We already know puzzles are fun. But did you know they are a work out for your brain as well? It’s true. According to the Neurologic Wellness Institute, studies show that people who regularly do puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku have brain function up to ten years younger than their actual age. That’s pretty amazing. Of course, jigsaw puzzles have always been known to improve spatial reasoning.
So this year instead of a boring old mug, choose some of these great gifts for puzzle lovers that will not only be fun, but will also exercise their brain.
1. Puzzle Board
Best gifts for puzzle lovers
One of the problems with larger puzzles is that it can take days to complete. That is fine if you have a separate space to do your puzzles. However, if you are doing them at the dining room table, like me, this presents a problem. A puzzle board is one of the best solutions. You can start the puzzle on the board, and then move it when you need to use your table. Many come with trays or drawers to organize puzzle pieces.
If they have ample space for doing puzzles, you can give them puzzle organizer trays. These trays are helpful in keeping sorted puzzle pieces separate for storage or for when they are doing their puzzle. (They won’t have to worry about the cat mixing the pieces together!)
If they don’t have the space for a puzzle board, another option is a roll up mat. They can do the puzzle on the mat. Then they roll it around a cylinder and secure it when it is time to clean up. I had one of these. It was a great space saver. I had to straighten up a few pieces after unrolling it, but it easily fit upright in a closet when I wasn’t working on a puzzle.
2. LED 3 Dimensional Puzzle
Cool gifts for puzzle lovers
Take their puzzle building to the next dimension with 3D puzzles. Choose from famous architecture, a train, or even a pirate ship. And the coolest part is that they light up.
You will also find an array of wooden three dimensional puzzles, from Ferris wheels to working marble runs.
Crystal 3D puzzles have fewer pieces than traditional 3D puzzles, but look elegant on display once completed.
3. Custom Photo Puzzle
Personalized gifts for puzzle fans
Imagine the look on their face when they open a puzzle of that special family vacation or of the two of them at their golden anniversary party? You can give them this one of a kind gift by having a photo made into a puzzle.
Another unique gift is a custom NY Times front page puzzle. Choose the size you want and a significant date, (maybe the day they were born, or an important date in history), and that front page will be made into a puzzle.
On a different note, you can give her a custom puzzle piece necklace. While these aren’t actual puzzles, the pieces fit together with names of loved ones. This is an excellent Mother’s Day gift for a puzzle lover. Or get a heart puzzle pendant for a romantic Valentine’s gift.
4. Puzzle Frame
Gifts for jigsaw lovers
My grandmother was an avid puzzle enthusiast. One year we gave her a custom puzzle made from a photo of my sister and me. After completing it, she hung it on the wall. For special puzzles that they want to display, give them a frame in the size for the puzzle.
You will also need to give them puzzle peel or glue to hold the pieces together. Puzzle peel is an adhesive sheet that adheres to the back of the puzzle. Make sure you include picture frame hardware so they can hang the puzzle once it’s in the frame.
5. Custom Crossword
Gifts for crossword puzzle lovers
Crossword fans will be thrilled to do a one of a kind crossword puzzle. You can choose what words and clues to include or just pick a basic theme and difficulty level. Once it is completed, just download it, and print it.
With everything changing so quickly nowadays, they will need the latest edition of a crossword puzzle dictionary.
I love crosswords. However, sometimes I get frustrated trying to keep the page open to the puzzle I am working on. With a spiral bound crossword book they can just flip the pages to stay open to the puzzle they are currently doing.
6. Wine Bottle Puzzle
Unique gifts for puzzle lovers
Going to a holiday party at the home of someone who loves puzzles? They will get a kick out of this gift. In order to get the bottle of wine out, they have to solve the puzzle. (Make sure to buy a nice bottle of wine to place in it.)
Are you looking for a unique proposal? You can hide the ring in a Da Vinci Code Cryptex puzzle box and have them discover how to get it out. This is a great way to give jewelry for Valentine’s Day as well.
Are you tired of giving Xbox gift cards to your nephew every holiday, although you know that’s the only thing he wants? Spice up the gift by sticking it in a puzzle box.
7. Puzzle Cubes
Christmas gifts for puzzle enthusiasts
One Christmas when I was a kid, I received a wide selection of puzzle cubes and brain teasers. When the relatives arrived, we all spent the afternoon passing them around trying to solve them.
For those who want a modern edge to puzzles, give them electronic puzzle games.
The holiday wouldn’t be complete without a puzzle ornament for them to hang on the tree. Some are symbolic ornaments while others are actual puzzles.
8. Wooden Sudoku Game
Gifts for sudoku lovers
Sudoku fans will get a lot of use out of a sturdy wooden Sudoku set. The pieces are stored inside when not in use, making this easy to take along when traveling.
For a funny gift for Sudoku lovers, give them a roll of Sudoku toilet paper. I’m serious! This is an actual thing.
Is their old puzzle book almost complete? Give them a new spiral bound sudoku with easy to turn pages.
Gifts for puzzle lovers who are kids
Remember doing these as a kid? I had these in my classroom when I was a teacher. They help improve spatial skills needed for geometry and art.
Wood and metal brain teasers and puzzle books for kids are creative ways to keep kids busy on car trips, while waiting at an older sibling’s extracurricular activity, or during down time on family vacations.
10. Miniature Kit
Building kits for puzzle lovers
While not actually puzzles, these building kits use the same skill sets used in 3D puzzles. I love the details that are replicated in these miniatures.
We all played with Legos as kids, but you can also get more advanced Lego kits for adults. Or get a model car kit for someone who is into classic cars.
11. Escape Room
Fun gifts for puzzle solvers
Escape rooms are fun for the whole family. There are many themes available such as solving a murder, excaping from pirates, or excavating a mummy’s tomb. Your group needs to work together to solve puzzle clues to complete the scenario in less than an hour.
If they’ve been to a few of these and know how they work, they might like to invite friends over to create escape room games at home. You can even get escape room puzzle books to help them create their own or to add additional puzzles to escape room games they already have.
12. Double Sided Puzzle
Challenging gifts for puzzle lovers
Add to their challenge by giving them a two sided puzzle. Before they can even start sorting the pieces they need to get them all to the side for the puzzle they will do first.
Another challenge is a holographic puzzle. As you move the image changes, making it tricky to match up pieces. This is definitely not for novices.
Or try impossible puzzles. These are puzzles that look the same all the way across, like broken glass, lines, or a massive space of faded color.
13. Word Puzzle Blanket
Gift ideas for word puzzle lovers
For word puzzle lovers, you can get them a puzzle blanket to curl up with while doing puzzles.
Word puzzle lovers can never have enough puzzle books, so make a gift basket filled with a supply of word puzzle books, logic books, pencils, and erasers.