigsaw Puzzles Online
Most online jigsaw puzzles are easy to solve and come generally with less than 50 jigsaw pieces.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Generator – National Geographic
- Redwoods – National Geographic Giant Online Jigsaw Puzzle (300 pieces)
Jigsaw Puzzles Blog enties
Read all our Jigsaw Puzzleblog entries with the latest jigsaw puzzle information.