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Who doesn’t love to do puzzles? If you are anything like my sweet grandma, she can sit for hours and enjoy working through an expert level puzzle. But for us beginners, what is the best way to solve it?
I’m going to talk about some tips and tricks on how to solve a puzzle!
Puzzles are a great way to challenge your mind and solving them is fun. Some simple tips and tricks to solving puzzles can help you stay focused on your task.
To help make puzzle solving a bit easier you should sort the puzzle pieces by shape (put all the edges to one side) and then by color or pattern that is on them. You will also want to make sure that the place that you are doing the puzzle is big enough so no pieces fall off or get lost.
Puzzles is a wide term used to describe anything that is difficult to understand or make sense of. With 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles being sold every year, puzzles are a popular educational tool.
A jigsaw puzzle is a piece of cardboard or wood that is cut into many different pieces and shapes that involve the user placing them back together. The pictures can be anything from animals to landscapes and once they are completed can give us a sense of accomplishment.
In this article specifically I will be talking about tricks to doing jigsaw puzzles and not word puzzles or even real life puzzles.
To see the most popular jigsaw puzzles available now just click here.
Is There A Trick To Doing Jigsaw Puzzles?
When you sit down to do a puzzle there are a few tricks that you can do to help make it more enjoyable and less frustrating. The last thing that a puzzle should be is frustrating so knowing these tricks will help keep that from happening.
- Choose a puzzle according to your skill level. You don’t want to go all out and choose the hardest one with the most pieces right off the bat. You’ll thank me when you are able to complete the puzzle without getting too frustrated. So, if you are a beginner puzzle solver, start out small so you don’t give up halfway through.
- Know what you will do with the puzzle after it is completed. Will you just take it apart or will you frame your masterpiece? They even sell puzzle accessories such as mats that keep your puzzle just the way it is.
- Have a workspace on which to do your puzzle. Make sure there’s enough room for you to do the whole puzzle and have a portable surface such as a mat or piece of cardboard that is good for when you need to move the puzzle. Plastic baggies or Tupperware containers can hold the extra pieces so they don’t get lost.
Now we’re ready to do our puzzle!
Start by flipping all the pieces upwards so you can see the picture on every piece. This helps you know what you’re working with.
Next find all the edge pieces.
This gives you a border that you can work inside of as you build the puzzle out. Then sort out all your pieces by color so that you know the general location where they should be placed.
Some “impossible” puzzles have recurring patterns and colors so for these you may have to sort them out by shape as well.
If some pieces have a special shape or look that is unusual compared to the rest of the pieces, set them aside until you find where exactly they go.
Pay attention to the shape of the puzzle pieces.
The “knobs’ and “holes” may look like they will fit in with another piece but then they don’t. So if you want to be extra, you can organize your pieces into “knobs’ and “holes” piles.
Working on small sections of the puzzle at a time is a great way to help you stay focused and you can see how far you’ve come. You can place these finished sections in where they might go even if they aren’t connected to the border just yet. If you have your pieces separated by color, shape, etc.
You may want to try to connect the sections to the border next.
Now to recap:
- Lay all the pieces picture side up.
- Sort into groups by color, patterns, shapes, etc.
- Put the edge pieces together first.
- Start with selections using the bold objects, large shapes, colors.
- Finish with the most difficult parts.
Finally, Don’t give up! If you feel like you are starting to get frustrated or tired, take a break and come back to it later! Puzzles are good brain work but should also be fun!
Remember practice makes perfect.
Once your puzzle is completed, take the time to enjoy what you’ve accomplished! Next time you may even want to try a harder puzzle.
How Long Does It Take To Solve A 1,000 Piece Puzzle?
Challenging your brain is great for your mental health and with a 1000 piece puzzle you can put that mind of yours to work.
The average time spent on a 1000 piece puzzle is 5-30 hours depending on how experienced you are at solving them. This can be done in one sitting or over several days. The choice is yours!
Besides experience, another factor that affects the time needed to finish a puzzle is how difficult it is. Some puzzles have a lot of the same colors in them which makes completing them more difficult (imagine a lot of the sky or grass in a landscape puzzle).
Other puzzles have a large variety of images on them which makes putting them together a bit easier despite being the same number of pieces.
To figure out how long it would take you to finish a puzzle just take the time you spend on other puzzles and average how many more pieces you have to do to figure out how long it would take.
For example, if a 250 piece puzzle takes an hour, then a 500 piece would take 2 hours and so on.
If you are wanting to finish the puzzle a lot faster, you will need to give yourself quiet and space to focus.
Study the image very carefully so you can make a mental note of how the product will turn out. Organize the pieces and take one section at a time.
You can even ask someone for help.
LIstening to music or Podcasts is also a good way to keep yourself going.
Stay focused on your puzzle and have fun!
What Skills Do You Need To Solve Puzzles?
Do you need any special skills for solving puzzles? Maybe you think it just takes a really smart person.
Although puzzles have been proven to develop your brain, those that do them often have strong mental skills.
Although puzzles have been proven to help you mentally they do not require any special skills to do. As long as you have the time and patience and can match the picture on the box with the pieces then you can do a puzzle.
Jigsaw puzzles help with motor skills, hand eye coordination and spatial awareness. They can also enhance visual perception and improve mind skills such as memory, concentration, and problem solving.
Puzzles make your entire brain work, from the left side which works logically to sort the pieces to the right side which is our creative side and helps us see the final product and works instinctively.
Doing a puzzle can improve memory and help to maintain a healthy brain. They clear and relax your mind and once the puzzle is completed you get a sense of great satisfaction and achievement.
Interesting Puzzle Facts
I came across some facts about puzzles that I thought were quite interesting:
- The jigsaw puzzle is believed to have become a popular educational tool when Mr. John Spilsbury who was an English cartographer made the very first one in 1767. It is said that Mr Spilsbury mounted a map on a piece of hardwood, cut it using a saw, then challenged the public to reassemble it.
- When these puzzles became a thing they were originally called a dissected puzzle or dissections. Later in 1909 a jigsaw was invented and they used this to cut the puzzle into pieces and that led to the new name “Jigsaw Puzzle”.
- Back then there was no guide to show you how the pictures looked so the jigsaw puzzles were much harder to put together. Sometimes the end result would be a surprise until the last pieces fit into the puzzle.
- The most difficult puzzle consists of 529 pieces and pictures of Dalmations. Imagine all those spots!
- In 1989 a puzzle company created a puzzle with no solution. This baffling not so circular puzzle only has 5 pieces so it just keeps you going around in circles.
Someone once said, “Life is like a puzzle. Only if you fit the pieces to the right places, you will see the beauty of it.”
By using some simple tips and tricks you should be well on your way to being a master puzzle solver.
You may start out with a mess of small pieces but when they are all correctly placed then you will be able to see the big picture. And that end result is amazing!