A: When it's a George Luck Puzzle.
At first glance these puzzles are unusual and fun but appear simple and perhaps with a limited interest factor. Those whose noses elevate at this point and turn their back are missing out on one of the most collectable, fun and educational products we've come across – bye, your loss!
Those who are prepared to give it a second glance or even a test will open themselves to a multitude of fun opportunities. For a start these puzzles are certainly not easy, the non-distinct shapes without edge or pattern to match makes it significantly harder to spot connecting pieces. Those with layers add another level of depth to consider.
But we need to go way beyond the actual puzzle aspect if you're to understand the true potential of these. The lazer cut technology makes each a work of art, no nasty thick lines between pieces they fit as snug as a bug in a rug. The colouring is deep and vibrant and the level of detail considering their simplicity is admirable.
That's why they're collectable, but let's get educational now because that's where these lovely puzzles really come into their own.
Use them as a game by having two puzzles of a similar size or design. Each player can do one of the following games (or mix them up for a real challenge!).
1) Put all pieces in a bag and mix well, each player alternates to take a piece out of the bag. Does it belong to your puzzle? Yes.. well done you can place it in and take another turn. No.. sorry put it back, your turn is over. First to finish their puzzle is the winner.
Variations: Decide on a colour order then take a piece out of the bag, if it's the correct colour you can put it in your puzzle but watch out, if you get your opponents piece in the correct colour you must put it into their puzzle.
Use the boards with 6 animal or weather types or the "& friends" collection. You must find them in order from top to bottom, left to right on your board (in the case of the friends they must be placed in order). Use your senses to touch and feel the pieces. Alternatively, touch the piece in the bag, if you guess right you can pop it into your puzzle – you can either use separate bags for each player or mix them up to make it harder.
2) Use a dice and number the colours on each players board. You can use the medium size puzzles for this as long as they have a similar number of pieces, any extra are placed on the board as a starter. Player a may have more blue than player b but it won't matter. Roll the dice, if it matches a colour you still have left you may replace one piece into your puzzle. If it doesn't then you miss your turn and it's the next player. First to finish their puzzle is the winner.
3) Use the animal, weather or layered "friends" puzzles to draw around the pieces and construct a scene. Introduce other objects to create a jungle/home etc scene.
4) Take a piece from the puzzle and draw around it on a white piece of paper, take the next piece and align it to reconstruct the puzzle. Can you remember where all the pieces go? Colour in your new design with patterns or new colour schemes.
5) Take turns timing each other to see who can put the puzzle back together in the quickest time. You can level the field by giving a time penalty to those who are older. We found this produced some rather surprising results with our 3 year old coming in 4th (of 7) and daddy dragging behind in a rather lowly 6th! The animal A-Z is ideal for this game but any puzzle will do, remember don't choose one too challenging or you might just be there all day.
These puzzles are social, creative & will help with the logical thinking and puzzle solving. They're beautiful & therapeutic too!