There’s nothing like a good puzzle to keep your daily routine fun and engaging. It gives you the chance to exercise your brain and enhance your problem-solving skills. But for you to get the most out of your puzzle, you need to get the right one.
Do you like a fun and easy puzzle, or do you prefer something more challenging? Are you looking for a puzzle for children, or do you want to buy one for adults? Answers to these questions can help you decide what puzzle is right for you. But with so many types of puzzles available, choosing the right one can be confusing. In this article, you’ll learn five smart tips for choosing the right puzzles.
- Choose the right material and quality
The most common materials used for puzzles are wood, cardboard, and foam. Among these three, cardboard is the most prone to warping, which can prevent the pieces from staying in place, especially if the cardboard is of low quality. On the other hand, compared to cardboard, foam pieces are easier to fit together, and they stay in place. Meanwhile, laser-cut wood puzzles have crisp edges, so they feel smooth and fit together precisely.
When picking puzzles, look into the durability and quality of the materials to ensure they last long. Something you can pass down and share with your family and friends for a long time is a good-quality puzzle. And to ensure you get good-quality ones, consider buying from reputable puzzle brands.
- Consider your working space
The working space is perhaps not the most obvious thing to think about when purchasing puzzles. But it’s an important factor to consider all the same.
You need to ask yourself how much working space you’ll need to complete the puzzle. The main factor that determines the size of your working space is the number of puzzle pieces. Obviously, a puzzle with 1,000 pieces will need a larger working space than a 100-piece puzzle.
Your ability to remember images plays a part as well. If you don’t have a good memory for puzzle images, you might need a lot more space to sort the pieces than a person who has a sharp memory.
- Pick the level of difficulty you want
A child’s attention span, fine motor control, and ability to solve problems vary greatly between the ages of two and 10. As a result, the number of pieces in children’s puzzles is divided into a few categories based on age. For children ages 10 and up, puzzles with more than 300 pieces are considered suitable for their age. And for toddlers and preschoolers, the recommended number is generally 30 pieces or less.
As a general rule, the more pieces there are in a puzzle, the more difficult it is to put together. A puzzle that holds double the number of pieces is twice as challenging to solve. Also, it takes longer to complete a puzzle that has more pieces.
If you prefer less complex puzzles, you can go with 300 to 500 pieces. But if you want to put your problem-solving capabilities to a serious test, you can opt for larger ones, such as 1,000-piece puzzles. However, if you’re up for a bigger challenge, you can try puzzles that can fill an entire living room. These puzzles are an excellent choice for family, group fun, or those who have lots of time on their hands.
- Decide on the puzzle piece shape
Puzzles pieces are cut in either a ribbon or random shape. The ribbon cut, which is also considered the traditional puzzle style, features square edges and interlocking nooks and knobs. On the other hand, random-cut puzzle pieces are considered more difficult to deal with because they can be in any shape in a completely random manner.
Random-cut puzzle pieces offer quite a different level of entertainment and experience. As these puzzles can be wide, long, short, or slim, they break away from the predictability of ribbon-cut pieces. And when the puzzle is complete, these pieces form a mesmerizing abstract pattern.
- Always pay attention to image quality and composition
Whether you want to hang your puzzle after solving it or you’re just solving it for fun, pick an image you’ll enjoy working on and one that has good quality and composition. By good quality means the image on the pieces is clear and not grainy. Also, check to see if the image won’t peel off easily.
This calls for proper research for brands with a good reputation for building clear and quality images and durable products in general. You can check reviews and customer feedback on different brands to start your research.
When it comes to the puzzle image, remember that those that feature a predominant color can be more challenging to solve even when it has a few pieces. It’s because image difficulty is related to the frequency of color or pattern since solving puzzles mostly involves sorting pieces by pattern, color, or text.
Choosing puzzles can be confusing, but with the five tips above, you now have a clear idea of what to look for when buying one. You need to check out the materials, consider your working space, choose the level of difficulty, pick your preferred puzzle shape, and select a puzzle with a good-quality image. Considering these five factors would lead you not only to the right puzzles but also to the ones you’ll truly enjoy.