Do you love to work puzzles? Our family has always enjoyed puzzles at home, but recently we have discovered that puzzles are also great options for students in alternative school settings. There’s just something about working a puzzle together that gives staff and teachers opportunities to connect with students. Take a look at some of these puzzle options and see if puzzles should be part of your learning environment.
Hobbies on a Budget received products or discounts for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.
Puzzles that Fit your Lifestyle
When you first open a new puzzle, something special happens; people slow down and focus on finding pieces that fit instead of rushing around to the next thing. No matter what your age, a new puzzle is the beginning of a new adventure.
There are some people who turn over all the pieces so you can easily see everything before beginning, and others like to just dive in and start digging through the box. Some puzzle workers have to work on the borders while others prefer to look for specific patterns and highlights of the design.
Ths year, we have tried something new. We have found that providing puzzles in alternative classroom situations is a great way to stimulate conversation with students. Since very few people can walk past a puzzle without stopping to find at least one piece, these puzzles give the staff opportunities to help struggling students think about positive alternatives in life.
Pick the Right Puzzles
Puzzles come in a wide range of difficulty levels and designs. Think about the audience that will be working the puzzle and pick out a pattern/design that will interest them. Some people may prefer the bright colors of the Sweet Treats puzzle, others may prefer the State Plates Puzzle.
One of the neat things about Springbok puzzles is they offer a family friendly/age inclusive 400 piece design.
Each puzzle is designed with large pieces on the outside for the young ones, and small pieces on the inside for more experienced puzzlers!
Provide the Proper Space
Puzzles need to be spread out to really enjoy. They also take time to complete. Set up a card table in your home or an extra table in the classroom so students and family members can come and go as they want. Make sure there is plenty of good lighting and a few chairs in case people want to stay a while.
Don’t Miss the Gift Ideas
People who enjoy puzzles also enjoy some fun gift options involving puzzles. You can give a puzzle lover a brand new puzzle for birthdays and Christmas. Make it even more fun and personal, by including a pair of puzzle socks!
What is your favorite memory of working puzzles? Have you thought about taking them to the classroom? Have you seen that conversations often happen around puzzles? I’d love to hear!