these games make addicts, our advice!

Puzzles for adults are all the rage: this activity is a hit with both children and adults. This game of patience relaxes, stimulates concentration, works memory and makes you feel zen. Why putting these little pieces together makes us all addicted? The explanation of the puzzle phenomenon, our test of accessories and practical items, and favorite selections!

From the news of the first lockdown, suggestions for children's activities and toys grabbed the headlines. But what about us, the grown-ups? When faced with loneliness, boredom or to change books and series, we had to find effective solutions. In view of the announced curfews, we might as well add to our evenings.
Consequence: the world of puzzles for adults has seen its sales explode. A sudden interest in small pieces of wood? Do you want to redo the decoration of your apartment? Or a new creative hobby to watch closely? A bit of all that.

We tested these games for adults, and yes, it really relaxes! Discover our advice on products and accessories for puzzles, our selection of puzzles by theme and the explanation of the phenomenon.

The adult puzzle: the trend to follow and adopt!

Often associated with children's toys, the puzzle is however a perfect activity to relax and unwind. In view of the current situation and our society which does not always turn out well (it must be said), the assembly of small colored pieces one in the other has a small pleasurable and satisfying side. We will be satisfied with that for 2021!
But embarking on a puzzle requires some prerequisites: the choice of the number of pieces (depending on your state of patience, we will see this later), the material of the parts, and the accessories to avoid making a mess at home (or that a cat / child passing by sends the coins waltz).

Puzzles: test articles and materials to have

Not all of us have an extendable table or place to store puzzles. Getting practical, useful and efficient is therefore the necessary preliminary step before unpacking the models.

I chose the Ravensburger puzzle case. Presented as an object serving both as a support and a storage accessory, I was curious to be able to verify its usefulness.

My opinion : For the size of my puzzle, I needed a 300/500 piece format. Having no large table, no support, no suitable storage, this accessory turned out to be really practical. The case contains a rigid cardboard that serves as a support for the puzzle, to be left inside or spread out on a table. Parts can be stored under the rack (see photo above).
Once the puzzle session is over, simply close the lid and store the case like a suitcase. Tested and approved: the puzzle does not move!
More information on the Ravensburger website
(delivery available from 25 euros of purchase)

The alternative: the puzzle mat

This alternative also works very well. The felt mats serve as the basis for assembling the parts, provided you have a rigid table underneath. To store it, simply position the roll on the pieces, and wind the rug all around, securing it with the clips provided. The choice of mat obviously depends on the size of the puzzle or the models.

Other puzzle accessories

The easel: to place a rigid support and avoid stiffness from staying bent. (expert's word!)
Puzzle glue: to seal the pieces once the puzzle is finished. This makes it easy to position the puzzle to frame it on a wall, as a decoration.
The coin sorter: a great ally for puzzles of more than 1000 pieces (available on
Photo frames: to display your finished items, as decoration or gift (available in 8 colors and 5 sizes)

Improved perception, mental flexibility, working memory and speed of thinking … puzzles do us good!

Puzzles: our favorite selections

For a changing gift idea, a birthday, or simply to have fun. Here are my favorite puzzle selections: art, painting, figurines, models, famous characters, 3D format, personalized puzzles, landscapes

Selection of personalized puzzles for an original gift

All you have to do is upload an image, a photo, or even an art painting that you like, you will receive it in puzzle format!
Here are the sites where to buy a personalized puzzle:

Selection of original and design puzzles

Engaged puzzles, with inspiring quotes or quirky figurines: the choice is vast.

  • Ekobutiks: the site focused on toddlers, to involve baby in the puzzle activity. 100% ecological wooden puzzles, available from 6 months on the Ekobutiks website
  • Street of Models: for enthusiasts of 3D models and DIY and construction activities. Thousands of models for all levels, see on Rue des Maquettes.
  • Etsy : many puzzles available, all categories combined, view on Etsy

Selection of art and painting puzzles

Works of art and top painting artists are popular in puzzle format.
Here's where to find other art puzzles:

  • Coki Puzzles : first site of Afro-Caribbean art puzzles, high quality details and delivery everywhere in metropolitan France and overseas, see on Coki Puzzles
  • Crazy for Puzzles : modern, impressionist or contemporary painting, find the greatest artists on the dedicated page on Fou de Puzzles

Selection of puzzles from movies, Disney characters and series

Fans of Disney figurines and famous movie characters will find what they are looking for.
Here is where to find the most beautiful Disney puzzles, series and films:

Selection of inspiring and zen puzzles

Real decorative objects, zen puzzles will have an effect during realization, and once displayed! Special mention for the personalization of quotes and proverbs.

Selection of nature, landscape and animal puzzles

Castroland, Eurographics, Clemtentoni or even Bluebird: nature and animal puzzles remain the best-selling items.
Here is where to find other nature and landscape puzzles:

Puzzles for adults: why do these games make us addicted?

Puzzle games are often associated with children's toys, wooden pieces, and depictions of Disney characters, fantastic beasts and dolls in their homes. But no !

Adult puzzles have always had their passion: puzzles with thousands of pieces and details worthy of the greatest works of art and painting. The novelty: a wave of addict puzzles landed for several months. Containment is not for nothing in this trend for creative hobbies and DIY DIY activities. And puzzles are one of them!
Soothing, relaxing and stimulating creativity, puzzle and construction games are a joy to all ages. For toddlers with 3D parts assembly up to expert level with items over 1000 parts, there's something for everyone.

With a podcast in the background, sitting on the floor, with family or friends: the puzzle is the perfect cocooning activity. In addition to cultivating patience and the art of the present moment, it will be a perfect decorative item to frame when finished.

The puzzle effect: our opinion and assessment

Face the vagaries of everyday life without reacting by fitting pieces together? Can't see the time passing, and still wanting to find the next room? Yes, and more …

The study carried out by Patrick Fissler *, researcher in neurology at the University of Ulm, shows that the puzzle "Could, in the long term, be beneficial to the brain".
This hobby has indeed many benefits: experiments conducted by the scientist on groups of individuals have shown that puzzles have effects on slowing cognitive aging. The adults participating in the study were subjected to cognitive tests before and after several weeks of puzzling practice, at the rate of one hour per day.
Balance sheet : improvement of perception, mental flexibility, working memory and speed of thinking …
Doing puzzles is, like meditation, an activity that anchors the mind in a monotonous, calm and relaxing task. In a society teeming with sound and information stimuli, it goes without saying that looking at parts with the sole objective of final assembly is calming.

Puzzle to personalize with his first name:
>> Available on Zazzle
(in stock in version 30 to 1000 pieces, from € 36.80)

My opinion : likely to quickly distress in case of inactivity or boredom, I adopted puzzles! The evening before going to bed, a few minutes here or there to find the missing pieces: perfect for clearing your mind and letting thoughts slip away.
Bonus : Besides the effects on morale and patience, your best puzzles can be framed and displayed on a wall, or given to someone you love. A gift idea to add to your wishlist!

Source: Protective effects of puzzles on cognitive abilities, P. Fissler, Institute of Psychology and Education, 2018

Supports, brands, puzzle materials: our advice

What supports can you use to make your puzzle?

Because we do not all have the same space available with us, some will need to invest in practical accessories and supports to store the puzzles in progress without risking the pieces coming loose. Considering the time that passes to find them, let's avoid a nervous breakdown after an unexpected passage of a child or the dog's tail.
> The easel: Like a picture easel, an easel allows you to place and tilt a rigid support to nest the pieces.
> A puzzle case: ideal for small homes and simply for practical reasons, the puzzle case is the all-in-one that does not take up space, can be easily stored behind a piece of furniture (or under the bed) and can be used as a support to make its puzzle and move it around.
> The carpet roll: same idea as the briefcase, it is the accessory dedicated to the storage of current puzzles. It is a felt mat that serves as a support for the parts, to be placed on a rigid frame (wood or hard plastic). To store your unfinished puzzle, the roll is placed on the pieces spread on the fabric, which will wrap around the cardboard cylinder. Perfect for keeping it in stock in a corner;
> Puzzle glue: useful if you want to frame your puzzle for display, it is a product to seal the pieces once the puzzle is completed and easily position it on the support that will serve as a frame.

What are the best puzzle brands?

> Michèle Wilson: this made in France brand is one of the most famous in terms of puzzles. Animals, paintings, movie characters, art, starry skies, houses, dolls, world maps… Michèle Wilson products are handcrafted, and often out of stock due to demand.
> Ravensburger: the leading German brand for children's toys. In addition to the many themes and the large choice of number of pieces offered, Ravensburger also designs equipment and accessories useful for making puzzles at very attractive prices.
> Nathan: like its other ranges of toys, the Nathan brand also produces educational puzzles especially for children (models, figurines, world maps, paintings, dolls, fairies, animals, etc.), ranging from 15 to 2000 pieces, for each age group. Educational puzzles, embedding games or even large format assembly, it will always be a good gift idea!
> Wild Puzzle: each puzzle is made in France from wood from FSC forests. Each piece has a unique shape and the works are imagined by designer Pan Wang, a puzzle player since childhood and passionate about art. His items are often out of stock.
> Castorland: the brand's collection of puzzles is one of the largest in existence. From children's themes to animals, castles, dolls, vehicles, houses, paintings or views of the countryside, each new Castorland product is always a success. Quality and attention to detail, a very good point.
> Schmidt: the German company, founded in 1914, has a large stock of excellent quality toys and puzzles. We can notably find the works of art of Anne Geddes and her photos of babies, but also the fantastic series of Julie Fain and the landscapes of Thomas Kinkade.
> Clementoni: manufacturer of toys for over 40 years, Clementoni has 3 large ranges of puzzle items: High Quality Collection (photographs of world monuments, painting, realistic details, view of landscapes, starry skies, nature), Super Color (parts large format suitable for children featuring their favorite characters)
> Educa: produced in Spain, Educa puzzles include all possible themes, for children and adults. Reproduction of photos of nature, painting, art, views of landscapes, drawings, vehicles, starry skies, dolls, houses, animals… The choice is vast!
> Eurographics : the brand is available on most online sites, and offers puzzles at great prices and of excellent quality.

> Material of the parts:
Wood remains the noble material of puzzles, but also more expensive! If you opt for a wooden puzzle, choose a brand that only uses materials from sustainably managed forests (stock of certified sustainable wood).
For an equally practical and qualitative version, cardboard articles are quite suitable. Cardboard is not just for creative DIY, and has the advantage of being inexpensive.

> Number of pieces and age:
For a 4 year old child: puzzles of 30 to 60 pieces
For a 5 year old child: a puzzle of 50 to 100 pieces.
For a child from 6 years old: a puzzle of 100 to 350 pieces.
For children from 7 to 10 years old: the jigsaw puzzles of 300 to 500 pieces.
And for adults: unlimited!

> Price: depending on the number of pieces, the quality of the printing of the article, the manufacturing process and the details of each piece, the price of a puzzle can vary from ten euros to around 50 € for the models the most successful. A 3D construction model can cost up to a hundred euros. Do not hesitate to take advantage of promotions on old Christmas collections, for example. Each new thing will also tend to be slightly more expensive, but the sites mentioned in our article always have competitive prices and a varied stock of puzzles.

5 creative activities that do us good:

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Video by Clemence Chevallet