Any time of year, it's good to have some ideas for inexpensive, screen-free, indoor-oriented family activities for those sudden rainy days. Puzzles are a great alternative to hours spent in front of the television. But if you're new to puzzles, or looking for some clues to solve them, here's our guide to some puzzle tips and tricks to help you put together puzzles like a pro.
A quiet movement is underway in this country, and it's not about applications, clothing or decoration. After vinyl record albums, coloring books and traditional board games, puzzles are enjoying a resurgence in popularity among adults. Maybe because it's an opportunity to unplug and give yourself and your family an escape from the information overload that invades our lives 24 hours a day , 7 days on 7. The adult puzzle is the solution, at a reasonable price, to finally have quality time.
What are people who do puzzles called?
A cephaloclastophile is a person who loves doing puzzles. But to be more precise, this somewhat barbaric term is used for a collector and enthusiast of puzzles in general (including puzzles).
What criteria to take into account?
Before even choosing and starting your adult puzzle, it is important to take into account certain aspects such as: the number of pieces (size and format), the theme, the image represented but also the quality as well as possible accessories .
1. Choosing the right adult puzzle
2. Have an ending plan
It seems obvious, right? But sometimes we are attracted to 3000 piece puzzles when our skill level is actually around 400 pieces. And it doesn't matter! Our brain likes challenges, but not impossible challenges! Improve your skill level first before tackling expert level puzzles. This will make it more enjoyable along the way and discourage you from abandoning your adult puzzle halfway through.
What do you plan to do with your puzzle next? If it is intended to be taken apart and put back in its box, you need less planning than if you plan to glue and frame your adult puzzle
If you decide to glue and frame your puzzle, find out about gluing puzzle pieces before you begin. Gluing puzzles can be cumbersome and messy, so if you plan to do this, work on your puzzle on a suitable surface. The format must then be taken into account because adult puzzles over 1000 pieces are imposing in size! The wood format is recommended for gluing.
3. The type of puzzle
There are as many models (image) as there are puzzles, whether for children or adults. You might then think that choosing is just a matter of taste. well no ! The complexity of the image is very important in relation to to the person's affinity with the puzzle, but also and above all in relation to to its level.
But be careful, a puzzle model is not a type of puzzle! Indeed, there are a multitude of puzzles such as those made of cardboard, 2D and 3D puzzles, puzzles without or with edges, and fitting puzzles. and of course all the Chinese puzzles which are also puzzles (and educational games)!
4. The age of the person you are buying the puzzle for and their level
Although we mainly deal with adult puzzles in this article, they are of course aimed at children as well.
For children - They exercise the mind and encourage them to think about a range of possible solutions to a given problem. If you are buying a puzzle for a child, it is important to develop their interest and not discourage them by giving them puzzles that are too difficult to understand. The choice of the number of pieces and the theme is therefore essential. For more details, see our complete guide here. He may not be able to complete the puzzle very quickly, but the important thing is to understand the objective and enjoy playing with the puzzle. This activity is therefore much more similar to educational games.
The best themes =
Seat your child on a table and let the magic of the puzzle work. Animals and fantastic characters are favorite models for young people. Next comes the landscape models which are often appreciated by children aged 8 and over.
At L'Enfant Malin, we have created a special category "Puzzles for children" to help you choose puzzles suitable for young children according to their age. Low-cost puzzles with free delivery from 55 euros of purchase.
(@L'Enfant Malin / Educational games / Children's wooden puzzle box from 4 pieces to 32 pieces / Free delivery from 55 euros)
If the person is a lover or collector of puzzles -There is no doubt that many of them are magnificent objects of art in their own right, particularly those made of quality wood. For people who only play once, it's often best to opt for a puzzle that isn't too difficult with a theme or image that speaks to the person. These puzzles are perfect for placing on a coffee table and using as an ongoing source of fun with other people. Disentangling puzzles and assembly puzzles (no interlocking) generally meet this requirement well. Although adult sequential movement puzzles often have a high level of difficulty, they are very "playable" and therefore can be perfect for beginners.
collectors are mainly looking for puzzles that are new, rare and/or very difficult. They are also quite picky about the theme of the puzzle and of course its quality! Some brands offer adult puzzles only for experts in the field!
Interlocking puzzles often have a very high degree of difficulty and many of them are made from very unusual woods, making them very interesting to display. For the more experienced there is the range of wooden puzzles which is also part of the world of puzzles.
5. A clever, quality gift for a special occasion
Yes, puzzles are perfect gifts. The choice to buy an adult puzzle for a birthday, Father's Day, your aunt's Christmas or Mother's Day is a smart choice. How about a heart-shaped puzzle for Valentine's Day? Or a colorful wooden animal puzzle for a nature lover? Brands like L'Enfant Malin bring an extra touch with quality wooden boxes for a unique gift.
(@L'Enfant Malin / Wooden animal box of 100 pieces to 350 pieces and accessories included)
The Ying&Yang for a wedding anniversary? The traditional gift for a 5th wedding anniversary is wood. It is said that the strength of the bonds of marriage is represented by the traditional wooden gift. Wood is strong and durable. A wooden puzzle can provide fun entertainment for adults at an affordable price.
(@The Malignant Child / Wooden box of the Ying&Yang symbol. From 106 pieces to 300 pieces and accessories included)
A wooden puzzle box for adults is therefore an excellent gift idea at a reduced price. Make them work on their brains, while having fun for guaranteed quality time! There are many different sizes (from 100 to 3000 pieces), shapes (2D, 3D, jigsaw puzzles) and degrees of difficulty, so check out the adult puzzle category.
How to make a puzzle?
Here are some useful tips for children and adults alike.
1. Flip all the pieces face up
Having all the pieces facing the same direction can be tedious, but it allows you to work with the whole puzzle all the time, and the following steps will be faster.
2. Find all the border pieces
Constructing your border gives you a defined space to work within as you build. Of course, this strategy only works for standard puzzles that have edges. If you chose to take on the added challenge of doing a puzzle without border pieces, you're out of luck. If the edge is a single color or pattern, you may have better luck starting from the inside of the puzzle and doing the edge pieces last (for example, the animal and print patterns). landscapes are in the majority with edge).
3. Sort by color
From here you can construct recognized sections of the puzzle. For most puzzles, this part will be quite easy, because you can tell the difference between different shades or different areas of the puzzle by the color of the image you see on the pieces. Some adult puzzles that are deemed "impossible" feature patterns and colors that repeat throughout, which is more difficult. For the latter, you will need to try to separate colors that appear less often and also focus on the shape of the pieces.
Pieces that do not have a dominant color should be placed in a diversified pile that you will use when you have exhausted your main color sorting piles. And yes it’s a real strategy and whatever your age or level!
(@L'Enfant Malin / Adult wooden puzzle from 110 pieces to 350 pieces / Free delivery from 55 euros)
4. Special parts
Some pieces will be in really distinctive parts of the puzzle because they have text or color that only appears in one place. Keep them separate and exploit them as much as possible. You may also find puzzle pieces that are shaped very differently from other pieces. Keep them separate, as it will be easy to spot their place when you start putting the puzzle together. Some puzzles even feature so-called fantasies, which are special shapes like people or animals, scattered among the other regular puzzle shapes. This is the case for the wooden puzzle boxes for adults from L'Enfant Malin.
How to finish a puzzle?
Once the 4 steps seen previously have been completed, you will normally find yourself with the entire edge of the puzzle done as well as a small pile of very distinct pieces.This is when the second part of the mission begins!
Be patient and take advantage of this moment of calm to try as many combinations as possible. If that doesn't work put the part back in the same place and continue the process.
Don't forget to take a break! It's not a race, on the contrary. Take the time to enjoy and if you start to get tired then it may be time for a hot herbal tea.
Once you have worked on your puzzle for many minutes, long hours or sometimes even days you should be able to see very clearly the image you are trying to reproduce. The previous strategy was done so that you only have around ten special and easily recognizable pieces left!
The long-awaited time has come and so has the feeling of pride when placing your very last piece of your work of art!
(@Canva / The final piece)
Landscapes, animals, colors but also a form of poetry and beauty create quality adult puzzles. Don't be afraid of the heavy work that some may suggest! Give it a go and you will be delighted.
Staying away from screens, devices, and even television can be a near-impossible task, but it's vital for our mental and even physical health. A puzzle requires your full attention and that's where the magic lies. Everyone from pre-teens and teenagers, children, to overworked parents and the elderly, returns to this quiet childhood pastime. Call it a retro revolution, join in too.
For children or adults, puzzles are much more than educational games or a Sunday pastime. The biggest brands in the world (Ravensburger, Clementoni, Castorland, Djeco) have understood this and are offering more and more new products. Real models which, once assembled, are real pieces of art!
Hoping that you enjoyed this article, leave us a comment for any comments or opinions.
If you would like to read more content on educational games in general and the development of your children through play, I invite you to join our Newsletter to don't miss anything.
By registering, you will receive an E-BOOK offered by the educational games store L'Enfant Malin.