Title:
Puzzle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Interactive jigsaw puzzles have jigsaw pieces with verbiage thereon, such as letters or words. The pieces are assembled to form verbal expressions such as words, sentences, phrases, quotations, nursery rhymes, poems, stories or books. Puzzles may be designed for toddlers, children, young adults and adults who will assemble jigsaw puzzle pieces to complete a word, sentence or story, etc., pertinent to their age, ability and interest levels. Pieces may be color and shape coded with increasing difficulty as readers advance. Puzzles may have interchangeable pieces, allowing the reader/assembler to also become the author by varying the expression. Simple sentences and stories will be completed in one puzzle assembly. Chapter books will have one puzzle per chapter. Pieces may also include illustrations, tactile components to increase sensory involvement, or Braille printing.



Inventors:
Frost, Alene (Wilmette, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/634769
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RYNDAK & SURI LLP (200 W. MADISON STREET, SUITE 2100, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A puzzle comprising: a plurality of interlocking puzzle pieces, each piece having verbiage thereon, the puzzle pieces being adapted to interlock together to form a completed puzzle so that the verbiage forms a verbal expression.

2. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein the verbiage comprises at least one letter.

3. The puzzle of claim 2 wherein the verbal expression comprises at least one word.

4. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein the verbiage comprises at least one word.

5. The puzzle of claim 4 wherein the verbal expression comprises a sentence or phrase.

6. The puzzle of claim, 4 wherein the verbal expression comprises a poem.

7. The puzzle of claim 4 wherein the verbal expression comprises a story or chapter.

8. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein each piece comprises indicia adjacent at least one edge of the piece which mates with indicia on another piece when the pieces are correctly interlocked.

9. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein the plurality of pieces comprises more pieces than required to complete the puzzle, the additional pieces being interchangeable with other pieces and having different verbiage thereon and which may be assembled in the puzzle to vary the verbal expression in the completed puzzle.

10. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein at least one piece includes a tactile element.

11. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein at least some of the pieces are color coded to indicate the nature of the verbiage thereon.

12. A puzzle comprising: a plurality of puzzle sets, each set comprising a plurality of interlocking puzzle pieces; each puzzle piece having verbiage thereon; the puzzle pieces of each set being adapted to interlock together to form a completed puzzle so that the verbiage forms a verbal expression.

13. The puzzle of claim 12 wherein the verbiage on each piece comprises at least one word.

14. The puzzle of claim 12 wherein the verbal expression comprises a story.

15. The puzzle of claim 12 wherein each set corresponds to a chapter in a book and the verbal expression of each set comprises the text of the chapter.

16. The puzzle of claim 12 wherein the set comprises more puzzle pieces than required to complete the puzzle, the additional pieces being interchangeable with other pieces and having different verbiage thereon and which may be assembled in the puzzle to vary the verbal expression in the completed puzzle.

17. The puzzle of claim 12 wherein at least some pieces comprise indicia adjacent at least one edge of the piece which mates with indicia on another piece when the pieces are correctly interlocked.

18. A method for playing an educational puzzle game, comprising: providing a puzzle comprising a plurality of interlocking puzzle pieces, each piece having verbiage thereon; and assembling the puzzle pieces by interlocking them together to form a completed puzzle so that the verbiage forms a verbal expression.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the puzzle comprises a plurality of puzzle sets, each set comprising a plurality of puzzle pieces, and each set corresponding to a chapter in a book, further comprising: assembling a first set of puzzle pieces; reading the verbal expression formed by the assembled first set corresponding to a first chapter of the book; assembling a second set; and reading the verbal expression formed by the assembled second set corresponding to a second chapter of the book.

20. The method of claim 18 further comprising: providing more pieces than required to complete the puzzle, the additional pieces being interchangeable with other pieces and having different verbiage thereon; and assembling the puzzle using the additional pieces to vary the verbal expression in the completed puzzle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to puzzles and methods for uses of puzzles in educational and leisure environments. More specifically, the invention relates to interactive jigsaw puzzles having jigsaw puzzle pieces with verbiage thereon that may be assembled to form verbal expressions such as words, sentences, phrases, quotations, poems, stories and books.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Jigsaw puzzles have long been popular for amusement and entertainment. Traditional jigsaw puzzles have a number of interlocking pieces which may be fitted together to form a complete pictorial reproduction, for example, of a photograph or artistic rendering of a landscape, still life or other image. The number of pieces and the complexity of the pictorial image may be varied to make assembling the puzzle more or less difficult, depending on the age and ability of the intended player. Likewise, the image may be selected to appeal to the age or interests of the player.

In educational settings, especially for young children, it is desirable to add an element of fun and entertainment to engage and retain the student's interest, for example, in connection with learning to read. Games such as puzzles add this element and encourage learning. However, even older children and adults can benefit from and enjoy such puzzles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides an entertaining and educational puzzle including a set of puzzle pieces. The pieces of the puzzle have verbiage thereon, such as letters, words, sentences, paragraphs or portions thereof. The pieces are assembled by interlocking them together so that the verbiage forms verbal expressions such as words, sentences, phrases, quotations, poems, stories, chapters or books.

In one embodiment, each puzzle piece of a set has one or more letters of the alphabet thereon. When the pieces are correctly assembled, the letters form a word.

In another embodiment of the invention, each puzzle piece of a set has one or more words thereon. When the pieces are correctly assembled, the words form a sentence.

In still another embodiment of the invention, each puzzle piece of a set has one or more words thereon. When the pieces are correctly assembled, they form a poem, a story or a chapter of a book.

In another aspect of the invention, the puzzle pieces may bear indicia or be color coded to assist in assembly, with increasing difficulty as readers advance.

In yet another aspect, some pieces of a puzzle may be interchangeable, allowing the reader/player to alter the word, sentence, poem or story.

In still another aspect, puzzle piece may include illustrations, pictures, symbols, and/or tactile elements to increase sensory involvement by the player.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a puzzle of the invention in which pieces bearing one or more letters are assembled to form a word.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of the puzzle of the invention in which pieces bearing one or more words are assembled to form a sentence.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the puzzle of the invention in which pieces bearing words are assembled to form a poem.

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the puzzle of the invention in which puzzle pieces bearing verbiage are assembled into a multi-chapter story book.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the invention, toddlers, children, young adults and adults assemble jigsaw pieces bearing verbiage to complete a puzzle displaying a word, sentence, story or book, appropriate to their age, ability and interest levels. Preferred embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates a puzzle 2 suitable for young children and other beginning readers. Each puzzle piece 4a-e bears a printed letter of the alphabet 6a-e. Each puzzle piece 4 also has one or more interlocking elements 8. Interlocking elements 8 may be in the form of mortises, dovetails or other shapes which mate with one another, as is well known for jigsaw puzzles. The selection and arrangement of the interlocking elements 8 is such that puzzle 2 can be assembled in only one correct way, and when it is so assembled, letters 6 will spell a word.

Puzzle pieces 4 may also include one or more printed indicia to assist the player in correctly assembling puzzle 2. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, a portion of a symbol 10a-d such as a geometric shape may be printed on the edge of each of two pieces 4 so that when two pieces 4 are correctly mated the two portions of symbol 10 will also mate and form a complete symbol 10. In addition, or in the alternative, a color coded bar 12a-d may be printed on the edge of each of two pieces 4. The player can then match the colors to assemble the puzzle correctly. Such visual indicia serve as clues to assist younger players and beginning readers in assembling puzzle 2. The nature of the indicia and color coding can be varied for more advanced players.

Although the pieces 4 shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 each bear one letter, one or more pieces 4 may each bear two or more letters, e.g., a digraph such as “ph” or any other combination of letters.

FIG. 2 illustrates a puzzle with a somewhat higher degree of complexity. In this embodiment, puzzle 20 includes puzzle pieces 22, each of which contains one or more interlocking elements 24 and one or more printed words 26. In the simplest puzzles, words 26 include at least some nouns and some verbs; for more advanced players, words 26 may also include some modifiers (adjectives, adverbs) and other parts of speech. Players assemble pieces 22 to form a sentence, as shown, or a phrase, quotation or the like.

Preferably, puzzle 20 includes multiple pieces 22 that can be assembled in different combinations to form different sentences. In the illustrative example of FIG. 2, there are two pieces 22 with verbs (“saw” and “eat”) and twelve pieces 22 with nouns (“Mommy,” “shoes,” etc., some with associated articles such as “the”). Using the pieces in this set, a player can assemble pieces 22 to form a variety of different sentences, adding interest and variety to the game and educating the player in sentence construction and parts of speech. The fact that some of the sentences which may be formed may be somewhat silly will be entertaining to the player. Pieces may be color-coded or bear other indicia to assist the player in assembling them. For example, pieces 22 bearing nouns may be one color and pieces 22 bearing verbs may be another color.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the invention. Puzzle 30 is again composed of puzzle pieces 32, each of which has interlocking elements 34 and one or more printed words 36. In this embodiment, pieces 32 are assembled to form a poem. Alternately, pieces 32 may be assembled to form a short, simple story. As before, pieces 32 may include color coding or other indicia to assist the player in correctly assembling puzzle 30.

For more advanced players and readers, FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the invention, namely a puzzle set 40 which forms a complete collection of stories or a multi-chapter book. Puzzle set 40 includes one or more chapter sets 42, each of which includes multiple puzzle pieces 44. Each puzzle piece 44 has printed thereon verbiage which may be letters, words, or portions thereof. When the pieces are correctly assembled, the verbiage forms a complete story or a chapter of a book. After assembling set 42, the player can read the story or chapter. Then, the player will assemble the next set 42 to form another story or the next chapter in the book. For a book there will be as many puzzle sets 42 as there are chapters.

Preferably, one or more of puzzle sets 42 include extra pieces 44 with different verbiage which are interchangeable with other pieces so as to fit into the puzzle at various places. For example, these extra pieces 44 may provide an alternate ending to the story, or may be mixed into the chapter or story to alter the course of the story. This interactive feature essentially makes the player an author who can create and change the story. This adds another element of interest and helps introduce players to creative writing.

The combination of game play and reading provided is a good way to introduce young readers to longer stories and eventually to multi-chapter books. There is also an added element of mystery and suspense, as the story unfolds as the puzzle is assembled. The subject matter of the book is essentially unlimited, and may include original stories, fairy tales, folk tales, other public domain stories, fiction, non-fiction and picture books.

Each chapter set 42 is preferable packaged in a separate box, pouch, bag or other container. Pieces 44 of each set 42 may be of a unique color or background to avoid intermixing pieces 44 belonging to different sets 42. All of the containers for sets 42 are preferable packaged in turn within a larger box or other container for the entire puzzle book. A frame or backing board for each puzzle may be provided, if desired, as is known for jigsaw puzzles.

Although each set 42 as shown in FIG. 4 forms a finished puzzle in the shape of a rectangle, the pieces may alternately be designed to form a finished puzzle of any desired shape. Jigsaw puzzles are typically made of cardboard or cardstock, but may be of any suitable material known in the art. The pieces are typically printed on one side, but if desire may be printed on both sides.

Regardless of whether a puzzle forms a word, sentence, poem, story or book, the puzzle pieces may include pictures and illustrations related to the subject matter. Pieces may also include tactile components associated with the subject matter to increase sensory involvement, which is especially good for younger children. For example, a story about a bunny might include a puzzle piece with a small piece of cotton, representing the feel of a bunny's tail, while a story about a fish might include a scaly surface. For the visually challenged, pieces may include Braille symbols or other tactile elements.

The foregoing is intended to represent one embodiment of the present invention and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Additional modifications and variations will be apparent to those of skill in the art.





 
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