Puzzling With Your Family
The holidays are coming up and hopefully this year we’ll all be able to see family and friends. And while everyone is together, why not have a group jigsaw puzzle event?! Some people say that puzzling is not a group activity, but with a little creativity, even large groups can make puzzling together a fun game.
- For everyone in the group to connect with people they don’t usually see everyday.
- For everyone in the group to have a chance to puzzle with everyone in attendance.
- People - a group of family and/or friends.
- Tables - card tables, plastic folding tables, dining tables, counter tops, puzzle boards, etc. The number of surface areas needed is approximately the number of people divided by 3 (ideally 2-3 people per table).
- Puzzles - 1 puzzle for each table. Smaller piece counts like 300-500 piece puzzles work the best because they take up less space and can be completed faster. Check my blog post on choosing a puzzle and consider any special interests your family/friends may have. When choosing puzzles for a Puzzle Party, I try to match the time of year (holiday, summer vacation, etc.) and I like to choose unusual types of puzzles such as glow in the dark, 3D/lenticular puzzles, two sided puzzles, panoramicpuzzles, and round puzzles. If young kids are part of your group, try a “Together Time” puzzle. These 400 piece puzzles have 3 piece sizes - large for kids, medium for everyone, and small for adults. Lastly, I usually get a wooden puzzle to wow and delight everyone.
- Scissors to open the puzzle box (or do this ahead of time)
- Extra box top holders - 1 per table (optional, but super helpful).
HOW TO PLAY
Set the puzzles out on the tables along with a box top holder.
Gather your family and friends and have them divide themselves among the tables in groups of 2 or 3 so that they are sitting with a non-spouse/partner. (Involve people who may not be able to puzzle by asking them to be in charge of the timer and/or taking pictures and videos for the group.)
Explain that the purpose is for everyone to have a chance to spend time with each person who is there and that everyone will have a chance to work on each puzzle.
Specify that you will be setting a timer for 15-20 minutes (if 15 minutes seems too short, feel free to adjust).
Announce that everyone can open the puzzle and begin puzzling!
Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and take pictures.
At the end of 15-20 minutes, instruct everyone to move to a different puzzle table with the intent of being with someone that they have not puzzled with yet. The rotation can be guided by having the people on the left move to the puzzle table on their right and the people on the right move to the puzzle table on their left.
When everyone is at the next puzzle, set the timer once again so people can begin on the next puzzle.
When the timer rings, endure the groans of people not wanting to leave ‘their’ puzzle, and again have each person rotate to a new table with new people. If/when this gets too complicated, tell people that the basic idea is to move to the closest puzzle that has someone that you haven’t puzzled with yet.
Set timer for another 15-20 minutes.
Repeat until everyone has had a chance to work on each puzzle. Once everyone has had a chance to work on each puzzle, everyone can choose to work on the puzzle of their choice until all the puzzles are finished. Take pictures of family and friends with the completed puzzles.
Adjust the timing and rotation to suit your situation. This is not meant to be a race, so enjoy being together and make up a fun name for your new Family Style Puzzling Event!
This has become a fun holiday tradition at our house, however we have yet to decide on a name…. Puzzle Mayhem? Puzzle Riot? Puzzle-Go-Round?
When you try your own Puzzle Party, leave a comment below or message me on Instagram @16feet and let me know how it goes!