Local Heart, Global Soul

March 4, 2012

Working Piece by Piece Towards seeing the Big Picture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On a totally different tack today, this is about a discovery that we made at the Hidden Haven B&B in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rae has a cupboard with some puzzles and games and the Kiwidutch children soon pulled out this one, enthusiastically announcing that we “should complete it right away“.

Now I’ve only seen these once before and didn’t realise they were a series but the idea that it’s a puzzle that isn’t exactly what it says on the box appeals to me (I have a warped sense of humour LOL).

Since I want to develop Family Games nights as one of my 101 Tasks in 1001 Days list, (No.24. Have 10 Games evenings where the whole family plays, board games, lego, cards etc.)

I siezed on the kids interest, and started sorting out puzzle pieces. Actually, since we have limited time here and plenty of appointments with family and friends we didn’t get any further than what’s shown in the photograph, but we did leave with a resolve to buy one of these when we get back to The Netherlands and to make it part of our Family Time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m all for any activity that allows us to work as a team and which is more like “good old fashioned fun” no batteries, control boxes, rechargers or power plugs included. This seems to be just the ticket.

In fact I heard Kiwi Daughter asking Himself  “when is Mother’s Day?”  so hmmm …Who knows… ?

One thing that Rae did have that looked like a very useful invention was a large mat with accompanying cardboard tubes that fitted together, and you could roll a partially made puzzle up in it and put it away if you needed the table space or if you wanted to take it with you.

I’ve photographed the box of this gadget so that I’ll remember to look for one back in The Netherlands.

I’m guessing that since these are not “regular” puzzles that I will be the one doing most of the hard graft the first time around, but I’m a detail fanatic and this kind of challenge suits me perfectly.

I think that once I’ve completed one I will take a series of photographs of the whole thing and close-up’s and put them in the box with the puzzle pieces so that if the kids want to make it themselves later, then they have a head start on how to get started.

I might just give them some specific close-up photos as “clues” but not the full picture and leave them to get on with the rest.

This one will have to be a “work in progress” for the meantime, but I will report back sometime in the future with progress both on puzzles and games evenings (see if it catches on in our house).. and the puzzle building process as we work piece by piece to an end result and seeing the bigger picture.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 9, 2011

A Step-by-Step Exciting Little (Mr.) Earner…

Filed under: Craft,Kids and Family,LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our children have chores to do each week..  mind you, some weeks we are more successful than others at actually achieving getting them done, since homework, reading, sports, and various other activities take up an ever increasing amount of time, and we build in time for playdates on a regular basis to that it’s not all work and no play.

Our kids are expected to help set the dinner table, clear it, dry dishes, make their beds, hang up their coats, stash their shoes and a whole list of usually quick and easy tasks.

We hope it will help them build up awareness and expectation that everyone works in a household, that we are a team, that they can be proud of doing a  job well.

Himself and I have struggled with the concept of pocket money… we would rather that they earn treats like family outings of their own choosing, but there comes a time when they want some coins in their pockets and to have the joy of shopping for, and paying for, something themselves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When Little Mr. was four, he expressed interest in saving for some Playmobile toys. After some time he had amassed Euro 12,– and Himself was duly dragged to the toyshop to make a purchase.

Little Mr. returned in tears and Himself in a foul mood, having failed to get Little Mr. to understand that the Euro 12,– in his pocket was only enough to pay for a small  Playmobile accessory toy and not  the massive Police Station that cost Euro 80,– plus that Little Mr. fixated on the minute he entered the shop.

Little Mr. had not yet understood the concept that the amount of money he had to spend, would only buy toys to that value in the shop.

So, instead of paying money out each week, we set it aside for them, but now that both kids are older we want to try again. Little Mr. isn’t quite ready for actual cash in his pocket so needs something simple to work towards. I also want our kids to put some effort into “earning”  their rewards, so we have devised a plan.

Little Mr. wants some Playmobile furniture. I’ve made a six-piece magnetic jigsaw puzzle  and the idea is that if he does a reasonable amount of chores in a week, then he can earn one puzzle piece. Once he earns the sixth piece, he trades the puzzle picture for the real box of toys. To add an element of excitement, he doesn’t know which furniture he is getting in advance, he will only see it as the pieces build up.

I’ve added a step-by-step tutorial so that if anyone else wants to make something similar they can see how I went about it.

Buy the toy and make a photocopy of the outside of the box ( then hide the toy away). The photocopy can be in colour or in black and white…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On a separate piece of paper draw a large rectangle, then divide that into six equal squares. (I used a separate piece of paper because I knew that I was working this out as I went along, also  I’m prone to making mistakes and didn’t want to ruin my colour  photocopy).

I used a bottle cap to trace circles, and after a few hit and misses, devised a rough jig-saw puzzle layout.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tape the corners of this paper to a window and position the photocopy over it, use as little tape as possible to avoid ripping off any of the image. (I can’t manage this on crutches and have a small cheap light-table so used that instead) Trace the puzzle image onto the photocopy.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cut the pieces out with a pair of scissors.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you want, you can just glue your magnets onto the back of the pieces now. I have a laminater (it cost less that Euro 20,–) and want to laminate my pieces. The laminater sheets come in various sizes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First, I found when I cut my pieces out that I destroyed the lines around the edges… I wanted mine back so re-drew them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The pop the puzzle piece into the laminate sleeve…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Laminate all the pieces and using a small pair of scissors, cut out the shape, leaving a margin of plastic around all the edges, Don’t worry about a perfect fit.. this puzzle is symbolic, and the clear plastic bits can overlap without detracting from the overall effect.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Attach magnets to the bottom with glue and Et Voila!  Puzzle pieces ready to be earned.

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