It’s a Puzzle…

My kids each received a jigsaw puzzle as one of their Christmas gifts. I gave the littles a couple of “preschool” puzzles – the ones with a couple of dozen pieces. The oldest can now do these with ease and I didn’t see many options in between those and the 100 piece jigsaw I got for her. I went into this knowing she would need some help and encouragement to get it done.

I was pleased to see her already up and working on her puzzle when I got up yesterday. We’ve taught her some good puzzle solving strategies – like sorting the pieces first, then building the frame. I was glad that she was using these skills instead of just being overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces.

With minimal help from me, she finished the frame before breakfast. After breakfast she started in on the middle, but didn’t get very far before she got frustrated or bored (I’m not sure which) and put it all back in the box. Today she didn’t try that one again, instead she did all of the easier puzzles and was almost distraught when she couldn’t find one of the pieces. It turns out it was hiding under a throw rug for some reason.

Life’s a puzzle, you know. Sometimes things seem more complicated, but really the same strategies will work, it just might take a little more time and effort. The key is to build your frame first, and then work on the middle. If the middle doesn’t come together as quickly as you like, don’t rip up the frame and give up. Sometimes a piece will go missing and it’s hard to keep going, but if you look carefully it will usually turn up.

I think my frame is made up of four key things:

The middle is where the jumble is right now…I haven’t figured out where housework, office work, errands and the other details of life fit into the frame. But I know the frame has to stay together.

What is your frame made up of?

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