What comes to mind when you think of Christmas and winter? For me it’s cold weather, snow and frost outdoors, hot drinks, fresh baking, and family fun indoors. One Christmas tradition that I can remember as far back as I can go are the annual jigsaw puzzles done between Christmas and the New Year (and many times beyond).
Grandma and Mom each set up a card table in their front room or kitchen corner and brought out a puzzle; either one they’d received that year as a gift, or one from a previous year. Long afternoons and even into the nights, pieces would be fit together; perhaps with everyone all together, or at times just a piece here and there as one walked past and something caught the eye as a match.
A cup of tea, a bowl of nibbles, Christmas music in the background, and a puzzle before me – that’s one of my favourite things! Many thanks to Jumbo and Wasgij for keeping our Christmas merry and bright this year! (this post contains affiliate links)
Wasgij Christmas 12 The Big Turn On!
The first winter Phil and I were in our new home, I started the puzzle tradition again by purchasing our first Wasgij which we worked on each night after work. This year I’m getting so itchy to break into our second Wasgij: Christmas 12 The Big Turn On! It’s taking all of my might but if I started now it would be done instead of me sharing this gift guide with you!
Boxing Day is the day to start puzzles. The anticipation of Christmas is over and it’s now time to relax. To savour each day that Phil is home with us and we all work together.
The smell of the cardboard and ink.
Separating the edge pieces from the centre….wow!
Wasgij are unique puzzles, have you tried one yet? What you build isn’t what’s on the box, but rather what the characters on the box are reacting to. This makes it extra challenging and so fun to reveal the scene!
In this special Wasgij Christmas 12 The Big Turn On, you’ll have twice the fun….they’ve also included a second piece puzzle! Now you can also build the scene on the front of the box. Extend your Christmas joy, or set up both puzzles and see who can finish one first!
Wasgij Christmas 12 The Big Turn On is available through Wilkinsons, John Lewis, and Amazon.co.uk
DINO 3D Tyrannosaurus Rex Model Puzzle
My son is absolutely loving this 3D puzzle! To quote him directly:
This is the best present I could ever get!
How can you go wrong with an endorsement like that?
Tristan was excited to jump right in and get started with this. It comes with an instruction booklet to walk you through the stops of putting your dino together. First the skeleton is assembled with the cardboard-over-foam pieces. The skeleton wiggles back and forth but once the outer structure is pieced together it’s stable.
To finish it off, there’s even a two-sided display unit to assemble for your completed puzzle to stand on.
Tristan hasn’t been terribly interested in dinosaurs for a while, but these puzzles have reignited the fire for him as he was searching on the internet for the sounds that they made!
DINO 3D Triceratops Model Puzzle
Once you’ve done one 3D puzzle, you’ll be hooked and want to do more! There are four DINO 3D puzzles available from Jumbo and the next on Tristan’s list is the Triceratops Model Puzzle.
More than just a puzzle, these truly are models as well. Each puzzle comes with its own background diorama and a name plate. Children can build their favourite dino and learn more about it as a few interesting pieces of information are included.
What a reward this would be for a child at the end of a unit study on dinosaurs! And don’t forget that creating a puzzle in 3D form is a whole new concept and requires a little more brain power than a flat puzzle.
Puzzles are important resources for spacial cognition, and they are considered to be math as well – an added bonus for us homeschoolers! I’m seeing a pj day coming up when we’ll take the day ‘off school’ for putting together puzzles, and little will the children know they will still be learning!
DINO 3D Triceratops Model Puzzle is available through Wilkinsons, John Lewis, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk
Batman 100pc Jigsaw Puzzle
I don’t know about your children, but mine (including the 40-something one) are a
little lot crazy about superheroes! Seriously, it’s almost overboard (but it’s great that they all have something in common).
One thing I like about puzzles are that the kids really enjoy building them (they actually time themselves and try to beat their previous time), they’re great to do on a day when the weather isn’t great for going out (gale-force winds anyone?), and for me, I know they are great for math skills. If the kids work together it reinforces collaboration, and if they work on separate puzzles or activities, they are learning to follow-through on what they start.
Some days the kids leave their puzzles together to show Phil when he arrives home from work. Sometimes they’re admired for days…while at other times the puzzle is put together and taken back apart again before you know it.
It’s interesting to see how children work through puzzles; what strategies do they employ? Do they have a system or do they just work randomly? How does this change as they mature?
Batman 100 pc Jigsaw Puzzle A is available through Wilkinsons, John Lewis, and Amazon.co.uk
DC Superfriends 4-in-1 Jigsaw Puzzles Set
For the youngest members of your family, Jumbo has this nifty box of 4 DC Heros puzzles. The puzzles increase in the number of pieces as skills improve: 16, 24, 35, and 50. This puzzle is suitable for ages 3 and up, and the pieces are larger and more robust for those little hands.
For the true beginner, work on only one puzzle at a time (I made easy bags by stitching up washing cloths to keep the pieces separated and keep frustrations to a minimum when the kids were younger). Then the kids can work their way up with skill to the puzzles with more pieces, and finally they can mix all the puzzles together and figure out which is which and build them all!
And when play time is done, these pieces easily clean up and store in a handy box that even has a handle on the top. My kids used to love these boxed puzzles and would wander through the house just carrying them around, feeling important. To kids a box of puzzles is akin to a businessman carrying a briefcase of paperwork!
DC Superfriends 4-in-1 Jigsaw Puzzles Set is available through Wilkinsons, John Lewis, and Amazon.co.uk
Jumbo certainly has a full range of puzzles for every member of the family from 3 to 103! And with such a wide variety of themes, you’ll find something for every taste. And don’t forget, Jumbo also has a wide selection of games and toys as well!