When it comes to puzzles, do you have someone in your family who loves to hog the last piece? Growing up, my dad was puzzle hogger, and would always hide the last piece to make us think we lost it, and couldn't finish the puzzle, after hours or even months of putting it together. Then, he would sneak in and place the last piece, and exclaim, "Oh look, the puzzle is done. That was easy!" Now that I have children of my own and have introduced them to puzzles, we now have a new puzzle piece hogger in our house, Miss Savannah.
Not only does Savannah love making puzzles like her Mom, she has to place the last piece in the puzzle, no matter if she is the one making it, or comes up someone else in the family making a puzzle. She gets that same twinkle in her eye like I remember my dad having, when you ask her if she is holding out the last piece, in which she always say, "Who, me? No," when we all know it is her. Even with the few attempts that she had made to blame her little sister, we catch Savannah sneaking over to the puzzle to place that one last piece, before she lets out a shriek of excitement seeing the puzzle complete. :-)
I have so many fond memories of my childhood, which include puzzle making at our family's summer house, or when we would visit my grandfather on the holidays. I grew up around puzzles, and always would have a puzzle going. I remember when I found out they had a puzzle mat that you could start your puzzle on, and roll up when not working on...I thought this was the coolest thing, and had to have it for my birthday. I remember my friends asking me what it was when they saw me opening it and getting excited about it. This puzzle mat sure did come in handy, as I always found myself looking for a place to start a puzzle. I used to do puzzles on the dining room table, but would have to finish it before dinner, or try and fold up and store in the box, so that we could set the table and eat, only to have it fall apart when I tried to lay it back out to finish.
When it comes to puzzles, I love 1000+ pieces puzzles, as I find them really challenging. I am not one for those fancy 3D puzzles or motion puzzles. Are you? For me, I fall in love with the picture, usually scenic landscapes or nostalgic puzzles, and just have to have them. If you were to visit my parent's house and look in game closet, you would find a few dozen puzzles I completed and used puzzle glue to save. I kept telling my mom to hold onto them, as I would one day take them back, frame them and hang in my family room. It hasn't happened yet, as the walls in our family room are covered with canvas photos of the girls...but, it is nice to look through the puzzles I completed over the years, and reminisce about summer's spent with my mom staying up late to put them together, or when I was sick or recuperating from surgeries and would spend hours working on a given puzzle. I was a fan of puzzles then and still are today. And, now I am excited to see my daughters getting in jigsaw puzzles and seeing their eyes light up when they put an entire puzzle together themselves. :-)
So, when it came to putting together my Easter gift guide this year, I knew that I wanted to include jigsaw puzzles as an Easter basket gift idea. I don't know about you, but the Easter Bunny would always leave my brothers and I new puzzles for Easter, that we would do with friends and family who would come for Easter brunch. And, then come the summer, we would take these and other puzzles to my parent's summer house to put together again on rainy days. While searching for puzzles for children of all ages (including us adults), I stumbled across White Mountain Puzzles, Inc. I was surprised to learn that this family owned puzzle company has been in business since 1978, and that it is located less than a hour from my family's summer place, in Conway, NH. All the jigsaw puzzles are made in the USA, which is hard to come by nowadays. To learn more about White Mountain Puzzles, you can read their "About Us" section here - http://www.whitemountainpuzzles.com/Aboutus.asp.
After reaching out to the folks at White Mountain Puzzles, Inc., they graciously offered to send me a sampling of their puzzles, for me to share with the girls, and a couple for the older children (AKA...Mommy) to work on. Within a few days of exchanging emails, I received a box from White Mountain Puzzles, Inc. which contained the following puzzles:
Best Pals, 60 piece puzzle
Central Bark, 24 piece puzzle
Candy Wrappers, 1000 piece puzzle
What's for Breakfast, 500 piece puzzle
Being a lover of nostalgic puzzles, I was excited to see the "What's for Breakfast" and "Candy Wrappers" puzzles in the box. If only I had a few extra hours each day to work on these puzzles, I would be in heaven.. :-) While my free time is limited now that I have children, I was still able to squeeze in time last weekend while we were all laid up with a stomach bug. While the girls and my husband slept, I wrapped myself up in a warm blanket, poured myself some green tea and started building the frame to the "What's for Breakfast" puzzle. What is neat about this puzzle is that it is a new concept puzzle created by the folks at White Mountain Puzzles, where the puzzle contains 3 different piece sizes - small pieces for adults and larger pieces for kids - all in one puzzle. That way families of all ages can enjoy working on a puzzle together, no matter your age or puzzle ability. :-) What a great idea, and one I love, especially having young children to help and hold out puzzle pieces.
Thanks to my trusty puzzle roll up mat, I was able to store away the puzzle to continue working at another time. I can't wait to show this and the other puzzles to my mom when she comes to visit this weekend. I know she will be as excited as I was, and enjoy spending quality time like we used to do when I was younger, working on putting this puzzle together, once the girls go to bed, and the guys veg out on the couch to watch television.
While I wait for "free time" to work on the more difficult puzzles from White Mountain Puzzles, I can't help but enjoy puzzle time with the girls, as we put together the Best Pals and Central Bark kid's puzzles over and over again. Savannah can't get enough of them, and continues to look forward to puzzle time daily, so that she can hold out on the last puzzle piece, just like my dad used to. :-)
Hopefully the Easter Bunny has been hearing Savannah's request for more jigsaw puzzles, and will leave a few in her Easter basket. While she and Bella wait to see about new puzzles at Easter, they are enjoying the wonderful selection of puzzles sent from White Mountain Puzzles.
Does your family love puzzles? If so, you will definitely want to check out the selection of puzzles available for purchase online from White Mountain Puzzles. In addition to kids and adult themed puzzles, you can also create fun custom puzzles with personal photos. This unique customization would make for a great gift idea and keepsake. I know I would love to get a puzzle with the girls' photo on it. :-)
Click here to visit the White Mountain Puzzles website and browse their selection of puzzles, which includes the following new puzzles recently added ---
For Bacon Lovers...
Fill 'er Up...
My personal favorite...the Old Grist Mill....
Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.