Jigsaw Puzzles Are Our Thing

I may not be able to get my family around the dinner table every night for a hot meal, but when there is a new jigsaw puzzle on my dining room table – the family bonding begins.

When I was little, the first snowfall meant 3 things – hot chocolate, days off from school, and jigsaw puzzles. There was always something about putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle that facilitated great conversation, teamwork, lots of laughs and great memories.

As an adult, I’m carrying on this tradition with my own kids. I started them out young with Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles and then they graduated to floor puzzles of the United States and modes of transportation. It didn’t take long for them to earn a spot at the dining room table for the main event.

While my love of jigsaw puzzles has remained steady, my kids have had varied levels of interest. Andrew took to it quickly. As a lover of the Lego, he is a natural builder with qualities like patience and determination to succeed.

Jenna, on the other hand, had a passing interest for many years. She would come and do a few pieces at a time and then become frustrated by the process and leave the table. But I always knew she would be back. 2017 is her year. She is now passionate about finding the right pieces and feels the satisfaction of linking them together in holy matrimony. And then, she keeps going – knowing another perfect match is right around the corner.

As you can see, we really get into this. There are happy dances and high fives all around. We play music and a family sing-a-long is not unheard of. And we do have some rules about jigsaw puzzles that I’d like to share with you in case I’ve convinced you to try one with your loved ones.

  • Choose your puzzle carefully – When selecting a puzzle at the store, don’t go for the 2,000-piece puzzle at first. You are just setting yourself up for failure. Go with a 500 or 1,000 pieces. Also, pick a puzzle that you would like to see come to life. This year, we have a dog park puzzle. Last year, we must have been hungry when we selected the doughnut themed one and two years ago, we were in a New York state of mind when we did two puzzles in one winter – Central Park and Times Square.
  • Anyone can participate – Puzzles are fun for all ages and abilities. You can be a novice or an expert. And we are known for our multi-generation puzzle doers. We have had 3 generations working on a puzzle at once. We also invite neighbors and anyone else who wants to help. All are welcome.
  • All methods are welcome – There are many ways to approach a jigsaw puzzle – by color, by section of the puzzle, or by the shape of the piece. Whatever floats your boat and you can change methods. No one will ever judge you.
  • No fighting, except… – The only fighting allowed is over the box cover that features the entire puzzle. Also, it is not cheating to refer to the picture for help – just don’t keep it to yourself.

And most of all—have fun!

19 comments on Jigsaw Puzzles Are Our Thing

  1. Patty Wiseman
    January 1, 2018 at 10:01 am (9 months ago)

    I love jigsaw puzzles! I have one under my bed at this very minute! Halfway done. Really do love them, though! Fun post.

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:08 am (9 months ago)

      Thanks for commenting Patty! Glad to see that there is a community of puzzle-doers. :) Good luck with your puzzle.

      Reply
  2. Alana
    January 1, 2018 at 10:04 am (9 months ago)

    This brings back memories – both of doing puzzles with my son (who is now grown) and, as a teen, doing Springbok puzzles. They had such interesting ones – and now there is a better selection than ever. I do a selection of toys for a local charity each Christmas (usually for a 5 or 6 year old boy) and I always include a simple puzzle. I’ve always needed that picture on the box, so don’t hide it from me!

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:06 am (9 months ago)

      So funny that I never thought of donating a puzzle for kids. I always go for the toy. I will definitely do that in the future. Thanks for the idea and thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  3. Martha
    January 1, 2018 at 11:29 am (9 months ago)

    Ah, the memories this brought back to me! When I was younger my grandmother always had a jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table. My grandfather made a frame around a piece of wood (a large piece) and when it was dinner time, he would put it on her bed. It came back to the table for the evening and we all helped gramma find the pieces! Thanks for sharing and bringing back a wonderful memory.

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm (9 months ago)

      My pleasure! Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  4. Paul Taubman
    January 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm (9 months ago)

    I think a jigsaw puzzle would be good for me. My initial thought is that I do not have the patience and would want it done NOW. Perhaps ‘forcing’ me to calm down could be a good thing…

    Thanks for the share!

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm (9 months ago)

      There are definitely days where I look at it and wish it was done. But, most of the time I like the challenge and feel a sense of accomplishment (even a little zen) when I find the pieces that go together. Give it a shot. :)

      Reply
  5. Janet Yarwood
    January 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm (9 months ago)

    I love this! I have many happy memories of sitting with my mum or Gran(or both!) doing jigsaws. Now my 3 year old loves them and I got a new one for Christmas for the first time in years

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm (9 months ago)

      Enjoy!

      Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 6:47 pm (9 months ago)
      Reply
  6. Stella Scott
    January 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm (9 months ago)

    This was a Christmas tradition when I grew up and I still love it. Here in Sweden the big day is the 24th. Then, when we lean back and relax on the 25th the puzzle becomes the focus. So calming! It’s like a mutual meditation.

    Reply
    • elisaadmin
      January 1, 2018 at 6:48 pm (9 months ago)

      Totally agree that it is like meditating. I’m not one to sit still but I do feel a sense of calm come over me as I work the puzzle.

      Reply
      • elisaadmin
        January 1, 2018 at 6:53 pm (9 months ago)

        Also, this is my Christmas tradition too – except that I’m Jewish and after movies and Chinese food (aka the Jewish Christmas), there isn’t much else to do. LOL!

        Reply
  7. Ruth Bowers
    January 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm (9 months ago)

    This reminds me of when we had our family cottage. There was always a jigsaw puzzle on the go, and anyone who was there… aunts, uncles, cousins, all took part in putting it together. Such fun memories!

    Reply
  8. Jeanine Byers
    January 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm (9 months ago)

    I have always found jigsaw puzzles to be a bit painful, but I think if the resulting picture was cute, breathtaking, or cozy, it was worth it. Gotta say, though, I loved my son’s toddler ones best. Wishing you and all of us a great UBC month!

    Reply
  9. Liz Hirsch
    January 2, 2018 at 6:17 am (9 months ago)

    Loved rinks one. I also love jigsaw pins zzles. Did one with Kelsey years go. Had it glued together for proof of completion. Lovely familyk tradition.

    Reply
  10. Suzanne
    January 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm (9 months ago)

    It’s great to see so many other jigsaw puzzle lovers! We all love puzzles here, and when hubby won’t play a board game, he will always join in on puzzles!

    Reply
  11. Daniela Pesconi-Arthur
    January 3, 2018 at 7:32 am (9 months ago)

    That’s brilliant! I LOVE jigsaw puzzles, and we have the same thing here in my house. The last one we did was a kitchen vintage one that we bought after the Christmas sales, and once it was ready, it we framed it and hanged it on our kitchen wall! :)

    Reply

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