For more than a hundred years, puzzles have captivated players worldwide and are today as popular as ever.
And, as we celebrate National Puzzle Day today, puzzles have never been more popular. According to Euromonitor International, sales of games and puzzles grew by 15% in 2016 and was projected to continue to climb. Considering how kids and grownups are glued to smart phones and video games these days, it is impressive to see that traditional jigsaw puzzles are still a go-to break from the daily grind.
In many households, puzzles serve as an important way for families to come together, away from devices and other distractions.
“Puzzles create space for connecting, relaxing and allow for organic conversations to flow, especially in families with older children,” said Filip Francke, CEO of Ravensburger North America, the world’s leading puzzle maker. “From my own personal experience, I believe every family with teenagers should have an unfinished puzzle out on a table.”
Michele Brait, who lives in Marshfield, Mass., agrees, as puzzles act as a key communication tool within her family.
Her son Jack, who is 21 years old with autism, has been constructing puzzles since age two.
“Puzzles have brought Jack and the family closer together because it allows us the opportunity to connect with him and share in something that he is very passionate about and successful at,” Michele said. “That passion led Jack to become the first person in the U.S. to complete more than two of the largest puzzles in the world, including Ravensburger’s 40,320 piece “Unforgettable Disney Moments” puzzle – while still a teen.
Old School Socializing
The benefit of puzzles isn’t just limited to families. For many people, and what is a growing trend among millennials, they offer an opportunity for conversation and connection -- or what others would dub “old school socializing.”
“Without question, there is nothing quite so satisfying as finding a missing piece,” said Francke. “For many, puzzles offer pure, simple entertainment. We love the challenge of hunting through pieces and successfully placing them in the right spot.”
At Ravensburger, which has been making handcrafted puzzles since 1883, the options are endless to enjoy this increasingly popular pasttime. There are puzzles for kids of all ages, more challenging choices for grown-ups and premium puzzles that take days to piece together and will fill a room when complete
One can choose from traditional jigsaw puzzles depicting images of the Manhattan skyline and scenic locales around the world, beloved cartoon characters, fantasy scenes, famous works of art and more. 3D puzzles let you create scale versions of Big Ben, the globe and even a VW Bus.
For others still, puzzles serve as a great way to relax and clear their mind after experiencing a hectic work day or a long commute. And for those who are budget mindful, a night piecing together the Eiffel Tower is not only a great night in, but also a smart way to save money.
Whether you’re looking for a way to bring the family together, want to boost brain power, or need some good old-fashioned fun, there is much to gain from this time-treasured art form.