I had considered the idea of a puzzle themed program for quite a while before I finally scheduled it as one of the more relaxed summer reading programs. Throughout the year I collected several smaller puzzles from the dollar store and some cheap ones at the resales my friend likes to go to. including two big dinosaur floor puzzles. Several families showed up and I tried several different puzzle activities.
The first activity was to color an MC Escher inspired lizard to make one big, collaborative puzzle, but honestly the kids had a hard time coloring and cutting precisely enough for them to fit correctly. Most kids ended up coloring the lizard and taking it home instead of playing together to see what they could build so that was a bit of a bust.
Then I printed some puzzle templates on cardstock and thought people would have fun drawing their own puzzle, but I think this was too open-ended and people really couldn’t decide what they wanted to do. Strike two.
I had printed out some word search puzzles and some sibling wanted to race each other to see who could find the words the fastest. The other participants overheard and wanted to do it too, so one successful part of the night was not planned at all.
Lastly, the bulk of the time I allotted was for free puzzle play. I should have had more puzzles with fewer than 48 pieces as those were probably the hardest people were willing to challenge. The kids loved the dinosaur floor puzzle and it was probably most well-received activity.
Activity 1: MC Escher puzzle
Activity 2: Draw your own puzzle page
Activity 3: Word Puzzle Race
Activity 4: Free Puzzle Play
Attendance: ~8-10? I didn’t write this down so I don’t have an exact number.