Monthly Archives: December 2010

Puzzle of the Day – Happy New Year!

Are you tired of the same Happy New Year wishes over and over again? If you think about changing something this year, you could do the wishing with today’s vibrant puzzle of the day. Designed by Jabo for Heye, this 2000 pieces New Year themed jigsaw puzzle will blow you away.

The details on it are beautifully crafted, and the image is full of symbols, from the traditional champagne bottle to the New Year’s Eve fireworks and the social gatherings. This puzzle itself is a motive for celebration and when the lights go out, you will discover that the image glows in the dark, wishing you a shiny Happy New Year.

New Year’s Eve is one of the most social celebrations in the world. While Christmas and other religious holidays are usually celebrated with the family, around a traditional dinner, New Year’s Eve is mostly known as a party holiday. All over the world, people get together, dance, drink and watch fireworks. And while champagne is probably the alcoholic beverage most people associate with the New Year’s Eve, this unusual day has become in certain places a joyful, noisy and bacchic celebration day.

A time for gastronomic abuses, New Year’s Eve is also a time for drawing a line and making resolutions. It marks the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, the perfect occasion to look back on one’s achievements and set new goals for the future.

The Happy New Year jigsaw puzzle, with its 26.8″ X 37.8″ is there to remind you of all that and to contribute to the celebration of that very special moment.

Putting the Jigsaw in Jigsaw Puzzles

The puzzle and the saw are not exactly the most appropriate word association out there. The puzzle, an object for the mind, and the jigsaw, a raw cutting tool used with the body, make an unusual pair. Did you ever wonder where jigsaw puzzles got their name?

You could hardly imagine anyone cutting a cardboard puzzle, today, with a jigsaw. And yet, that was the only way to do it back in the days. Puzzles were not made out of cardboard but out of wood, and designing a puzzle was a lot more complicated and time consuming than it is today.

A picture was painted on a flat and rectangular piece of wood. It was manually painted, of course, so there weren’t really any mass production techniques available. In order to transform that piece of wood into a puzzle, it had to be cut into small pieces with a jigsaw. The cutting technique was crucial, and the final result depended on it.

While most of today’s jigsaw puzzles are made of cardboard, this traditional puzzle making method still exists, hence the name. Wooden puzzles are a lot more expensive than cardboard puzzles, but the technology developments enabled laser-cutting of the wooden jigsaw puzzles, instead of the expensive and uncertain traditional method.

Of course, there are still people out there that do everything by hand, from the painting to the cutting, but the unique puzzles they design have corresponding prices and have become collector’s items. So if you want to purchase a unique item, you have to seek one of these jigsaw puzzle makers. Peaceful Wooden is one example that you can find right here at Puzzle Warehouse.

Puzzle of the Day – The Solar System

Passionate little astronomers from all over the world, we have great news for you. Our jigsaw puzzle of the day this week is both fun and educational: it’s the solar system (8 puzzleballs) puzzle. Piece together each planet, then lay them out on their base stands across the matching solar system map or hang them up as a mobile with the fishing line included.

The solar system consists of the sun and the eight planets, which are bound to it by gravity. It was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are also called the terrestrial planets because they are made primarily of solid materials. The outer planets are larger, with Jupiter and Saturn made of gases and Uranus and Neptune of ice.

The Solar System Puzzleballs are a fantastic way to learn and practice facts about the solar system. Put them together with your middle-schooler while quizzing them on facts about each planet, then work together on the mobile or race to see who can arrange them in the correct order fastest. You may even learn something yourself, while you’re at it!

Jigsaw Puzzle Assembling Tips

While assembling a jigsaw puzzle is usually enjoyable, sometimes you just feel like throwing everything away and giving up. Nobody said it was going to be easy and the more pieces you have, or the more complicated the image, the harder it will be to complete. There are, however, a few puzzle assembling tips you should be aware of before beginning that should make your life easier.

Most of the people choose to start assembling with the border and there’s a very good reason for that. The edge pieces are easier to distinguish and thus easier to assemble than the rest. Plus, they give you a very good starting point.

The next step, after you’ve finished with the border, is to try and group the remaining pieces into piles of the same color. The thing here is to try and separate some areas on the image that are distinct and easier to assemble and to group the pieces accordingly. If the jigsaw puzzle you’re working on is an animal head, for example, the eyes are a very good example of such an area. Once you’re done with the eyes, you can assemble the ears, the nose, and go on from there.

The hardest thing to do is to arrange the similar looking pieces. You can be left with some that are almost indistinguishable by color and you have to sort them by shapes. Even then, the last piece might not fit into the remaining hole. That can happen, as some of the pieces are very similar in shape and some are almost identical. Do not force them into their holes, but try to switch the pieces instead, until you find the right fit.

Always remember, the important thing is to have fun. Do you have any puzzle assembling tips of your own? If so, please share them in the comments!

Puzzle of the Day – Egyptian Pyramid

For those of you who are passionate about history and archeology, this week’s jigsaw puzzle of the day should get your attention. This 3D puzzle measures 8 by 8 inches at the base, and consists of 80 pieces, specially shaped to fit together into a pyramid shape. Each side features images representing four Egyptian Pharaohs, such as King Tut, Khufu, Cleopatra and Nefertiti.

The Egyptian Pyramids were ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures built as tombs for Egypt’s Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. The pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest of all Egyptian pyramids and the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.

The pyramid builders were not slaves or foreigners as some people might think. Some of the builders were permanent employees of the pharaoh. Others were conscripted for a limited time from local villages. As a reward they were given tax breaks, shelter, food and clothing.

The 3D Egyptian Pyramid puzzle by Master Pieces will not require too much manual labor to complete, and you probably won’t get a tax break for it, but it certainly is a challenge. When it is finished, you may even want to keep it assembled as a desk ornament and a trophy of your puzzle superiority.

The Perfect Christmas Gift: a Christmas Jigsaw puzzle

Are you looking for a Christmas gift? Sometimes it can be so hard to please other people that trying to find appropriate gifts for them can be stressful. Choosing a gift is a delicate endeavor. If you don’t get it right, instead of making someone happy, you’ll make them sad. You might not find out about it, but that still isn’t good and it isn’t meant to be that way. No need to lose sleep over it, though.

While clothes, jewelry and perfumes are really tricky gifts, jigsaw puzzles do not fall into the same category. Whether we’re talking about a child or an adult, a jigsaw puzzle might be the right thing to offer in both cases. At Puzzle Warehouse, you can even find holiday themes like a Christmas jigsaw puzzle. Beautifully designed, challenging to assemble, some with as many as 1000 pieces, they are simply made to please.

They will make adults go back in time and enjoy, once again, some of the lost joys of their beautiful childhood. If they have children to share them with, those jigsaw puzzles will guarantee them some quality time with their families and will make Christmas an even happier time.

If you want to offer a gift to children, a jigsaw puzzle will be just the challenge they were hoping for and it will allow them to test their patience and skill while discovering a beautiful Christmas image, such as Father’s Christmas Train. By choosing a Christmas jigsaw puzzle, you will be helping with the creation of the magic Christmas is all about.

How Jigsaw Puzzles Were Born

Despite all appearances, the first jigsaw puzzle did not have a ludic purpose, but an educational one. Its invention is usually attributed to John Spilsbury, an Englishman who thought of the jigsaw puzzle as a playful method of learning geography.

That’s why the first jigsaw puzzles represented maps and, while assembling them, children were also testing their geography knowledge. It was a very useful tool, and some teachers still use this method today, as unorthodox as it might seem.

For the little ones, learning through play is a validated methodological approach that has proven very efficient through the years. Unlike the stiff academic drills, play can captivate children a lot more and stimulate them in more than one way. And a well-designed and tested method of learning through play can reach its objectives a lot easier than a traditional one.

Jigsaw puzzles are an essential learning tool, and they can stimulate your child and help him develop faster an essential set of skills. Solving jigsaw puzzles with him will not only enhance his social skills, but also stimulate his creativity and hand-to-eye coordination. In the meantime, the picture assembling will also stimulate his imagination and develop his problem-solving skills in a playful way.

At Puzzle Warehouse, you can find jigsaw puzzles for children of all ages, starting with as little as 12 pieces. You can not only make geography fun, but you will also be able to help the little ones discover nature and life in a wonderful and colorful way. We have more than 300 jigsaw puzzles waiting to be assembled and to teach our children the best things about life.