If you follow along with our Thrift Treasure series every Sunday, you already know that we’ve spent a few hours putting together puzzles lately. Last Sunday’s article shared some history of jigsaw puzzles as Scott told about a handful of round jigsaw puzzles that we unearthed from our collection. I truly love doing puzzles and have since childhood, so when we found out that Genius Games was creating a line of anatomy puzzles and asked for our input, I was ecstatic.
It wasn’t just the idea of 100% medically accurate puzzles that was exciting, but that I would get to offer some opinions on what I love, hate and love to hate in a puzzle. We provided feedback on deficiencies we’ve experienced including cardboard thickness (pieces can bend), adhesive (picture peels back) and what types of pieces (ones that are too narrow) tend to fail the test of time.
In addition, we were asked for our opinions on the custom shapes and whether we like traditional cuts or unique cuts. This was a layered question as we were talking about not only the overall shape of the puzzles (custom vs round/square/rectangle) as well as the actual shapes of the pieces.
As an example, I’ve always worked puzzles from the inside out, beginning with a focal point that would make me smile. If the edge connected to what I was working on then I would attach it, but I didn’t feel the need to start by working on the edges to frame the puzzle. Everyone else I do puzzles with likes to start with the edges so it’s a perfect synergy and we don’t get in the way of each other. Dr. Livingston’s anatomy jigsaw puzzles have a custom shape so it isn’t as simple as finding all the flat pieces and four corners. To make it even more interesting, some of the connections for edge pieces are tricky. This added layer of difficulty on what most feel is the simplest part of the puzzle is enough to make these anatomy puzzles a winner in my book. I LOVE puzzles with pieces that are a variety of wonky shapes because there’s something therapeutic and rewarding about placing a uniquely shaped piece.
As I said, I like to work on specific items and build around them. This often means needing to transfer a section I’ve been working to connect with what others have done. While I’m normally moving a sailboat, tree or a specific detail in a collage, this time I was moving body parts. This made me realize that this anatomy jigsaw puzzle is more than just a hobby, it’s an educational tool as well.
As with their scientific games, Genius Games not only looks for authenticity and accuracy, but they focus on quality. With the first three volumes of Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle in hand, I can assure you that they addressed all the manufacturing concerns and interests while staying true to their mission to create resources that are “a blast to play and read, but simultaneously demystify intimidating concepts in the sciences”.
As I said before, these puzzles are 100% medically accurate and are 200% magnification, making it easy to see the details and incorporate these puzzles into a learning environment. The inside of each box contains a diagram identifying all the parts which allows you to really immerse yourself in learning about the different parts of the body.
Once you’ve completed the puzzles a few times, you can even kick up the difficulty level by working the puzzles by part. For example, commit to putting the brain together then perhaps adding the cerebellum followed by the pituitary gland. As schools close down for the year and move to distance learning and homeschooling, these puzzles are an excellent resource for your science curriculum!
Puzzles are in pretty short supply right now since everyone has been staying home. The fact that the first three volumes (Head, Thorax and Abdomen) of Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle are new means they are in stock! They’re currently available direct from Genius Games, through their newly launched Science Puzzles website or on Amazon. The final four volumes which include the arms and legs are available via Kickstarter. When all seven volumes are combined, the final puzzle will be 10′ tall! One lucky reader is going to get a jump start on this collection because we’re giving away the first three volumes! If you’re a puzzle fanatic, have a future doctor in the family or are looking for ways to incorporate educational materials into your hobbies then enter using the form below!
Update: You can purchase the head, thorax and abdomen puzzles as a bundle or individually on Amazon as well as the four newest puzzles as a bundle (right arm, left arm, right leg and left leg) to complete the body!