How to Open Puzzle Boxes

By April Fox

Doing a jigsaw puzzle can be a rewarding way to spend an afternoon with the kids, a mellow evening in with friends, or some well-deserved time alone. In addition to their entertainment value, puzzles are effective tools for helping children develop critical thinking skills and fine motor skills. Once the puzzle is done, you can frame it and hang it on the wall or take it apart to be done again another day. Before you can connect the first pieces, though, you have to get that darned box open. Forget trying to pry the glue loose with your fingernails - there's a much easier way.

Turn the puzzle box over so the bottom of the box is facing up.

Insert the point of the nail file, letter opener or one blade of the scissors into one corner, between the lid and the box, so that the flat part of the blade is parallel to the edge of the box.

Push the blade in about an inch.

Carefully slide the blade along the edge of the box, cutting through the paper holding the lid to the box.

Turn the box 90 degrees, keeping the bottom facing up, and repeat steps 1 through 4. Complete those steps again for both remaining sides of the box.

Turn the box over so the top is up again. Carefully lift the lid off the box, inserting your fingers between the box and the lid if necessary to start pulling the lid up.

Warning

Children should never use sharp objects without close adult supervision.

Always cut with the blade moving away from your body; never pull a blade toward yourself or another person.

Keep the point of the blade inserted well into the space between the lid and the box; if it slips out it could cut you.

About the Author

April Fox has published articles about homeschooling, children with special needs, music, parenting, mental health and education. She has been a guest on Irish radio, discussing the benefits of punk rock on child development, and currently writes for several websites including Carolina Pediatric Therapy.