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Social Distancing with Puzzles

Hello from quarantine with Sarah and Michaela!

We will introduce ourselves in an upcoming blog, so stay tuned. Today, we are here to help you: whether you’re a long-time jigsaw puzzler or are newbies jumping onto the puzzle bandwagon during the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous articles are appearing about the sudden increase in puzzling as social distancing practices are increasing nation-and worldwide. Many stores and sites are selling out. Although some of the avid puzzlers have stockpiles in a closet, their spare bedroom, or in every nook and cranny of their abode, we understand that the average American isn’t exactly prepared with enough puzzles for weeks of quarantine.

This post is full of suggestions to make redoing puzzles more fun, to make them take longer, and/or to expand the mind in new ways.

Fun Puzzling Activities

Mixing Puzzles:

This is great if you only have a few smaller count puzzles or even a few Micropuzzles! Take a few 100 piece puzzles and mix them together in one pile and do all of them at once! Or, if you really want a challenge or are an avid puzzler, mix two 500+ piecers together!

 

Borders Last:

Most puzzlers start with the border as it forms a foundation for your puzzle. This time, try setting your edges to the side and complete them last. Pro tip: This is also a great method to use if your border is all the same color or pattern. Complete the inside of the image first to see what border pieces might fit in with the inner image.

Puzzling Game:

Have you and your family done the same 100-500 piece puzzle multiple times and you are to the point you can pick up any piece and know roughly where it goes? Make a game out of it with your family!

  1. Start with a randomly picked piece in the center of the table. Spread the other pieces out facing upwards.
  2. Everyone picks their hand for the round. This means going around in a circle and picking 1-3 pieces (you choose) from the upwards facing pieces. The catch: Any piece you pick up has to attach to the piece in the center of the table! Of course this piece will grow into a larger section and the game will get easier as time goes on.
  3. Once everyone has picked their hand for the turn, go around clockwise and each take your turn placing a piece in your hand onto the center piece/section.
  4. If one of the pieces in your hand doesn’t fit, you discard it back into the pile of pieces.
  5. Once everyone’s hands are empty, you pick a new hand.
  6. The game is over when the puzzle is complete!


**You can just enjoy this way to expand your mind and time with your family, but a little competition can be fun too! If you want to make it into a competition, for each piece placed onto the center piece/section you get 1 point. For every piece in your hand that does not connect to the center piece it is -1 point. If you place all the pieces in your hand in a round you get 1 bonus point!

 

Side to Side:

This exercise is great for all size puzzles and all levels. Take any puzzle and start with one border, and try to work your way across. This is a great way to expand the mind for color and shape identification, and slow any puzzler down. It’s also a great way to complete sky or similar color regions with little variations in color and texture.

Upside Down Puzzles (hear us out):

If you have smaller puzzles, 100-300 pieces with varying piece shapes, this is another great way to increase your shape identification. If you have children, teens, or are an artistic adult in your abode, you can use the back of puzzles to make your own designs! If you aren’t quite ready to do the actual puzzle upside-down, you can typically flip a puzzle with minimal pieces falling out by sliding it to the edge of the puzzling surface, and grabbing two corners, pulling them away from each other to create some tension and pick it up to slip. Color away! Use the hashtag #OurOwnPuzzleDesign and tag us on Facebook and Instagram!

How To Find Puzzles

MicroPuzzles:

We are still producing and offer free shipping in the US on orders of $10 and more! Order yours today! We continuously have new designs, as well as the option for you to create your own personal design!

 

Community Trade Box:

Try looking in your local little free libraries or on your community Facebook pages. Many people are looking to trade puzzles. Other communities are doing community trade boxes, like those little community library boxes you see, but instead for puzzles. You can find these on Facebook as well, and if you can’t find one, start one with the instructions on where to find it, and the rule to “take one, leave one.”

Please remember we want everyone to remain safe during this time, so make sure you leave your “new to you” puzzles alone for a few days or sanitize them before starting them!

 

Facebook Marketplace and online markets

Similar to the community trade boxes or trade offers on Facebook pages, take a look on the Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone in your local community is selling puzzles for reasonable prices. Make sure if you use this option you are picking up from door steps or mailboxes, and not interacting with the buyer face to face. Again, make sure to sanitize your “new to you” puzzles or let them sit for a few days. Mercari and Ebay can be great places to find used puzzles as well, but do not get price gouged for puzzles, there are plenty of people selling or trading puzzles for reasonable prices out there.  

Until next time puzzlers,

Puzzle Blog Authors Sarah & Michaela

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