It is the last day of the school holidays for me. I have been looking after my niece and nephews (7 yrs and younger). We have been lucky and have enjoyed great weather these holidays but I tried to make sure I had some other ideas if the weather turned and outside activities needed to be curtailed.
Aidan and Ruby both like doing jigsaw puzzles and have a quite a few at home as well as borrowing them from the children’s toy library at home. Aside from being fun, they are a great way to spend some time practising spatial awareness, problem solving, hand-eye co-ordination and concentration.
I came across this program that I thought the kids would like. It offers an alternative to a physical jigsaw puzzle in that it offers an online one for a change. Jigsaw Planet is free and easy to use. You don’t need to register to have access to puzzle creation.
You can see other puzzles that have been made to try out but I prefer the idea of creating you own.
- Upload your own photo/image
- Choose to how many pieces to make it. (Between a 4 and 300 piece puzzle)
- You can also select the shape of the pieces, with a very simple shape suitable for pre-schoolers.
- Put in some tags for later location
- Click on create
I found that is was easier/quicker to upload if I made my image smaller (eg. jpeg file 300 -400 KB) but the quality was still good.
To complete the jigsaw puzzle you simply drag the piece across the screen. There are a few options you can use to assist you:
- ask to have a small picture available to look at whilst doing the puzzle
- choose to have a ghost image to fit your pieces over
- choose the colour of the background to make it easier to see the image
I also liked:
- the “click” sound when pieces slotted together
- that you can embed the puzzle, as I did below, and click to play it at the site
- or you can send the URL to others
I thought that Jigsaw Planet might be useful to use in the classroom in a few ways.
The jigsaws could be used in new classes (or in a PD class) because, as each puzzle is timed as you put it together, you could have groups of students try to can complete the puzzle in the fastest time as a team building exercise.
A teacher could create puzzles that teach students facts or images that would create discussion. Students could then put them together and then read and/or the facts/images once the puzzle has been completed. The students could also create their own puzzles for other students to do.