9 Great Puzzles to Celebrate National Puzzle Day

iStock.com/Kuzmichstudio
iStock.com/Kuzmichstudio

January 29 marks National Puzzle Day, and there's no better way to celebrate than to get your hands on a brand new puzzle. Below are just a few of the great options available on Amazon and elsewhere on the web, from one of the biggest jigsaws in the world to a galactic puzzle that can go on forever. Happy puzzling! And for more ideas, check out our gift guide for puzzle fanatics.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. 3D Crystal Puzzle, Saturn

A 3D transluscent puzzle in the shape of Saturn
Bepuzzled, Amazon

Bepuzzled's 3D puzzles provide thought-provoking fun in 42 different shapes. We think this translucent Saturn puzzle is out of this world (and many Mental Floss readers seem to agree), but Bepuzzled also offers puzzles in the likeness of birds, animals, fruit, vehicles, and other common objects, in case assembling a noble snowy owl or a bunch of purple grapes is more your speed.

Get it on Amazon for $13 and at these other retailers:

2. 33,600-Piece Wildlife Puzzle

A wildlife-themed jigsaw puzzle
Educa, Amazon

For true puzzle experts, 500- or 1000-piece puzzles are just the warm up. Designed to be one of the world's biggest commercially available puzzles, Educa's wildlife-themed puzzle has a mind-boggling 33,600 pieces and measures almost 19 feet by 5 feet when complete. It's so big that it comes in a suitcase-sized wooden box on wheels for easy transport. (With that many pieces, you may be worried about misplacing one or two, preventing you from fully completing the image, but fear not—Educa has a policy of replacing any individual pieces that go missing from its puzzles.)

Get it on Amazon for $325 or at these other retailers:

3. 1000 Colors Puzzle

Design aficionados will love this CMYK-themed puzzle that features a slightly different color on each piece to create a color gradient. This fan favorite is so popular that it regularly sells out, but it's due back in stock within the next few weeks, and trust us, it's worth the wait.

Get it on UncommonGoods for $48 or from the Colossal shop.

4. Escher's Mirrorkal Brainteaser Puzzle

An M.C. Escher 3D puzzle game
Recent Toys, Amazon

M.C. Escher's mind-bending visuals make for an equally challenging puzzle experience in the Mirrorkal Brainteaser Puzzle. Developed by puzzle designer Ivan Moscovich after he met Escher in 1964, the set contains five different 3D puzzles based on the artist's sketches. "Made beautifully with slanted mirrors, this puzzle is a joy to work with and to display on the coffee table for guests to admire," the product description promises.

Get it on Amazon for $25.

5. Game of Thrones 9-inch 3D Globe Puzzle

A 3D puzzle shaped like a globe
4D Cityscape, Amazon

Bring Westeros and Essos to life with this Game of Thrones-themed puzzle from 4D Cityscape. Its 540 slightly curved pieces come together to form a globe that, with the included display stand, is the perfect addition to any fan's house. It comes in 3-inch, 6-inch, and 9-inch sizes, but as puzzle fanatics ourselves, we obviously recommend getting the biggest version.

Get it for $42 on Amazon.

6. Bob Ross The Joy of Puzzles

A Bob Ross landscape painting featuring a snowy mountain and a lake
Wellspring, Amazon

Piece together some happy little trees with this jigsaw puzzle inspired by one of Bob Ross's famous landscape paintings. The 500-piece puzzle will give you time to chill out without requiring you to break out the paint brushes. Just try to remain as calm as Ross himself if you encounter any happy little accidents along the way.

Get it for $17 on Amazon.

7. Pop Art 500-Piece Puzzle

Showcase your love of art with this 500-piece Pop Art puzzle. At just 18-by-18 inches, it's designed for people who don't have massive table space in their apartment to work—perhaps because their coffee table is already filled with art books.

Get it from W&P Design for $20.

8. Pencil Collage 1000-Piece Puzzle

An image of dozens of pencils laid side by side
White Mountain, Amazon

White Mountain Puzzles's 24-by-30-inch pencil collage provides a true challenge in the form of an image of dozens of different pencils in different sizes, colors, and conditions. According to White Mountain, "This incredible collection of advertising pencils was created by artist Maureen Rupprecht, who literally glued hundreds of pencils into a frame. Talk about a challenge!"

Get it on Amazon for $17 or at these other retailers:

9. The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle

The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle provides the ultimate puzzle experience: a puzzle you can never truly finish. Featuring a NASA image of the Milky Way’s galactic center, it has no fixed shape or edges, and the pieces are double-sided so that users can flip them and rearrange them in any configuration. "Topologically, the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle maps to a Klein bottle, an impossible 3D shape where the inside and outside are mathematically indistinguishable,” its creators write. "Just like a Mobius strip has only one surface, the puzzle has no up or down side. You can start the puzzle anywhere on any side, making it extra challenging." There are currently two versions of the puzzle you can work on, in case you get tired of the endless options of the original puzzle and need yet another infinite challenge.

Get it at Nervous System for $120.

Plus: Ravensburger Giant Stow and Go

Hands rolling up a puzzle in a puzzle-stowing sheet
Ravensburger, Amazon

Working on a massive puzzle might take days, and you can't always leave your unfinished work in the same place. Whether you need your table back for non-puzzle uses or want to take your partially finished puzzle on the road with you, the puzzle experts at Ravensburger have your back. The company's Giant Stow and Go system lets you roll up and transport both unfinished and finished jigsaw puzzles safely so that you don't undo any of your hard work.

Get it on Amazon for $21.

12 Quirky Books for Imaginative Kids

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

Though childhood classics like A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are never truly go out of style, each year brings a new cache of funny and fantastical books that will feed the expanding imaginations of young readers everywhere. From a self-conscious sewer monster who wants to make friends to a gluttonous dinosaur who gobbled up Christmas, this guide has the perfect quirky story for every kind of kid on your holiday gift list.

1. Rumple Buttercup // Matthew Gray Gubler ($9)

This whimsical tale about a self-conscious sewer monster is written and illustrated by Criminal Minds star, and king of quirk, Matthew Gray Gubler. While cute characters and a simple message about embracing your individuality make it a great gift for very young kids, its absurdist humor makes it a laugh-out-loud read for older kids and adults, too.

Buy it: Amazon

2. President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath // Mac Barnett ($8)

president taft is stuck in the bath
Candlewick/Amazon

Mac Barnett’s good-natured retelling of William Howard Taft’s infamous (though unconfirmed) bathtub blunder teaches children two things. One, history is far from a tedious list of names, dates, laws, and battles. And two, even the most stately world leaders have embarrassing moments.

Buy it: Amazon

3. It’s Only Stanley // Jon Agee ($15)

it's only stanley book
Dial Books/Amazon

When strange noises wake the Wimbledon family at night, they assume their dog Stanley is cleaning or fixing something; in reality, Stanley is transforming their house into a rocket ship that will carry them to an alien-inhabited planet. Fans of The Secret Life of Pets and Phineas and Ferb’s Perry the Platypus will love this rhyming read-aloud (and surely wonder what their own pet is up to when they’re not around).

Buy it: Amazon

4. Frankie Sparks and the Big Sled Challenge // Megan Frazer Blakemore ($6)

frankie sparks and the big sled challenge
Aladdin/Amazon

Third-grade inventor Frankie Sparks is back for the third book in her STEM-inspired series, and this time, she’s about to learn that the hardest part about creating a competition-winning sled is less about sled-building and more about team-building. Great for elementary school kids who love to create anything—be it art or architecture—as well as anyone who’s ever had to work on a group project.

Buy it: Amazon

5. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! // Mo Willems ($10)

the pigeon has to go to school
Hyperion Books/Amazon

Mo Willems’s original pigeon book was Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, a thoroughly riotous, award-winning tale about a pigeon trying to convince readers to let it drive the bus when the bus driver asked them not to. In the latest story, the headstrong pigeon pivots to something it very much does not want to do—go to school. It sends a message about the value of doing things you don’t want to do, but, most importantly, it’s also really funny.

Buy it: Amazon

6. The Glass Town Game // Catherynne M. Valente ($11)

the glass town game
Simon & Schuster/Amazon

Catherynne M. Valente spins a riveting fictional tale from the true story of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell Brontë’s childhood in a Yorkshire parsonage, where they passed the time dreaming up an intricate fantasy land populated with toy soldiers. In Valente’s novel, the fantasy land comes to life, complete with whale-sized flies, Champagne flutes that play music, and fire-breathing porcelain roosters, and the siblings must use all their wit and imagination to figure out how to get home. It’s a little like Alice in Wonderland meets The Chronicles of Narnia, and perfect for fans of both.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Lambslide // Ann Patchett ($13)

lambslide
HarperCollins/Amazon

The internationally bestselling author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth is just as clever when it comes to writing for kids. In Lambslide, a group of lambs mistakenly hear lambslide instead of landslide and begin a farm-wide campaign for an actual slide for lambs. With quaint illustrations, endearing characters, and an engaging plot, this is the type of book that ends up in the family for generations.

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Book With No Pictures // B.J. Novak ($9)

The Office alum B.J. Novak turns storytime into a full-fledged comedic performance with The Book With No Pictures, a book filled with nonsense words and phrases like blork and blaggity blaggity, which the reader has to read aloud. For parents, it’s a blueprint for embracing their silly side. For kids, it’s a chance to see their parents not seem so parental.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Spencer’s New Pet // Jessie Sima ($14)

spencer's new pet
Simon & Schuster/Amazon

The author of Not Quite Narwhal returns with another adorable story, this time about a boy who must avoid sharp objects in order to protect his balloon-animal pet dog. The mostly black-and-white illustrations (except for the dog, which is red) give Spencer’s New Pet a refreshingly old-fashioned feel, and the tale itself is sweet, evenly paced, and timeless.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Serafina and the Black Cloak // Robert Beatty ($8)

serafina and the black cloak
Disney-Hyperion/Amazon

When children begin disappearing from the Biltmore Estate, Serafina, who secretly lives in the basement, knows the culprit is a mysterious man in a black cloak who prowls the corridors at night. This novel has everything a quality middle-grade fantasy needs, including secret passageways, a forbidden forest, unknown magic, and a scrappy heroine. And the chills and thrills don’t stop at the end—it’s the first in a series of four (so far).

Buy it: Amazon

11. The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas // Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter ($18)

the dinosaur that pooped christmas
Aladdin/Amazon

This jolly, strange story about a ravenous pet dinosaur who gobbles up all of Christmas is hilarious enough on its own—and perhaps even more so when you consider that it was written by British punk rockers Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter from the band McFly.

Buy it: Amazon

12. This Is a Taco! // Andrew Cangelose ($16)

this is a taco
Lion Forge/Amazon

A high-spirited, unique squirrel named Taco provides color commentary on regular squirrel facts in This Is a Taco!, a book that is much more than a factual guide to squirrels. In it, Taco embellishes, acts out, and sometimes completely changes the facts to be truer to his personal experience as a squirrel, which involves being opinionated and eating lots of tacos.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

8 Adorable Products You Can Buy for International Sloth Day

Good Luck Socks/Intelex via Amazon
Good Luck Socks/Intelex via Amazon

It’s that time of the year again, folks—the time when we all collectively lose our chill over a slow-moving, two- or three-toed mammal with an adorable squeak and poop that defies physics. That’s right: International Sloth Day is coming on October 20. Here’s a list of must-have coloring books, onesies, and Christmas sweaters that you can pick up to showcase your love of one of the internet's favorite animals.

1. Cuddly Microwaveable Sloth; $23

Microwavable sloth for International Sloth Day.
Intelex/Amazon

Warm your heart and your body with a plush sloth that doubles as a soothing heating pad. The toy is filled with millet grains and dried French lavender, a combination intended to help you get to sleep easier.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hanging Ceramic Sloth Planter; $19

FattyBee Ceramic Sloth Planter.
FattyBee/Amazon

This flower planter pulls double duty, communicating both your love of sloths and your appreciation for plants. And it makes a tasteful piece of hanging home decor, too.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Sloth Coloring Book; $7

Sloth Coloring Book on Amazon.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform/Amazon

Sloths themselves are already works of art, but you’d be forgiven for wanting a few more sloth-related crafts in your life. Now you can make your own masterpiece with this detailed coloring book. All you'll need are some colored pencils and you'll be ready to go.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Farting Sloth Coloring Book; $7

Sloth Farts Coloring Book on Amazon.
M & L Coloring Books/Amazon

But maybe traditional coloring books aren’t your thing. You’re in luck: Amazon sells a coloring book for the crowd that both loves sloths and laughs a little too much at farts.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Sloth Socks; $14

Sloth Socks on Amazon.
Good Luck Socks/Amazon

These socks are ideal for people who might not want to wear their love of sloths out in the open but are very comfortable showing it off on their ankles.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Sloth Onesie; $60

Tipsy Elves Sloth Onesie on Amazon.
Tipsy Elves/Amazon

No list of sloth-related products would be complete without a cozy onesie, and this one from Tipsy Elves is perfect for either pajamas or a last-minute Halloween costume. This onesie even comes with zippered pockets and cuddly sloth claws!

Buy it: Amazon

7. Sloth-Themed Ugly Christmas Sweater; $45


Tipsy Elves/Amazon

Why not celebrate the upcoming holiday season with this sloth-themed ugly Christmas sweater? You’re sure to be the hit of any holiday pub crawl or office Christmas party.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Sloth Mug; $13


Mika Mugs/Amazon

Really, what says it better than this mug? You just really freaking love sloths, and there’s nothing wrong with that, so be sure to declare your feelings along with your morning cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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