Happy 2020, puzzlers! Sorry it’s been so long since you’ve seen anything on Jigsaw Junkies. We have had a lot going on. Jane has retired, and I am finally taking over in her stead. My name is Ally. I’m a long-time puzzler living in the St. Louis metro. I wanted to kick things off with a little introduction, and then get to what’s on my mind!
I was speaking with a friend recently and puzzling came up, like it does. I said something about the health benefits of puzzling, and he was curious about that aspect. It led me to doing a little research. Aside from just being a relaxing way to spend some time for those who are so inclined, there are some actual neurological health benefits. There have been numerous studies in recent years detailing how puzzling can help in early brain development, contribute to relaxation and collaboration in adults, and also benefit seniors in maintaining brain health.
There is some good information about the benefits of puzzling online with our friends at PuzzleWarehouse, MasterPieces, and Springbok as well.
This Spring and Summer, my family is going to be spending a lot more time at home than usual. We have put some travel plans on hold, which means we’re not hitting the usual science museums, historical locations, art exhibits, and zoos. I have teenage sons, so it’s going to be a bit of a challenge getting their noses out of the computers and video games and more engaged in doing things together at home.
I think this is a perfect time to ease them into puzzling with some things they will enjoy. They are both really into classical history, so I think we will start with some of these great 4D Cityscape puzzles of the ancient world. We’re going to tackle Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
The first layer on each puzzle is a historical jigsaw map, with about 600 pieces. Finished size is 15″ x 22″ so plenty of room to work these on the living room table. Once the puzzle part is done, you have a set of replica monuments and buildings. Rome has things like the Theater of Pompey, The Pantheon, and the Colosseum. Greece features the Trojan Horse, Temple of Asklepios, and Knossas Palace. After you’re done building, there’s a 4D National Geographic App that lets you interact with the puzzle and see images and facts about the locations. There’s even an interactive triva program if you want to test your knowledge.
After that, we are going to spend some weekend time traveling the world through puzzles. It’s definitely cheaper than traveling!
Map puzzles are something that I appreciate. PuzzleWarehouse has lots of them, from floor puzzles for the little kids, all the way up to thousands of pieces.
I think these new Eurographics 100pc puzzles are a good intro. They have the US Map Illustrated and World Map Illustrated.
Those might be a little easy for my teens, so we are going to start with this 300 piece Ravensburger World Landmarks Map. I like the unique perspective, and think they’ll enjoy identifying the landmarks.
Eventually I hope we might work our way up to something like this Heye 2,000 piece Satellite Map. I think the colors and detail are amazing, and I’d love to do this as a group project over the Summer.
Next up we’ll be hitting some world destinations, places I’ve wanted to go or places they’re interested in. Personally, since I was a girl I’ve always dreamed of going to Australia. There’s so much interesting and different down under! I have always had a love for vintage travel posters too, so this New York Puzzle Co 1,000 puzzle called Sydney Opera House really appeals to me.
After we return from the other side of the world, I think we’ll spend An Evening in Paris, thanks to Ravensburger,
some time in Parga, Greece, courtesy of White Mountain,
and end it with some dinner at a Venice Cafe care of Vermont Christmas Company.
The boys might like to stick a little closer to home. I know we’ve always planned to go to New York,
and San Francisco is always lovely any time of year.
Clementoni has got us covered nicely on those.
Whatever you’re doing this year with your family or on your own, I wish everyone good health and lots of relaxation! Welcome back to Jigsaw Junkies!