Your Kids and Development

We recently stumbled across this great article about parents roles in their children’s development: how parents keying in to their progress in school during this crucial time is “a determining factor in [the child's] success as an adult.” They stress the importance of  actively aiding a child’s progress:

“Parents … should also take the time to learn what’s being covered under the lesson plan and what’s up next on the curricular agenda. Make a point of working on those skills at home, too … Remember, education and learning don’t stop the minute your child walks out the door of her preschool or child development center.”

Keep your kids’ brains active with playful learning games and toys with foundational skills. Melissa and Doug offers great supplements for providing educational fun in the home.

Alphabet Truck, Ages 3+

Block play is a great foundational skill for stacking, counting, and sorting.

Fruit Basket Jumbo Knob. Age 2+

Plugging in shapes is great for hand-eye-coordination skills.

Magnetic Pattern Block Kit. Ages 3+

Whether they are building predetermined patterns or exploring with shapes, they will learn about space

Halloween is Done, but We’re not at Christmas Yet!

Thursday was Halloween. A lot of people woke up Friday morning with snow on their minds and jingling carols in their ears, ready to bundle up next to the fire and wait for Santa. Stores have pulled out their wreaths and advent calendars, but everyone is forgetting something!

THANKSGIVING!

We aren’t skipping over this holiday. What’s better than dinner at 2 pm followed by dessert and naps—plus quality time with your loved ones over a long weekend?

A puzzle is the perfect activity for all the people that have been shooed by the cooks from the kitchen for having grabby fingers with the food. They can turn those busy hands to something productive by putting together some of these turkey-day themed jigsaws!

holiday puzzles, thanksgiving jigsaw

Gobbler Farms by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Pre-Serves! by Springbok. 1000 pieces.

barn puzzles, pasture

Pie Apples by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

normal rockwell puzzles, saturday evening post puzzle

Freedom from Want by Master Pieces. 1000 pieces.

Turkey Tracks by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Lady’s Choice by SunsOut. 550 pieces.

Grandma’s Kitchen by Springbok. 1000 pieces.

Going to Grandma’s House for Thanksgiving by Andrews + Blaine. 1000 pieces.

Reviews on Some of Our Most Popular Puzzles

We at Puzzle Warehouse love all of our puzzles and recommend them highly—but don’t take our word for it! Many of you have submitted reviews on puzzles that are helpful to the other customers and give them a good idea of what to expect once they open the box. Whether some are surprised the picture is so vibrant or pleased that the pieces were so sturdy, people have a lot of good things to say about a lot of fun puzzles. Here are 5 random puzzles and their reviews from our Popular Puzzles section. We love reading your thoughts on puzzles—keep them coming!

Contentment by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

“Beautiful pictures and nice large pieces.” —Cathy, 5 star review

“I wasn’t prepared for the size of the puzzle and wish I would have added a leaf to the table! But it’s a great puzzle and well done. We are having fun working it.” —Sarah, 5 star review

Tasty Treats by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

“Great puzzle idea. Entertained family members (all ages) for hours.” —Gail, 5 star review

“I really like the puzzle. The pieces are high quality and I also like that the pieces are larger than usual.” —Martha, 5 star review

“A little harder to do than some but that made it even better. I loved it.” —Jackie, 5 star review

Blue Ribbon Groomer by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

“Was a VERY fun puzzle, actually wrote that on the box before I passed it on to my daughter.” —Suanne, 5 star review

“Beautiful puzzle, nice quality and color. So much fun to do.” —Wendie, 5 star review

Butterflies and Sunflowers by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

 “The puzzled was delivered quickly and in mint condition. It’s much more colorful than seeing it on the website which I’m very pleased about.” —Rita, 5 star review
“This puzzle was awesome and worth buying.” —Angela, 5 star review

Airplanes of World War II by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

“The pieces are large and easy to handle; the multi-pictures with borders make it easy for someone who loves puzzles but has difficulty discerning between pieces in large stretches of single colors. Excellent!” —Susan, 5 star review

Jigsaw Puzzles of Fairies

My grandmother loved fairies. She had a fairy garden complete with an arched entrance with the word “believe” on it. Through the entryway there was a small pond decorated with fairy figurines and a rocking bench. It is a beautiful and serene spot, a place where one could believe in magic.

Fairies and sprites add a bit of whimsy to our lives. We could also use some fairy dust to sprinkle around! To celebrate my grandma’s memory, I’ve collected some of our cutest and most fun fairy puzzles to share with you all.

Other puzzlers have told me before in comments on the blog and Facebook that puzzles are a great way to celebrate and remember someone close to them, as there are so many images to choose from to remind us of people and their passions. I’ll have to pick up a fairy puzzle myself soon—I think the first one in this list is my favorite!

fairy puzzle, 300 piece puzzle

Bath Time by Ravensburger. 300 pieces.

Al Fine, Shu by Educa. 500 pieces.

Fairy Hollow by Educa. 1000 pieces.

Fairy Falls by SunsOut. 1500 pieces.

thumbelina puzzle

Fairy Princess by Educa. 500 pieces.

ceaco shimmer puzzles, glitter jigsaw

Angel Haniel by Ceaco. 550 pieces.

The Kiss by Educa. 1000 pieces.

 

Puzzles are the Perfect Family Bonding Activity

Last week my family lost my grandmother to lung cancer. She passed in her home with her family around her, eating, laughing, and sharing stories for days straight. Although it was emotionally difficult for all of us, we kept her spirits up with our smiles and offered her the comfort of being surrounded by those that loved her the most.

For several of those days, we had 10 or more people in her home spending the night to be with her. To keep us all occupied, I pulled out some puzzles. Everyone, the young, the old, and the middle-aged, stopped for some moments to help put the puzzles together.

During this stressful and challenging time, a puzzle was the perfect activity. It kept the children busy (and quiet, so my grandmother could rest) and gave all of our minds a calming distraction. Instead of being consumed with anxiety, stress, and sadness the puzzle allowed a few moments to lose ourselves in sorting and helping each other—whether it was helping find a piece for someone else, or confirming whether a piece really fit in a spot. We each had our own methods for putting the puzzle together (my cousin Randy and I had a preference for sorting by shape, my cousin Zach insisting on color) but together we were able to recreate 2 Ceaco sea-themed puzzles.

Puzzle Warehouse is first and foremost a family company, owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Brian and Susan Way (and the help their 7 children!)

As a company, all of us working at PW are all committed to providing our customers with a great activity for all ages, a way for the littlest of kids and oldest of adults in a family to connect in a common interest and project. But Puzzle Warehouse is also a family company in that it allowed me the flexibility to go and spend that time with my grandmother when she needed me most, of which I am extremely grateful.

It has been a pleasure to work here. Multiple family members told me that a puzzle was the perfect choice for an activity and thanked me for suggesting it during that time. It wouldn’t have happened if my job at Puzzle Warehouse hadn’t cultivated my interest in this great hobby that brings people together and unifies them, making them work as a team. I am thankful for the peace and serenity a puzzle provided in that time.

Here are some pictures of the puzzles we did.

A sea of blue! After the border we had a lot of sorting to do!

My mother, Dawn, my Great Uncle Jerry and Uncle Jeff working on the first puzzle.

Finished product!

Finished product!

The second puzzle we worked on a lot more color.

A missing edge piece drove us crazy for the beginning of the experience.

Further along, but still no edge piece!

Nearly there! By this point, I had won my battle of sorting the pieces by shape, making the last section whiz by.

Finished product. The edge piece was found in the box by my cousin Randy—the only one of us to have enough sense to look there!

Special thanks and credit goes to to Jerry, Jeff, Dawn, Bella, Randy, Grant, Addie, Max, Zach, and all of my other family members that worked on these puzzles.

Also, thank you to all of our Puzzle Warehouse fans—we left you without any new blog updates or Facebook posts for quite a while—but we’re back to keep talking about the thing we all love so much: puzzles!

Tomorrow we will feature our fairy puzzles as a special post dedicated to my grandmother and her love of sprites and magical creatures.