Puzzles

Overview

Solving puzzles has always been an activity that we really enjoyed, especially when the weather didn’t play along as we would have liked. The wonderful thing about puzzles for us has always been the fact that it’s a great activity for the whole family that can be incredibly versatile thanks to the variety of different puzzles available. So if you need an idea for rainy days (or any other day of the year, really), new motivation to dig out the puzzles you have stowed away in the cellar or the attic, want to know the greatest benefits of solving puzzles and what types of puzzles there are (you’ll be surprised), then join me for a while and maybe you can take something away with you.

**Below you will also find a collection of great puzzles for your next project or the next great gift idea.**

Puzzle

What we love about puzzles

There are many good reasons for solving puzzles with your children – or simply on your own. For us, doing puzzles is always a great alternative when we’re not in the mood for more (physically) active games or activities. We always like to sit around the living room table with two or three of us – unfortunately, due to our age, the floor is no longer the best choice for some of us 🤣 – and then we can get started. We’re usually joined by one or two of our cats, even if they’re not usually very helpful in solving the puzzles. Especially our youngest, Milo, has in the past often blessed us with his company. That, however,  despite his cuteness, wasn’t always very helpful if you were looking for specific pieces that he covered with all of his furryness as you will see in a minute.

We started doing puzzles when my son was very young, typically with wooden puzzles consisting of no more than 10 pieces. In the meantime, we have arrived at puzzles with 1500 pieces and they often keep us busy for quite a while, depending on how much time we manage to invest in solving the puzzle. It has already happened several times, that we have started a puzzle and solved a part of it, but then haven’t worked on it for days (or weeks).  One person in our household in particular finds this rather less amusing as, for whatever reason 🤷‍♀️, they want to be able to place things on said table… This is perhaps the only negative aspect of puzzles. It can take up a lot of space and once you’ve started the puzzle, you don’t want to just put it away again. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: use a puzzle mat*. This makes it easy to roll up the finished puzzle and store it safely when you want to take a temporary break and don’t want to leave it lying around.

What benefits are there for solving puzzles?

  • Improved Memory: Puzzles are great for your brain. Solving a puzzle helps strengthening memory pathways, especially short-term memory which is crucial for everyday tasks.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: Regularly engaging with puzzles trains the brain to approach problems from different angles and develop creative solutions.
  • Increased Attention Span: Focusing on finding the right pieces improves concentration and helps train the brain to filter out distractions.
  • Stress Reduction: The repetitive and calming nature of puzzle solving can lower stress levels and promote feelings of well-being.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Completing a puzzle provides a satisfying sense of accomplishment and boosts self-confidence for both children and adults.
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Of course, it just feels great when you can finally place the last piece and complete a puzzle after hours of searching and trial and error. But for us, getting there is also something we really enjoy. Of course, you can sit down to a puzzle on your own and get a lot of satisfaction out of it. It is simply a very relaxing activity. However, we personally find it particularly enjoyable when we can work together to solve a puzzle. How often is it not the case that you are looking for a special piece and can’t find it, or simply can’t find the right place for a piece and then the other person comes along and hands you the piece you are looking for or places something where it belongs as if it was totally obvious. These are the moments that usually put a smile on the faces of both the seeker and the finder.

Naturally, there have also been plenty of times when we have despaired over a puzzle because 500 out of 1500 pieces looked identical or a motif had like 5000 different shades of one colour…! What, you think I’m exaggerating? Probably 😂 And in the end we were still able to solve them all, but here and there we just needed a break when it got too frustrating.

More good reasons to solve puzzles with your kids

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  • Bonding and Teamwork: Working together on a puzzle fosters communication and collaboration between parent and child. Discussing strategies, searching for pieces, and celebrating successes builds a sense of teamwork and accomplishment.
  • Cognitive Development: Puzzles challenge the brain in a fun way, improving visual-spatial reasoning, problem-solving skills, and short-term memory. This is a great mental workout for both kids and adults!
  • Patience and Persistence: Jigsaw puzzles can take time and effort to complete. Working on them together teaches kids the value of patience and persistence in reaching a goal.
  • Relaxation and Focus: The repetitive nature of searching for pieces and putting them together can be calming and meditative for both parent and child.
  • Quality Time: Jigsaw puzzles offer a screen-free activity that allows for focused, quality time together.

Ultimately, it’s also really great that puzzles are so versatile because they come in different sizes, difficulties and motifs. Most recently, we solved puzzles with special places, with great nature motifs, but also one with the first 151 Pokemon and a Minecraft puzzle. There really is something for everyone here.

As I mentioned before, our cats also love it very much when we do puzzles because they can be right in the middle of it. They quickly figured out that they get a lot of attention when they sit in the middle of the puzzle pieces or even lie on top of all the pieces in the box 😏

What kinds of puzzles are there?

After researching the subject more intensively, I am honestly fascinated by how many different types of puzzles there actually are. Apart from the obvious fact that there are puzzles with just a few up to an incredible 54,000 pieces, there are glowing puzzles, black & white puzzles, 3D puzzles, exit puzzles, riddle puzzles, story puzzles, puzzles without a picture, where you can only orientate yourself by the shape of the puzzle pieces and puzzles for every conceivable film, theme and occasion.

There are puzzles in special shapes that are not rectangular but round, or in the shape of an animal or a map. Then there are puzzles made from different materials – wooden puzzles in particular are now very popular because they have a very special look and feel. There are also puzzles with double motifs, so that there are two different pictures that can be put together with one puzzle and some puzzles even have a special coating so that the picture looks different at the end depending on the viewing angle. There are certainly many other types of puzzles – I make no claim to completeness here – but I think I have been able to give you a good first impression of how extensive this topic is.

That said, if you’re looking for a new puzzle for your next project or a very special gift, take a look at the following puzzles and let yourself be inspired by the world of wonderful, crazy and special puzzles. At the very end, I’ll show you which one is already on my personal wish list. By the way, don’t be confused by the age recommendations. These are usually very rough guidelines and your kids will be able to solve the puzzles much earlier – with a little parental support in any case.

Simply click on the image for the respective product link*.

Collection of awesome puzzles

Nature Puzzles

1.000 pieces / age 14+

500 pieces / age 12+

300 pieces / age 9+

3.000 pieces / age 14+

Puzzles of beautiful places

2.000 pieces / age 12+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

Puzzles for younger kids

3x49 pieces / age 5+

30 pieces / age 4+

30 pieces / age 4+

24 pieces / age 4+

Special Puzzles

1.000 pieces / age 14+ / no picture

226 pieces / age 10+ / 3D glowing

1.000 pieces / age 12+ / riddle

344 pieces / age ? / wooden pieces

100 pieces / age 6+ / glowing

1.040 pieces / age 12+ / spiral puzzle

1.000 pieces / age ? / double motif

108 pieces / age 3+ / special shape

Disney & Fairytale Puzzles

1.000 pieces / age 9+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

1.500 pieces / age 14+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

Extra large Puzzles

13.500 pieces / age 12+

9.000 pieces / age 12+

9.000 pieces / age 12+

40.000 pieces / age 14+

Puzzles of famous landmarks

2.000 pieces / age 14+

1.500 pieces / age 14+

1.500 pieces / age 12+

1.000 pieces / age 12+

Christmas Puzzles

1.000 pieces / age 12+

500 pieces / age 12+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

1.000 pieces / age 12+

Movie & Game Puzzles

1.000 pieces / age 14+

1.000 pieces / age 12+

1.000 pieces / age 14+

3x49 pieces / age 5+

And here, as promised, is the puzzle, which I will definitely be looking at in person soon.

What do you think my cats will think of it? Will they feel particularly invited to sit on the puzzle pieces or roll across the puzzle? Will they possibly take a leaf out of the puzzle’s book and get up to even more mischief than they already do? Will they stare at me in disbelief with that look that says: “Are you kidding, human, more cats?”? Are they going to spread the pieces under the sofa (as usual) to stop us from solving the puzzle? Or chew on the pieces? Or is it like so often in real life that they leave in a huff as soon as they are bored? …

This is going to be a very exciting affair. I will of course report back and thank you if you have persevered to the end of this page. More content on this and other topics is sure to follow ❤

* Disclaimer

I get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. For you, this has no impact on the price but it helps me to keep doing what I love and allows me to produce more content.

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