The Last Few Pieces

The other day I pulled out one of my favorite jigsaw puzzles from my childhood, with a plan.

The boys have shown little interest in jigsaw puzzles, which has been disappointing to me, because they were a major part of my life growing up. But I’d noticed Ryan working on some wooden puzzles that I’d put out for Mica, and it gave me an idea. In making any puzzle, there are harder parts and easier parts — there are the fun, colorful parts that go together easily, and the trickier, less obvious parts that usually get saved for the end. So, I reasoned, what if I did all the hard parts and left just a few holes, with interesting, easy bits for the boys to do?

This was harder than I’d expected, since my eyes kept trying to dwell on my favorite bits of the puzzle. I didn’t really want to do the sky, or the border. But I managed it, and left the puzzle on the dining room table, and was gratified to see the boys working together not long after to finish up the last bits.

A second experiment some days later roped in Ryan for another short and satisfying jigsaw puzzle session. Can I use this to eventually get them interested in doing puzzles by themselves? I don’t know, but the experiment is interesting enough to continue.

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