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Puzzles: History in the Making

Try this for an educational family activity: Piece together puzzles depicting maps and historical images. A hands-on history lesson you and the kids can enjoy together, these puzzles are cost-friendly, at $15 or less.

How to
Complete a Puzzle

Follow these steps to successfully build your picture puzzle.
1. Empty the pieces out of the box on a tabletop or other large, flat surface. Take out the straight-edged pieces to complete the outer frame first.
2. Sort and group other pieces by color and image, using the picture on the front of the box as your guide.
3. Assemble the puzzle section by section. For larger puzzles, you could “assign” each family member to a section. For instance, one child works on the bottom left and another child focuses on the top right. As kids finish their respective parts, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
4. Be patient. Don’t expect to finish the puzzle in one sitting. Work on it a little each day to make the task less overwhelming.

Map It Out

Use pieces shaped like the U.S. states in the U.S. History GeoPuzzle by Geotoys to build a pair of puzzles, one a present-day map of our country, the other, from 1810. Once you’ve finished, discuss the differences between past and present America. $14.99.

Seek and Find Egypt

The 300-piece Pharaoh’s Egypt puzzle by Find It Games illustrates a scene from ancient Egypt. Once the puzzle is complete, hunt for 40 hidden images, such as a cobra or sword. A key explains the importance of each object in Egyptian times. $13.

For the Civil War Buff

Buffalo Games offers a series of puzzles featuring the art of famous Civil War painter Mort Künstler, including battle scenes and Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. Each puzzle has 1,000 pieces and is designed for adults, so only advanced (or ambitious) puzzlers should take these on. $14.95.

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor and toy/product coordinator of MetroKids.

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