More Spring: How Spring Inspires

Spring may just be the most beautiful of the seasons. Personally, autumn is my favorite. I like the crispness and the sweaters and the hot cocoa, but spring is the prettiest. We all know the signs of spring, and we eagerly await them as the snow melts and the rain starts drizzling. The geese dot the sky as they return from their southern trek, the flowers burst and bloom, the cherry trees and daffodils spring forth as if from nowhere, and the chirps of the birds wake us up in the blue mornings.

It’s a season of renewal and freshness. It’s a season that inspires. Today I have some new puzzles that I think are emblematic of spring, and some nice words written by people about the way these gorgeous signs of spring have affected them.

Hummingbirds by Cobble Hill. 500 pieces.

“One day a hummingbird flew in—
It fluttered against the window til I got it down where I could reach it with an open umbrella—
When I had it in my hand it was so small I couldn’t believe I had it—but I could feel the intense life—so intense and so tiny—
…You were like the humming bird to me…
And I am rather inclined to feel that you and I know the best part of one another without spending much time together—
—It is not that I fear the knowing—
It is that I am at this moment willing to let you be what you are to me—it is beautiful and pure and very intensely alive.”

—Georgia O’Keeffe

Better Together by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

—Bob Marley

Canada Geese by Cobble Hill. 1000 pieces.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

Mary Oliver

Bouquet for Bluebirds by SunsOut. 550 pieces.

“There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you.”

—Charles Bukowski

Red Poppies by SunsOut. 300 pieces.

“There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.”

—Alfred Tennyson

Spring Fever by White Mountain. 750 pieces.

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”

—Winston Churchill

Tulip Garden by Springbok. 1500 pieces.

“I hated roses. I hated them for being so trite, so clichéd, a default, all-purpose flower that said I love you, I’m sorry, and get well soon. Give me peonies and tulips, orchids or gardenia. Those were flowers with character.”

—Justina Chen

Covered Bridge in Spring by SunsOut. 2000 pieces.

 

“I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

—Pablo Neruda

 

Puzzles for Fishermen

Love to fish? Ready to get dressed up in your waders and tote your tackle box around all the lakes and rivers near you? So are we!

Fishing, like puzzling, is one of those peaceful activities—calming and serene, with just you and the water and the sunshine. It’s too bad there isn’t a way to bring your puzzle with you while you wait for a bite, huh?

Got a favorite fishing memory? Share it with us in the comments!

The Fishing Hole by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

 

The Quiet Country by SunsOut. 550 pieces.

ted blayock

Chasing Shad by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

 

trout, salmon

Early Strike by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Summertime by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

From Sea to Shining Sea by White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

gifts for fishermen

Freshwater Fish by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

Carl Larsson: Crayfishing by Pomegranate. 1000 pieces.

 

Hunter’s Cove by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

 

 

 

Puzzles have a feel-good factor—for everyone!

We all know the happy feeling we get from completing a tricky or challenging puzzle—the feeling of success that is in itself a reward for a job well done. But now there’s been a discovery that that same feeling we experience working on jigsaws and brain teasers doesn’t just affect humans—it also affects chimpanzees!

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) found in a study published last month that chimpanzees “get the same feeling of satisfaction from completing tricky puzzles.” A system of pipes was designed with a goal of moving dice through the maze with a stick until the dice fell into an exit chamber. Nuts were exchanged for dice and the exit chamber removed so that the reward was a tasty treat, but the scientists found that the chimps seemed keen on the game regardless of an external reward.

It was a voluntary activity that became part of the chimps’ daily routine, even when it became more challenging. A more intricate version of the maze was created with more pipes that were opaque. The chimps had to look through small holes in order to see the dice. They had no training and seemed to enjoy the cognitive challenge for the sake of the challenge itself.

To learn more about the chimpanzees in the study (named Phil, Grant, and Elvis!) and the findings of this study, just click the picture below of Phil playing with a puzzle at Whipsnade Zoo.

Monkey around with some of our primate and jungle puzzles and enjoy the feel-good effects, too!

Teaching Your Kids With Jigsaws: Geography

Doing jigsaw puzzles with your children is a great experience for bonding and teaching. Aside from having a lot of fun play time with colorful pieces, the satisfaction of completing or solving a puzzle is great for motivation and confidence. Here are other great things about teaching with puzzles:

  • Increases your youngster’s knowledge about the world
  • Helps develop his or her spatial awareness
  • Teaches valuable skills in hand-eye coordination and physical dexterity

Additionally, doing jigsaw puzzles helps develop skills in your children that they will also use for reading, math, and logic because all of these things share a theme of patterning. The brain looks for patterning in the world, and jigsaws are a perfect example of patterns!

These dynamic globe puzzle supports 3D comprehension. The unique bright colors and animals ensure a thrilling challenge. Display the puzzle with stand and refer back to it as you teach your kids about other topics like the Great Pyramids or the oceans! (Ages: 4+)

Learning Geography

You can encourage learning development through these jigsaws. Bright colors and familiar images and scenes are a favorite for children, things that promote talking and questions. Your child will undoubtedly recognize some of the features of these maps, or you can start explaining to your child where we live in the context of the greater space.

Tip: If your child seems tired of puzzling, take a break!

Make puzzles a fun experience for your family that mixes entertainment, learning and special time together.

U.S.A. Map Puzzle by Melissa and Doug

50 states kids puzzle, american jigsaw, patriotic

Teach your kids about north, west, east, and south—have fun helping them tell you how two states are related. Think of asking questions like, “What state is northeast of Texas? What states are farthest west?” See if your kids already know some things about these states, such as the iconic Hollywood sign or Statue of Liberty.

Flags of the World by White Mountain

flag puzzles, countries, world jigsaws

For those families with older children and teens, do the Flags of the World jigsaw as a family activity. You can make it fun by seeing who can recognize the most flags, or maybe make it an extended activity by randomly selecting some countries and then cooking a choice meal from there! Get creative and have fun!

  US History by GeoPuzzle

american history jigsaw puzzle, united states puzzles

Mix geography and history with this jigsaw. The United States doesn’t quite look like it did around 1776. Show your kids how the country has grown, changed, and expanded from the original 13 colonies to the Oregon Territory with this changeable jigsaw puzzle that has two maps of the USA from 1810 and today. (Ages 4+)

  Animals! by GeoPuzzle

animalsgeomap109

Kids love animals, so what better way to teach them about continents and countries than by connecting them with pictures of these adorable animals, such as pandas, kangaroos, and polar bears? Go beyond the puzzle. Look things up in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the Internet to find new pictures of animals that your children can add to the puzzle once they’re finished to keep the learning experience thriving! (Ages 4+)

Black History Month Part II: Black Art Puzzles

Got Lemons? Make Lemonade by Annie Lee from SunsOut. 500 pieces. 15″ x 29″.

We have a small but lovely selection of African American Art at Puzzle Warehouse, and here we show case some of those puzzles by Black artists Annie Lee (see earlier artist profile), Keith Mallett  and some art in the Tingatinga style.

Keith Mallett attended Hunter College in NY and worked as the in-house artist for Frontline Art Publishers. In 1997, 50 years after Jackie Robinson made his breakthrough into Major League Baseball, Mallett was asked to design the official limited edition print to commemorate the occasion. Mallett is a great artist that we can showcase for Black History month as his art has been instrumental in some movements to celebrate African American experiences — for instance, he also created the art for the first book about African American experiences in the Chicken Soup series.

Tingatinga art was established by Edward Tingatinga in 1968. It is now the name of art and handicrafts produced in the Tinga Tinga Cooperative in Tanzania. These paintings are characterized by their bright colors painted in enamel and highly decorative patterns. They also commonly feature images of animals. Made popular by Disney television, the vivid art style is a wonderful way to appreciate African culture.

Without further ado, enjoy some the best loved puzzles from this theme:

Baptism by Annie Lee from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

family tree puzzle

Tree of Life by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

duke ellington puzzles, jazz, apollo club

Apollo Fantasy by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 500 pieces. 13″ x 19″.

african american puzzles

Sisters of the Sun by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 30″.

tinga tinga art, crane puzzles, birds

Cranes by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 27″.

Storks by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 13″ x 37″.

elephant puzzles, africa puzzles

Elephant Family by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 27″.