For Christmas my Mum brought Top Ender a Hello Kitty Ravensburger puzzle ball. Top Ender eyed the 108 pieces nervously and asked if I would help her to complete the jigsaw. We sat together on the floor after having sorted the pieces out (they are all numbered so we put them in piles of nine 1-9, 10-19 etc) and then followed the instructions of how to put them together. It was great fun working together and slowly building up the puzzle ball and it was nice to spend one on one time together doing something that meant we could see how much we had achieved easily.
When I was younger I used to do jigsaw puzzles all the time. I had a puzzle board and would regularly work on puzzles of 2000 or more pieces. It was my Mum who encouraged this hobby, not just because it meant she would have something to buy me at Easter or on my Birthday or at Christmas but because she knew that puzzles help develop a whole range of skills in young minds (and sharpen them in older ones) such as reasoning, problem solving, developing motor skills, hand eye coordination and building up confidence. That's on top of them being fun and a good way to relax too of course! I even started a jigsaw puzzle when I was in labour with Top Ender as a way to keep myself distracted through the early labour pains. It didn't work though as I was so distracted by the labour pains I didn't get much further than completing the outer edge!
Talking with Daddy we thought that it might be a good idea if we encouraged Top Ender to work more on jigsaw puzzles too. To help her to develop the skills that jigsaws promote bur more importantly to give her a way to relax that didn't rely on using the internet or watching TV. Ravensburger sent us a 200 piece Bunny puzzle (suitable for ages 8+) which we started to do when Daddy and Big Boy were having some Wii time. It was great fun to do and was the biggest puzzle that Top Ender had started to date. Top Ender was distracted soon after completing the outside edge of the jigsaw, by the lure of the Wii and left me to complete the jigsaw. Not really what we were hoping for but we'll start small for now.
In the meantime it's renewed my passion for jigsaws and I think I might have to see if I can finish the jigsaw I started when in labour with Top Ender. I don't think I'll be so distracted this time and so I think instead of Easter Eggs this year I'll be after some more jigsaws to work on by myself and some for the family to work on together. What sort of jigsaws do you suggest I ask for? Are there any jigsaws that you have completed in the past that you enjoyed? Help me out here the last time a jigsaw was brought for me was over eight years ago!