Dangerous Waters Puzzle

Dangerous Waters 3D Jigsaw PuzzleOlivia received a 500-piece 3D puzzle called "Dangerous Waters" for Christmas from my brother Dave (among many other cool presents from everyone).

She worked hard to put it together with a little help from TJ and Maya - and (hopefully more helpful) help from me - and was able to get it finished in 2 days...pretty good for her first puzzle! What made the achievement that much sweeter was that the picture is 3D (there's an animated image of it on the website) so the image does not stay still. And the pieces are slightly reflective so putting them together using an overhead light is pretty tricky.

Having not done any puzzles since she was a kid, Olivia came up with some strategies:

  • She made the outside of the puzzle first. Brilliant idea.
  • She concentrated on an identifiable section (the large open mouth) early on and nearly finished it all on the first day, which helped to place other bits of the puzzle around it.
  • Sometimes we looked at the box cover and tried to figure out where individual pieces should go, but that only worked when the piece had something identifiable and not too ambiguous on it.
  • We found that putting pieces into roughly the right location in the puzzle, even if they didn't have any adjoining pieces, helped so other pieces could be added to them later.
  • Toward the end, we sorted the pieces into groups of the same shape and tried each piece in the remaining gaps.
It was a really fun activity, I'm glad Olivia asked for my help, and the end result was rewarding - I reckon we should frame the finished puzzle! I can't picture myself becoming a puzzle addict, but when you've got young kids and don't get out all that often, finding something that's fun and that you both enjoy is worth doing again. I'm looking forward to the next one...

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