Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Personalized Hometown Map Jigsaw Puzzle

The Daily Kool family is going through a puzzle phase, thanks to our children. If you have been reading our blog, you probably already know about our obsession with technology-free family time. Puzzles are not only a great excuse to bond with your kids, but it also is a great way to encourage concentration, increase problem-solving skills and demonstrate the reward of project completion. We haven't seen our kitchen table cleaned in about a year...it's always covered with a puzzle we're working on together. So, when our son mentioned that he wanted us to find an unusual puzzle for his birthday (that and a new bicycle), we set out to find one that he would really enjoy doing.

Our older son has always been fascinated with geography, particularly maps...he just loves reading them. When he first showed an interest, we purchased a local area map to keep in the car so he could follow our path to wherever we were going. What an inspired idea, if we do say so ourselves! Finally, we have someone in the family with a good sense of direction. So, when we came across this personalized hometown map jigsaw puzzle, we knew he would be thrilled.

The personalized hometown map jigsaw puzzle features your own home as the centerpiece. Made from a United States geological survey map, this 400-piece puzzle shows named main roads, contour lines, transport infrastructure, water features, vegetation and notable buildings and structures...all centered around your address! Seriously, how "kool" is that? The personalized hometown map jigsaw puzzle covers six miles East-to-West and four miles North-to-South, with a house-shaped piece (yours) right in the middle. When completed, it measures 18 1/4" x 12 1/4". We really love the beautiful presentation box that comes with this amazing puzzle. There's even a space on the box lid to write a special message.

A personalized hometown map jigsaw puzzle is a truly exciting and unique gift idea for any puzzle aficionado. What a fun way to teach kids more about their neighborhood. Once finished, we're going to frame this one with the others and add it to our wall of puzzle fame. It will be interesting to compare it to a local map of the area 20-30 years down the road. If giving as a gift, just be very careful to get the address exactly right, including the zip code. Someone in our household keeps forgetting that we live on ## Place and not ## Street (for the past eight years)...we won't mention names, but it caused quite a stir with the Fedex guys last week when they delivered our parents' anniversary present to the wrong house. Nope, we're never letting him live that one down! The personalized hometown map puzzle, though a bit pricey at around $40, will certainly make our son's birthday one to remember for years to come..especially when we spend time as a family putting it together. Now that is the very best gift we could ever give him.

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