Let me start by saying that I was into puzzles before they became big (#Hipster). I started doing the 1,000-piece ones as soon as the pieces were no longer a choking hazard. As a kid, it was a special time I got to spend with my mom. As an adult, it’s a stress reliever.
When quarantine was looming, I already had an arsenal of about 10 or 12 puzzles that I knew I could redo. But I wanted something new to look forward to — something other than the box of Fudge Stripe cookies and giant pack of Swedish fish I’d just bought. So I went to Target and made my way to the puzzle section (which I could do with my eyes closed).
Imagine my astonishment when there were zero puzzles left. Zero. None. Zilch. I checked Amazon. An overpriced toy store. Same thing.
This had never happened before. COVID-19 was already cramping my style. But this was the rotten cherry on top of my melted sundae. No puzzles? I was DONE.
My mom and I finally snagged a few left on the Barnes & Noble website and resigned ourselves to redoing old ones when these were finished.
Pandemic, Puzzles, And Profits
We were not alone. It seemed like literally everyone in the US had decided to jump on the puzzle bandwagon with an unknown number of weeks (hah — little did we know) at home on the horizon.
The US game company Ravensburger had a 370% surge in puzzle sales in the last week of March/first week of April, 2020. They were selling an average of about 20 puzzles per minute in North America, compared to 7 per minute in 2019.
Other companies saw similar increases. Some even reported an increase by as much as 1,000%.
Puzzle makers across the country struggled to keep up with the massive uptick in orders, partly due to problems created by the need to social distance in warehouses. But that didn’t stop these dedicated companies from committing to fulfilling orders. For instance, the online retailer Puzzle Warehouse went from selling about 1,000 puzzles per day to 10,000 each day — as well as experiencing associated shipping delays — leading them to hire 30 new employees.
The Health Benefits Of Jigsaw Puzzles
It’s not just that people were bored being stuck at home. Jigsaw puzzles actually have therapeutic benefits. Completing a puzzle has been shown to reduce stress — which is something almost everyone needs right now.
Other benefits include improvements in:
- Memory (especially short-term)
- Visual-spatial reasoning
If you have children at home, doing puzzles together is a great way to bond, teach them about collaboration, and get them off of their screens.
The CareContent Team = All In
Alright. Enough jabber about jigsaw. Take a look at how the CareContent team’s puzzle game was on point over the last few months.
We’ll start with Lynette. She may have only done one puzzle, but she made up for it by gifting one to Natalie, taking up arts and crafts, and choosing a super cute one for the one she did complete.
Let’s move on to Nicole. Nicole wasn’t as into the puzzles herself, but her [adorable] daughters were.
Okay, now we’re getting into the serious puzzlers.
Natalie did six puzzles.
This was from Lynette!
And this was from a team gift to Natalie and her husband, Brandon, who got married in 2020.
And now …
Yes, I wrote this article. But I’m going to be completely not humble and give myself the award for #1 Team Puzzler.
I did at least 12, but I didn’t take pictures of them all. Here are some of my favorites:
This is one I ended up hanging in my room.
This is one my family got my mom for Mother’s Day.
My tiny nephew did this one. I guess it runs in the family.
Even my cat, Twyla, got in on the game. And speaking of which, this is who I have to blame …
… for this CATastrophe (look closely):
Thanks, Twy. Thanks.