artlab: puzzles

One of my favorite things to do with kids is making puzzles. Not only are they designing their own game, but they are creating something which is then deconstructed in order to be reconstructed. For this puzzle, I decided to use watercolor resist. When I passed out the squares of 4 ply board, one child said, I’m going to make a rainbow. Without responding out loud, the other kids immediately began drawing rainbows.

Watercolor resist was new for them, and they loved it. How can anyone not?

The girl working on the painting below decided she was not quite happy with the dolphin she had drawn, so she got a new piece of board and created another painting.

Below are the four completed paintings. (The painting in the lower right was completed by the girl in the photo above. She was pleased with her second attempt.) One by one, I sat with each child to cut up their board, counting the pieces as I cut, making sure to vary the shapes.

In this photograph one of the girls is nearly finished putting her puzzle together. With a little help from her friend, she managed to put it all together.

The puzzle below, with it’s repeated pattern of black marks, was very confusing. But when I asked the young artist to remember where she had painted the red circle (the sun), she was able to jump right in and complete it.

Each child was then given a clear plastic box (stacks of which I have from another project) to cover with Sharpie-drawn designs. The puzzle pieces were then easily stored in a custom-designed container. Who needs to buy puzzles?