Lockdown Activities: Cloudberries Skyline Jigsaw Puzzle
Disclaimer: We were sent the Cloudberries Skyline jigsaw puzzle free of charge for the purpose of this post. All words, images and opinions are my own. I have not been instructed what to write.
Cloudberries are the go-to online store if you are looking for beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults. You won’t find the same old boring jigsaw puzzle designs, each Cloudberries puzzle is a design-led work of art which you’ll be proud to complete and display for all to see.
All Cloudberries puzzles are manufactured in Europe using the best quality, sustainably sourced cardboard and they plant a tree for every puzzle sold. Read on to find out how we got on with our first Cloudberries puzzle and what we thought.
Cloudberries Skyline Jigsaw Puzzle
The worst thing anyone can ever do is offer me a choice, I am USELESS at making decisions. So when Cloudberries asked me to choose a puzzle to review, I hopped on their website and spent a good few hours coming to a final decision. They have so many beautiful puzzles to choose from. In the end, I whittled my decision down to Crystals or Skyline but at the last minute, I set my decision on Skyline.
The puzzle is made up of 1000 pieces which looks way more when you open the box! We started the puzzle during October half term when the weather was pretty rubbish, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hibernate away from the cold and spend some quiet time with the children.
Having a very methodical mind, I started the Cloudberries jigsaw puzzle exactly as I have every other . . . by separating out the edge pieces from the centrepieces. Doing both sides of the puzzle was pretty straightforward as there are buildings with lots of colours to make the task a little easier but the water at the bottom and the sky at the top took a lot more concentration. Who knew there could be so many gradients of colour between dark blue and black?!
The beauty of jigsaw puzzles
Hardcore puzzles might be able to sit and complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle in one session but this is not the case with me. I have always enjoyed doing them but I prefer to do them in sittings and leave them out for when I feel like my mind needs to relax.
Over the following days, the puzzle remained on the kitchen table and throughout the days and evenings I would sit and put a few more pieces in by myself, or I might be joined by one or more of the children. Sometimes they would come to me before school and tell me that they had found a few more pieces of the puzzles. It really became a family activity.
One evening after the children had gone to bed, Simon and I sat down with a glass of wine each and puzzled and chatted for a few hours. It was a far more relaxing way to spend the evening than staring at the TV.
When the puzzle got tough
Once all of the pieces with colours had been slotted into place, completion of the puzzle slowed down considerably. Being faced with only dark blue through to nearly black pieces turned out to be quite the challenge. We went from looking for pieces with this line or that colour on it, to this shape corner or only one ‘in’ and three ‘outs’.
This was the point that I found most interesting to see how the family tackled the puzzle. Like I said at the beginning, I am a very methodical worker so I sorted the pieces into similar shapes and sizes so that I didn’t have to search through all pieces to find what I was looking for.
I prefer to complete an area of the puzzle in one go, whilst Simon and the children preferred to be very random in their selection. They would pick up one piece of puzzle and work out if it could be placed next to any of the pieces. There was no right or wrong way of completing it because ultimately, it was our teamwork which completed the puzzle and gave us all that sense of achievement.
The completed Skyline
The completed Cloudberries Skyline is as beautiful in real life as it looks online or indeed on the box. The colours and design are very striking, it was the bold colours and lines of the design which first drew me to it and I’m so pleased with my choice. I’m now passing it over the road to my neighbour who also enjoys puzzling to see if she is up to the challenge.
Benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles
As you can see, Jigsaw Puzzles aren’t just for children, they are an excellent form of entertainment for adults too and the benefits are well worth the time spent.
- The act of completing a jigsaw puzzle exercises the left and right sides of the brain at the same time. Whilst the left of the brain controls the logical (I am left-handed), the right works in linear and is in charge of creativity and intuition. Using both sides of your brain at once is a great mental workout.
- It improves your short term memory. You know as you suddenly realise that the piece you need was in your hand five minutes ago and you know exactly where you put it. Jigsaw puzzles help to improve memory recall and mental speed.
- As you can see from the pictures, we completed pieces like the moon long before it was ready to attach to the puzzle but using spatial reasoning we could work out roughly where it needed to sit in the puzzle. This skill will also help with reading a map, driving, following a set of dance moves and more.
- Jigsaw puzzles are a great stress reliever. By focussing on the image for a long period of time allows the brain to relax and gain focus, it is a form of meditation and helps to lower blood pressure and the heart rate.
- It brings family and friends together. Completing a jigsaw puzzle such as this is the perfect lockdown activity. By leaving the puzzle out on the table or on a puzzle board, you’ll find you are drawn back to it time and time again. We left ours in the kitchen and would find ourselves drawn to it whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or for some quiet time after school. It became a magnet drawing us all in to do an activity together (with no arguments – hallelujah!!)
When was the last time you completed a jigsaw puzzle? Have you tried the Cloudberries Jigsaw Puzzles? Which is your favourite design?