Looking for a calming activity to counteract the turbulence that so often feels inescapable? Try putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You can sit happily for hours scanning pieces for the perfect fit, the world beyond your kitchen table forgotten. Doesn’t it sound blissful? Of course, these days, when we’re stuck indoors, puzzles may not be easy to come by. Enter the online jigsaw. Though I’ve seen advertisements for them for years, I hadn’t tried one until yesterday, and I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes. Well, I was pleasantly surprised.
Norwich resident Cynthia Crawford has long taken beautiful photographs of local birds and made them into calendars, but now she’s offering several as free online puzzles. I pieced together the red-winged blackbird and found that, while my brain was happily engaged in the search for the right piece, my stress just fell away. By the time I was finished, it was gone.
I’ve always thought that online jigsaws must be buggy and frustrating, but that wasn’t the case, at all. The puzzles were made with an application called Jigsaw Explorer, a site filled with thousands of beautiful puzzles, all available for free. You can even create your own! You decide how difficult each puzzle will be by choosing the number of pieces and whether the pieces have the ability to rotate.
This was my first foray into the world of online jigsaw puzzles, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Another great stress reliever? Paper folding. Sure, you can fold a dollar bill into a heart or create a cootie catcher, but what if you’re ready for more? Well, the Origami Resource Center has you covered. This site aggregates tutorials from all over the web to show you how to fold baskets, animals, stars – you name it. You can even fold precious toilet paper into beautiful works of art – without ever taking it off the roll! Looking for kid-friendly tutorials? Why not try watching some of the Easy Origami for Kids videos? Or, visit Origami-Instructions.com (I like their addition of dotted lines to show where to fold.)
I’ll add these links to the Resource Center. Hopefully, with all this folding and piecing, we’ll all feel a bit more relaxed this weekend.
Stay safe, stay well, and stay kind,