a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Mar, 2014

Are you a puzzle person?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!|Ottawa

We did a LOT of puzzles with the girls when they were small. They’re good for a whole bunch of reasons: developing hand/eye coordination, fine motor development, problem solving. We had some fun ones too; puzzles that glowed in the dark and had “heat spots” that revealed hidden pictures underneath if you pressed your hand on them.

My MIL has been a big fan of puzzles ever since I’ve known her. I’ve been slow to come around, because the idea of assembling 1000 tiny pieces into one big picture all by my lonesome never held much appeal before now. Perhaps puzzle interest develops with age, but I’m starting to see the appeal of puzzles, especially if there are other people around who are willing to help. Assembling a puzzle is an oddly meditative, isn’t it? Looking at the pieces and mulling each one over… it forces you to slow down and focus. I imagine it’s good for grown up brains too.

Related: Once upon a time I spotted a really smart puzzle/board game table at IKEA. It had wheels and was very low to the ground, so low in fact that it could actually be pushed under the sofa and kept undisturbed for the next puzzle session. Well, I should have bought that table when I had the chance because they don’t carry it anymore. (If you have one and are looking to get rid of it, please let me know.)

Over March Break, the four of us ventured out to Vanier (“why are there so many pawn shops here daddy?”) to check out the Hobby Shop. Mark bought a model rocket. (Sidebar: I sense a blog post in the near future, hopefully one that does not include a story about someone igniting his eyebrows.) While he browsed, I found myself admiring a selection of puzzles. I surprised myself and bought this one:

My first puzzle purchase in about a decade.

Cool eh? It’s a WHOLE NEW GENERATION OF PUZZLE! What do you think? Is it time to bring back puzzles? Or were they always here and I just never noticed?


Print this post Print this post

5 Responses to "Are you a puzzle person?"

1 | Mary @ Parenthood

March 20th, 2014 at 7:20 am

Avatar

Not really a puzzle person but making an under the couch table such as you describe would be very easy. IKEA sells table tops & wheels (you just put together). For that matter, all you really need is a hunk of wood and wheels (which you can get from Home Depot or similar as well). Just screw the wheels onto the bottom of the wood. For bonus points I’d cover the wood with felt (fabric store, use a stapler) so pieces don’t slide around.

2 | Lynn

March 20th, 2014 at 8:48 am

Avatar

I’m a huge puzzler! I actually asked for 500 and 1000 piece puzzles for Christmas this year and got some lovely Ravensburger puzzles (really great quality). My older two were never big into puzzles but luckily for me my youngest is – so it’s something we can (and do!) do together. I agree with you – there’s something so peaceful and calming about it – plus the huge satisfaction of putting in the last piece!

3 | andrea tomkins

March 20th, 2014 at 11:11 am

Avatar

Mary – I am seriously considering taking the DIY route. I like your suggestion of adding a felt covering. Smart!

Lynn – Ravensburger is a good brand. Too. Pretty artwork as well. Do you have a good space for puzzle building? This is our issue at the moment…

4 | Stacey K

March 20th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Avatar

FWIW, we have a board covered with flannel (doubles as a felt board for the kids). I find that the pieces stick a bit too much and it can be hard to slide the pieces into place, or move sections of puzzle around. I would still cover a board with fabric, but using a smoother fabric.

5 | Lisa from Iroquois

March 20th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Avatar

If you go with a too smooth fabric you might find pieces flying off the edges when you move the table. Perhaps a tiny lip on the edge would prevent problems. Heck even just a border created with felt glued to the fabric might do the trick. of course there are those roll up fabric mats for making puzzles on too. Then you just need to occasionally clear a table surface to work on, but the puzzle can be rolled up and set aside at meal times.

comment form:

Patronatus

NAC Ottawa family events


Fall family fun fun at Saunders Farm!


Creatures of Light Nature's Bioluminescence at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa


Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa


Litterless lunch solutions at terra20


Zen Kitchen is open! Use code FISHBOWL for free dessert


Nepean Visual Arts Centre


Visit tThe Village Quire in Westboro Ottawa!


Click me!


Archives

Stay in touch



Me and my pet projects

bucketlist


etc.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  • Chris Hayes: Very nice list! I just went to Lime Kiln Trail today with my dog.. needless to say she loved it. Thanks for the awesome suggestions, should keep m
  • Safe and Sound: Totally agree with lacoop. We're all trying to send positive discussions and examples while youtube/movies/advertising are full of absolutely vile, b
  • Lynn: I've been feeling very sad about the Jian story, combined with some other stories on CBC lately (did you hear about the hockey boys in BC who traded n
  • Stacey K: I think that we need to start conversations about consent with our kids as early as possible (not in a sexual context, but in a" its your body, you ha
  • lacoop: sigh...Sometimes I think things are getting better...and then other times I just wonder. This is a concern for us as well, with both a son and a daug
  • Tudor: So, I'm actually using the Jian thing as a chance to talk to my son about consent. There's been a lot of talk lately about positive consent, ever sinc
  • Three stories, and talking to our daughters about the creepy guys, AGAIN. >> a peek inside the fishbowl: […] already written about the issue of creepy guys here before. Yet here I am again. You know why? Because the issue of the creepy guys will nev

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (15) and Sarah (13). I am the editor of the Kitchissippi Times, Capital Parent Newspaper, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!

 


My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

The #dailylunches project – 850 lunches and counting!

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's the latest:

Created with flickr badge.

Click the photo for details: what it is, where I ate it (if it's worth a mention!) and how to cook it (if there happens to be a recipe). You can also read more about this project right here.

Sideblog

  • I'm sharing some of my favourite lunch-related items over on the terra20 blog today. Whether you're packing a lunch for work, for your kids, or just eating at your desk at home, I bet there is something there for you. Check it out!

    - #
  • I have a new post up at the MediaSmarts blog this week. It's my response to a question that I'm asked quite often: What’s the best age to give a kid an iPod touch?

    - #
  • My latest post at the MediaSmarts website is about passwords. Is this something you've talked about with your kids? Given the proliferation of devices in households (often one per person now) it might be an important topic for discussion. How have you handled passwords in your household?

    - #

On the nightstand

... check out past nightstand reads right here.

On this date in the archives

Got kids in Ottawa? These posts might be worth a click too:

All hail the mighty Twitter