The best science puzzles for this National Auspicious Puzzle Day

Today, January 29, is what the powers that be – public relations firms, one would have to believe – have designated National Jigsaw Puzzle Day. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve spotted groups of all kinds of people huddled around puzzles. I even thought about adding a monthly puzzle to my routine just to feel that sense of accomplishment that overwhelms you as the final piece of the puzzle fits perfectly into your beautiful puzzle, revealing the full picture. Nothing else offers this kind of gratification.

Celebrate the “holidays” with a science puzzle that will keep your brain working all the time. (Not much for puzzles? Well, I’m not sure exactly why you clicked on this article, but anyway, you can check out my favorite board games here.)

Before we get into the actual puzzles, there is one specific puzzle situation that I encountered in December. What if you’ve just completed a puzzle, but aren’t quite ready to take it apart? Or are you not completely finished and need the table space? This Lavievert mat allows you to roll up your puzzle, as long as it fits on the 46 x 26 inch mat, and store or transport it. An inflatable tube fits inside one end of the felt mat. Carefully roll up the puzzle using the inflatable tube, then secure it in place with the included rubber bands. The black felt mat is also a great place to start working on your puzzle. $17.

EuroGraphics Illustrated Periodic Table

This 200 piece option is great for kids and measures just 13 x 19 inches when complete. It’s educational and it certainly won’t be a Bohrium. $9.

Puzzle Elements 1000 pieces

For a more challenging artistic periodic table, the elements puzzle is based on Theodore Gray’s book, The elements. Instead of just names on the table, each item is represented by a photograph. It is a 36 x 16 inch puzzle with 1,000 pieces. $18.

Puzzle women in science: fearless pioneers who changed the world

Based on Rachel Ignotofsky’s stunning best-selling book, this 500-piece puzzle highlights 15 pioneering women in science and technology. It also comes with an 18 x 24 inch poster to hang on the wall. $10.

A puzzle that changes color

MoMA’s 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle looks impossibly difficult. Puzzle pieces change color as you move them. Get it if a regular 1,000 coin option is too mundane for you. Or if you really want an excuse to break up. $81.

Areaware Red and Gold Gradient Jigsaw Puzzle

Gradient puzzles kind of want you to smash your head against the coffee table, but in a good way. You will feel all the more satisfied when you finally put it together. When I take this one, I’m going to work from the middle out. This one has 1,000 pieces and measures 20 x 28 inches when complete. $35.

History of Space Travel Pop Chart Lab

I’ve always been a fan of Pop Chart Lab illustrations. This 500 piece space travel history jigsaw puzzle is a way for aesthetes to learn about all the space missions since 1961. It also includes a full color poster with a timeline of all the space missions. When constructed, the puzzle measures 18 x 24 inches. $16.

They also have the same artwork on their playing cards. The cards are accompanied by a quiz booklet.

Smithsonian Aquarius Solar System 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

I would say your kids will spend more time looking at sweet space facts when they put together a puzzle in its image, and may even retain some of the information. It’s a 1,000 piece puzzle that ends up measuring 20 x 27 inches when complete. $16.

Ravensburger Porsche 3D Puzzle

For gearheads, the Ravensburger Porsche 911 R 3D is a nice jigsaw puzzle made of plastic pieces. It contains only 108 pieces and is small enough – 10 x 4 x 2.75 inches – to look great on your shelf or mantel when complete. $29.

National Parks of America Masterpieces

Exploring the parks that showcase the incredible geographic diversity of the United States is a wonderful thing to do, when the weather is nice. When the clouds part, this puzzle showcasing national parks and their unique features brings nature into your warm, dry home and gives you an educational activity to do with real people. $18.

Ravensburger The Solar System
Ravensburger The Crypt

This blank Ravensburger puzzle features ‘Softclick technology’ which means you can hear a click once a piece is in the right place. It contains 654 unique pieces, arranged in a circular pattern inside a square. I have never seen a puzzle like this. $19.

Evolution The Tree of Life Puzzle 1000 pieces

This 1000 piece interpretation of Charles Darwin’s evolution “Tree of Life” is 100% recyclable. According to a review on Amazon: “From a biologist’s perspective, this puzzle is accurate and incredibly comprehensive. The whole history of life is represented (bacteria, archaebacteria, eucariae, fungi, protists, plants, animals…)” $20.

LRRH Rainbow Round Puzzles

I’ve never done a round puzzle, so the idea immediately stresses me out. This 1,000 piece puzzle from LRRH is a perfect circle that ends up measuring 26.57 x 26.57 inches when complete. The Round Color puzzle is at the top of my list to tackle this year. $17.

The EuroGraphics atom

These 1,000 puzzle pieces are the building blocks that make up the building blocks of our world. It measures 19.25 x 26.5 inches and gives you a historical insight closer to the atom. $25.

Puzzle Dalmatians

Do you believe that a burger joint you’ve never heard of claims to have the “best burgers” in town? I don’t usually do this, but this Dalmatians puzzle from Paul Lamond Games very much sounds like one of the “world’s hardest puzzles” as it claims. It’s only 529 pieces, but they are double-sided with the same image. *17$*.

The largest puzzle in the world 51,300 pieces Kodak

If you really like puzzles and inevitably lose your mind, take a look at Kodak’s 51,300 piece jigsaw puzzle. If it takes a day to complete a 1,000 piece puzzle, imagine how long it will take. Anyone want to join me? It measures up to 28.5 x 6.25 feet when complete, so you’ll need a large area. This is the biggest puzzle I could find. $564.

Ravensburger Empire State Building 3D

This 216-piece 3D puzzle comes with five LED colors to make your Empire State Building pop. $29.

The largest puzzle of 24,000 pieces

It was the first biggest puzzle I found. The 24,000-piece monster is aimed at ages 14 and up – although you probably won’t finish until you leave for college – and measures 168.50 x 61.81 inches when finished. It features a surreal landscape ranging from sea to space, with animals, sailboats, etc. $260.

star wars puzzle

Just Padawan piece at a time until the 1,000 piece puzzle is complete. $15.

Superman Metropolis 4D Puzzle Cityscape

While not the most scientific puzzle on this list, this 833-piece metropolis is actually a 4D city, cool enough to earn itself a spot on this list. Don’t worry, the puzzle comes with an instruction poster. $35.

Map of the United States of America

I suck at geography. If your child has to take a geography exam, grab one of these puzzles with information like highways, rivers, and state capitals. It’s 1,000 pieces. $18.

space shuttle orbiter

Recreate NASA’s Space Shuttle Orbiter with Wrebbit’s 3D puzzle. When assembled, these 435 chunky pieces measure 18 x 11.5 x 8 inches when assembled. $23.

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