Puzzle and game exchange box pops up in Edmonton

You’ve likely heard of little free library, but now a spinoff of the idea has popped up in central Edmonton.

It’s called the puzzle and game exchange box and the idea is quite simple — if you have a puzzle or game you no longer want, you drop it off in the box and take a new one home with you.

The proprietor behind the box said she was inspired by a little free library she saw on her friend’s neighbour’s lawn in the Westmount neighbourhood two years ago.

“I thought that was a really cool idea to kind of connect the community,” Monique Merchant said, adding she likes the idea of reusing things rather than buying new stuff.

“I wanted something that would be fun and interesting for the community.”

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An avid puzzler with a love for playing games with her family and friends, Merchant said the COVID-19 pandemic gave her family even more time to play games, so she decided that’s what she’d dedicate her box to.

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She managed to get an old newspaper box from a friend and the puzzle and game exchange went up on 76 Street just south of 88 Avenue last week. It’s already a hit.

“I just put it up and I’ve already had a couple of people take a game and bring a puzzle. Hopefully interest grows,” she said. “Everybody seemed really interested and excited about it.”

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Merchant said she hopes her box inspires others to create their own. She also hopes it brings people a sense of community and connection.

“I’m really shy so I think the idea of it being a conversation starter and just giving us something to do over the cold weather months, together, apart.”

Merchant’s exchange box also has a altruistic aspect — people are encouraged to leave dry food if they can, for the area’s vulnerable population.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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