Apollo 50th: Assembling a 100-Piece Moon Puzzle

Moon Puzzle Box, Image: Sophie Brown
Moon Puzzle Box, Image: Sophie Brown

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, Chronicle Books has produced a stunning 100 piece moon puzzle using a wonderfully detailed, close-up image of the moon from the NASA archives. The moon puzzle is a circular, single image floor puzzle that uses one, detailed photo. The size of the puzzle and the pieces, which were larger than my palm, means that you can really get up close and personal with our nearest celestial neighbor when putting it together.

Assembling the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown
Assembling the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown

You’ll need plenty of space to work with when assembling this puzzle because the completed picture measures 2.5 feet in diameter. As it happened, we had recently cleared out an entire room ready for new carpet to be laid so before we put the furniture back, we took the opportunity to assemble the puzzle on the floor with a completely empty room at our disposal. The new carpet was even black, giving our finished moon the appearance of floating in space.

At only 100 pieces, this might not seem like the most challenging puzzle to assemble, but don’t let that low piece count deceive you. It took my son and me a full hour to put the moon puzzle together thanks to how similar all the pieces appear. While there is certainly a lot of detail in the finished image, when trying to find the correct pieces, one crater looks very much like another!

About Halfway Through Building the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown
About Halfway Through Building the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown

About halfway through assembly, we ended up gathering the remaining pieces into stacks and simply trying each one in the space we were working on until we found the correct piece, then moving onto the next space. Even then, we ended up up with one empty space and one final piece that was clearly not the correct one, although, thankfully, it didn’t take us long to spot the incorrectly placed piece and finish up.

The finished moon puzzle is really beautiful and you’ll want to keep coming back to it to explore it in more detail. That makes it kind of annoying that this is a floor puzzle because you can’t easily leave it out for very long before it starts getting in the way. The finished picture is lovely enough that you might want to consider gluing it together and mounting it on the wall as an art piece, however, I do wonder if the shiny finish might look a little off?

Kid's First Step on the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown
Kid’s First Step on the Moon, Image: Sophie Brown

My son and I really enjoyed putting the moon puzzle together. Although he is not a big fan of jigsaws these days, preferring to be playing video games or out on his bike with friends, the novelty factor of crawling around on the floor trying to solve this one drew him in and we had a great time together passing one another pieces in hopes they would fit. Jigsaw puzzles are a great family activity and working on something like this helps tie their many benefits into current events.

If you’re looking for something to do together as a family on July 20th to celebrate the 50th anniversary night, I can highly recommend working on your very own moon puzzle.

GeekMom received this moon puzzle for review purposes.
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