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Puzzling with Puzzles

3 Jan 2021 10:03 AM | Anonymous

Puzzling with Puzzles ----Snehal Kadam

As a parent, how many of you have bought the world map and map of India to hang it in your family room? Well I have! The hope was that my kids will look at it often. Clearly, I wasn’t right about it. And one fine day, I saw my friend finishing a very complex 1000 piece world map puzzle. Looking at the intricacy of the puzzle, gave me an idea. How better to educate my kids about geography of the world and reduce their screen time! :) It seemed like the perfect fun family activity. One problem though, how do I get my kids interested in this and yet make it engaging? I decided that having a reward-based puzzle competition sounded a great idea. Incentives are a good way of getting kids engaged in activities that are usually dealt with groans and whys!!

We all know puzzles have many benefits like:

1) it improves your short-term memory.

2) it exercises the left and right sides of your brain at once, (thanks to my neuroscientist hubby!)

3) improves your visual-spatial reasoning,

4) a great meditation tool and stress reliever

5) a great way to connect with family

6) great for some needed alone time

7) And You'll live longer

My biggest bane as a teacher/mother/parent is getting into the winter vacation and having my whole family stuck to electronics. So the idea of getting away from the electronics accompanied with the puzzle competition made perfect sense. I borrowed the puzzle from my friend, Lucky and decided to get started with the kids. We even cleared out our kitchen island and all of us got together to separate the puzzle pieces. The task though overwhelming was a challenge as the first day was spent more about strategizing how to solve it. I was surprised to see each member of the family come up with different ideas. As we got on solving the puzzle, little did I realize that it was so much fun and rewarding to even figure out where a single piece went. Days went by and the puzzle started to come together. The smiles and discussions that went on the kitchen island was music to my ears. Remember all this went on with a 3 year old tugging our PJs to find out what the fun was ! So by the 6 th day, we had solved almost all of the puzzle, I mean we had 999 pieces on the board. But we were unable to find the last piece. The whole house got searching for the missing piece. Frustrations rose among the kids and us, as to where could the last piece have gone. Little did we all know that our 3-year old wanted to be involved in the puzzle. She had carefully hid the last piece in the partition of our sofa! Once found, the smiles returned and she placed the final piece in the right spot. The joy of a completed puzzle bought out our inner child and we all gave ourselves a group hug !

When I decided to start the competition, I did not imagine so many families joining in. The excitement in the community was amazing as 21 families participated in the competition. Some of the families even rushed to buy the puzzles to participate in this fun family event. One common message I got from all families was how this brought all of us from their screens to the dining and kitchen tables as a family! So thank you to all who participated. Happy New Year to all of you and may we solve many more puzzles in the coming year!

1.Kinkin Kumari and Divya Singh

2. Lazers: Yajas and Sai

3. The Piparia sisters

4. Shaurya and Suhani Aditi Jain

5. Deshpande family

6. Navin Jain Family: Dhruv and Rishi !1st Dec24th)

7. Gupta Girls (4th)

8. Shiamin and Raj Melville

9. Dhruv Arush Urvi & Jagan

10. Lucky Hoque 

11. Tanushree Nekenti

12. Dixit Brothers

13. Rajit and Kashvi Naik (3rd Dec 25th 7 PM)

14. Anika and Rohan Savla (Yashodhara)

15. Shilpa Nikte (2nd Dec25th 330PM)

16. Anu Melville and Jack Saxe Staral

17. Ayan Mishra (Neha)

18. Khanna (Stuti)

19.  Peerzade's (Sahar)

20. Karishma Babani (Manju)

21. Mukta Munjal


Puzzles are fun and a great way to pass time when you are bored. They are also challenging as they make you think how to put pieces in the right place and forces you to look carefully for differences in the pieces. The puzzle we solved was named “The Mystic Maze”. We really enjoyed solving the puzzle as it was mysterious with a lot of very small details and a lot of different colors. We had a lot of fun doing the puzzle as a family!
– Dhruv (9) and Rishi (12) Jain.  
They have donated the gift card to the ISW’s Crisis Committee’s fundraising efforts.  So inspiring

We enjoyed doing our first 1,000 piece puzzle (star wars). It was challenging but our family had a good time. In the beginning me and my sister organized the puzzle pieces based on color, borders, faces etc. This method helped us to focus and sort out where everything goes. Thank you for hosting this event! It was a great experience! -- Rajit & Kashi Naik. They have donated the gift card to the ISW’s Building Committee’s fundraising efforts.  So inspiring


  • 3 Jan 2021 8:31 PM | Anonymous
    The results of the puzzle challenge : Hearty Congratulations to all of our participants for their fun filled hard work. I am sure as complicated the puzzles were or as time consuming the puzzles were, in the end it was absolutely worth the time and the efforts that you all put it. The encouragement for each other in the family has lead to completion of the puzzles and the happiness that came along with is worth million dollars !!!!!

    First Prize- Dhruv, Rishi, Navin & Gitanjali FIrst prize, submitted on December 24
    Second Prize - Rajit and Kashvi Naik (Random pick from completed puzzles)

    The following need special mention
    Stuti Khanna - Most Complicated Smiley Faces
    Yajas and Sai - Most Educational Presidents of USA
    Dhruv & Aarush - Most Educational World Map
    Link  •  Reply

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