a puzzling holiday

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

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So, whatcha doin’ on January 29? How about…a jigsaw puzzle??

If this wasn’t on your agenda this week, it should be! January 29 is National Puzzle Day. And, since puzzles are such a great way to incorporate cooperative learning while sharpening the ol’ noggin, we think we should all jump on the bandwagon of celebrating this holiday. Who’s in?

Need more convincing?

“Doing jigsaw puzzles can help build cognitive skills like visual processing, logic and reasoning, attention, and processing speed,” says Kristen Thompson, owner of LearningRx, a brain training center in Kennesaw, Georgia, that helps students overcome learning struggles. Puzzles rank at the top of their list for an impactful way to improve critical thinking.

Did You Know???

And now, here for your puzzling pleasure, are some random facts about puzzles that would impress even Alex Trebek:

· Jigsaw puzzles originated in the 1760s when maps were pasted onto wood and dissected.

· In 2008, more than 15,000 people in Ravensburg, Germany, assembled a nearly 6,500-square-foot puzzle in town square. The puzzle had 1,141,800 pieces.

· In the 1930s, puzzle manufacturer Einson Freeman convinced a toothbrush company to give away a puzzle with every toothbrush purchase. More than one million toothbrushes sold.

· No one is sure who invented National Puzzle Day, but there are various clubs dedicated to the love of puzzles.

There are lots of places online where kids can do jigsaw puzzles for free! Here’s a good starting place:


There is also a great selection of high quality puzzles for all ages available on-line from our sponsor, The School Box:




Filed under Academic Success, Activities, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking

5 responses to “a puzzling holiday

  1. Kay Wallin

    In scrapbooking, there is a small tool that is available that will turn a 4 x 6 photo into a puzzle. The tool is not expensive (less than $10), and it does not require an additional machine. Students, especially the younger ones, would love working a puzzle that was a picture of themselves!

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention a puzzling holiday | A Learning Experience -- Topsy.com

  3. Thanks for persuading me to get the puzzles out. Now I have some facts to back up our puzzle time. I also agree that they build cognitive skills. Thanks for giving me the permission to play! :)O

  4. Connie

    Puzzles are so much fun! Especially the bigger pieces. I enjoy keeping a puzzle going throughout the week. We put the connected pieces on a piece of poster board and store it under a table when it is not ‘puzzle time’.

  5. June

    I’ve added thekidzpage to my favorites. My students will love this site. I agree that it builds many cognitive skills like visual processing and reasoning and logic. Some of our students have not enjoyed the benefits of puzzles at home, so this free site will enrich our classroom. Thanks!