The Simpson's family is looking at a Jigsaw Puzzle called

Do you like putting together jigsaw puzzles? Are you new to puzzles or looking for ways to get better?

Puzzles are more fun when they're challenging but not frustrating, so using the right strategies will make it easier to find just the right piece.

Choose The Right Challenge

Lisa Simpson looking excitedly at a puzzle titled

Select a puzzle that interests you and matches your skill-level.

If you're new to puzzles, start small with rectangular-shaped 250-500 pieces puzzles. The shape and larger-sized pieces are enough to feel like a challenge and keep you motivated to complete the puzzle.

If you're an avid puzzler, challenge yourself to build oval and/or circular-shaped puzzles with a higher piece count of 750+ pieces.

Practice Practical Puzzling

Select a workspace that has good natural lighting, and a flat surface that won't be disturbed by other activities.

If that’s not possible, choose lamps and portable surfaces like roll-up puzzle mats, cardboard, or jigsaw cases that are easy to move and keep your puzzle intact.

Take note of the finished size of the puzzle, usually indicated on the puzzle box. This will help you select a workspace large enough to build your puzzle, as well as sort and store your pieces as you work.

Bart Simpson from the tv show

Quiz

Valerie's coffee table can't fit the 1000-piece puzzle she wants to build. Where else could she build the puzzle?

Set Up And Settle In

Before you start on your puzzle, create an atmosphere that will keep you relaxed and focused. This could include:

  • Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks 

  • Burning scented candles 

  • Snacking or sipping on your favourite food/drink

Marge Simpson opens the door to see Barney standing  there with the words

Sort, Separate, And Assemble

Spend some time looking at the picture on the box. This will help you sort, separate, and assemble by section based on the colour/shade or objects/characters in the image.

If you're a novice puzzler:

  • Sort the edges and the inside pieces picture-side up, separating them by colour/shade or object/character into their own piles on your workspace

  • Assemble the border of the puzzle using the pieces from the edges pile

  • Assemble and connect the inside pieces within the border based on where they should be located from the picture, focusing on one pile at a time

If you're an advanced puzzler:

  • Sort your pieces based on each piece's physical shape: the number of loops (the part that sticks out) and sockets (where it indents), especially when you have similar-looking leftover pieces that you’ve not yet assembled and connected

  • Line the pieces in rows by colour/shade, noting any faint texture lines or other features that'll help guide the direction the pieces should be placed in

  • Rotate the pieces in the same direction, assemble, and connect

Marge Simpson is turning all the puzzle pieces facing up as her family watches

Quiz

George is about to attempt his first 250-piece jigsaw puzzle of the Statue of Liberty. What's one way he can sort the puzzle pieces?

Take Breaks

If you ever start to feel like this:

Homer Simpson slams his hand on the table in frustration as he completes a jigsaw puzzle ....you may be tired and/or experiencing burnout. Take as many breaks as you need, including a day or two off.

Enough rest will help you refocus with fresh eyes and assemble and connect pieces that were a challenge before.

Homer Simpson has a connected set of puzzle pieces in his hand, saying

Take Action

Are you ready to solve your jigsaw puzzle?

A person has completed a jigsaw puzzle that is a portrait of the Simpson Family

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This Byte has been authored by

SH

Stephanie Hare

Learning Consultant & Content Moderator