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How to Avoid Losing Puzzle Pieces



Losing puzzle pieces happens to just about everyone and can be very annoying when it does happen but is often avoidable if you take the correct precautions. These precautions can be a bit annoying to do but if you carry them out then you can save yourself a lot of bother and reduce the risk if not almost entirely eliminate it altogether of losing your puzzle parts. It is also worth bearing in mind when you choose a brain teaser the likelihood of those pieces that the puzzle contains getting lost and if the puzzle comes with a container or is designed in a way that will help prevent this problem in order to save you a lot of hassle. The general rule is the more pieces the puzzle has and the smaller they are then the easier they will be to lose and it is these sorts of puzzles and playing with the puzzles outdoors is where the following pointers will be most applicable.


There are puzzles like jigsaws that come with thousands of parts that are often quite small so you can see in this case it would be very easy to lose pieces if you are not careful which is exactly what happens a lot of times. To avoid losing these parts it is best to find either a table with a large clear surface area or a mat or carpet to lay the jigsaw on that also has a large clear surface area so the pieces are clearly visible and can be spread out but do try to contain the pieces within this area so there should be a clear space or border around the edge so that they don't come out of the designated puzzle area. These same rules apply to any sort of puzzle that will have hundreds of small pieces as once they are lost they can be gone forever if for example the vacuum cleaner sucks them up or the dog chews them up. If the jigsaw doesn't come with a bag then find one and bag up the pieces preferably in a seethrough sealable bag so you know what they are.


Board games are another popular type of puzzle that often has numerous separable parts which are meant to usually be played on a table that has had its surface cleared. These board games will often have instruction guides with all the parts shown in them so you can check when you are packing it away if you have all of them by ticking off a checklist. Counting the parts is also recommended even if it is a laborious task but with board games, there are sometimes only a few parts such as less than twenty which is easily countable and can be checked off rather quickly. Board games frequently have trays that are integrated into the game so are connected to it and can be pulled out thus keeping everything together which is the ideal scenario or they have a separable tray to organise the parts that come with it. Board games are multiplayer games so one person will have to take the initiative and the responsibility of ensuring that when the game is completed all the parts are returned safely and packed away.


If you are going outdoors and looking to play with a puzzle on the move be it on the train/bus or while walking then it is best to have one that only has a few pieces preferably two or less as you only have two hands to put them into and you don't want the puzzle to be too distracting that you miss a stop or walk into somebody or it puts you in danger because if there is a slight chance of danger then you should not play with a puzzle. Also, bring with you a backpack or some sort of carrier/bag to carry or to put your puzzle into when you are not using it. If you stop off somewhere to take a break like sitting on a park bench then remember not to leave the puzzle parts lying on the bench preferably play with it on your lap.


When you have finished with your puzzle it is important to put all the pieces back into their packaging or container and then safely store them away in a crate or drawer/cupboard for safekeeping. Also, it is crucial that the containers and packaging are properly sealed when finished with and opened the right way up so any pieces within cannot spill out when they are reopened in the future. You can also check to see if the container or packaging is damaged in any way which could be the container lid comes open easily as what connects it together has broken off that can often happen or there are holes in it that the pieces could fall out of without you noticing.


If you are a parent or supervising children whilst they play then you will need to take extra precautions and should try to teach some of these suggestions to the child if they are old enough so they get into good habits from a young age and also if they can do it themselves then it will reduce the risk again of pieces being lost. Very small children will obviously need to be constantly monitored so they don't eat any of the small pieces the puzzle may contain or throw them away as is their wont. The puzzle will likely have age guidance and as a parent, you should not let the child play with the puzzle if the guidance says they are not of the correct age to play with it.


If the pieces do go missing even after all the precautions are taken then they still may be recoverable especially if they are made from metal for example as you could use some sort of metal detector to find them but you may need permission to do this if you lost them in a certain place that doesn't belong to you. If the pieces are of a certain size with the larger the size of them the better then you could search with just your eyes and hands to see and feel for them but just ensure the place you are searching is safe and not dangerous like in the middle of a road. The chances are much better of finding the missing pieces if you used the puzzle indoors in an enclosed space so you can more easily check every nook and cranny of that space and hopefully it will show up. If the piece was lost outdoors then this will mean the chances of finding it are reduced and the best you can do is retrace your steps to see if it still might be there which you should do as soon as you realise the piece or pieces are lost.


So, in conclusion, there are a number of approaches you can take in order to try to ensure you don't lose any of the pieces to your favourite puzzle which can be annoying and maybe even expensive to replace if they can be replaced at all which will all lead to your overall enjoyment of puzzles declining. All these approaches will help but are no guarantees that anything won't be lost or will be found again and unfortunately no matter how careful you are there will always be this danger.

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