Puzzles of all sorts are popular with children and adults alike. I thought doing a GG Sprinkles episode on puzzles would be appropriate. I didn’t just want to demonstrate store-bought puzzles, so I decided to make some of my own. That way I could encourage the kids to do the same. I took a Christmas card and cut it into jigsaw pieces and did the same with a calendar page (specifically a hummingbird). I wanted something even more visual so I used a piece of poster board, grabbed a few handfuls of cookie cutters, and traced around them. The object is to place the cutter cutters on the right spaces as quickly as possible. I had fun with this one, but I wanted to give them something to think about.
As a high school teacher, I discovered pretty quickly that some of the biggest and most difficult puzzles to solve were the teenagers that passed through my classroom over the years: How would this one learn best? How would I get that one to make it to class on time? What would inspire each one to write and write well? Each child was a different puzzle, and I count myself a failure for each one I couldn’t solve. And clearly, I was a puzzle to each new class: How far can we push her? How tough a grader is she? How fast can she run? Actually, that last one was even more relevant for Cooper to solve as I nannied him. And he was surely a puzzle for me. I knew little girls; little boys were definitely more of a mystery. After over four years with him, we pretty well figured each other out, although there were tears along the way. Sometimes, Cooper even cried. 😁
So what’s the point? Most of us are puzzles in some way and to some people. It’s what makes us unique. It’s also a pretty good indicator of how much someone wants to be your friend if they’re willing to invest the time and energy in solving the puzzle that is you. So it’s good to be a puzzle. Each of us is worth ‘solving’ and each of us is our own person. I wanted the kids to know that and to embrace the differences, not only in others, but also in themselves. And in case you were wondering, Cooper discovered that I can run pretty darned fast. That part of me didn’t remain a puzzle for long. ❤️