Wooden Map Jigsaw Puzzles

Written by Charles Peacock
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You may never have guessed it, but the world's first jigsaw puzzles actually started out their lives as maps. In the mid-18th century, English mapmakers began mounting their maps to slats of wood, cutting them into pieces along the borders of the countries. The result was the very first jigsaw puzzles.

Wooden Map Jigsaw Puzzles

Maps continue to be a popular jigsaw theme even to this day. The reason they work so well is that they provide a particularly rewarding image once the puzzle is complete. In addition, there are hundreds of clues in each map that can make it easier (or more difficult) to complete the puzzle.

Map jigsaws were originally intended as a teaching tool to help children familiarize themselves with geography. And while that practice started hundreds of years ago, it continues even to this day. I remember one of the first puzzles I put together was actually a map of the United States, with each piece representing a particular state.

If you're interested in the educational properties of jigsaw puzzles, a great way to combine the two things is to have your own custom map puzzle made. All you have to do is find a custom jigsaw maker (they're easier to find than you may think) and provide them with a map image. They can even make you a puzzle of a map of your very own town. And you may even be able to request that the pieces are cut along specific borders and areas.


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