Jigsaw puzzles are as popular today as when they first appeared on the market. Millions of people spend countless hours working these puzzles and thrive on the challenges provided by fitting the myriad pieces together to completion. Jigsaw puzzles are made for all ages in varying degrees of complexity, with pieces numbering as few as ten or as many as 2,500. If you’ve never tackled one of these brain teasers, you may wonder, «What is the appeal of this hobby?» You’ll soon see, as we explore the many satisfying facets of working jigsaw puzzles.

Everyone loves a mystery and the jigsaw puzzle is a good one. The end of the story is on the front of the box in all its colorful glory. In order to reach the end, you must solve the mystery of each piece inside the box. Each jigsaw puzzle piece is similarly shaped, with many possible points that must coincide perfectly with its mate.

One popular puzzle theme is the photographic images of landscapes, abundant with fluffy clouds, sunset colors, mountains and meadows. The true jigsaw puzzle enthusiast revels in a picture such as this, with perhaps hundreds of pieces which make up the sky. There’s no question that this hobby requires patience and persistence.

People who enjoy jigsaw puzzles often took up their hobby, inadvertently, at an early age. Maybe it was Mom or Grandma who brought that first jigsaw puzzle home for a rainy day activity. Teachers know that simple jigsaw puzzles help children develop spatial perception, color sensitivity and hand-eye coordination, as well as providing lots of fun. The idea of solving this mystery is appealing to kids and when the puzzle is complete, the little detective enjoys the feeling of confidence in having solved the puzzle.

After completing a few simple puzzles, kids are ready to move on to larger jigsaw puzzles with more pieces. If your child enjoys this activity, you’ll do well to encourage the hobby. Each new puzzle serves to develop problem solving skills and critical thinking.

Children aren’t the only devotees of the hobby. These puzzles make terrific gifts for adults too. People recovering from illness often have a lot of time on their hands and a puzzle can be a welcome way to alleviate many hours of boredom.

Jigsaw puzzles are available in themes to suit almost every personality and taste. Just visit your local toy store or browse the toy shops online. You’re sure to find one someone on your gift list will enjoy – perhaps even you!