How to make a hit with grandkids 4 & 7


Have read many suggestions of using coloring books to tune scrollsaw cutting skills. I parlayed that to using similar type art for making "jigsaw puzzles" with a scrollsaw. Used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to glue a page to 1/4" ply and cut out two pictures, one with buildings and the other with animals thinking orientation using the art as visual aid would help the kids select proper aligning of loose pieces. Roofs/chimneys pointing up and animals with feet on the ground type of thing. Boy was I wrong! First version were fairly large pieces and next day those were cut into smaller pieces that both just sailed through putting together. Both tore a couple of pages out of their books asking for more. The next one was cut with NO regard to black outlines for artwork and cut into pieces about 1" square. Grandson, 7, turned art down and assembled using backside apparently using curve matching and granddaughter followed same approach. Thought occurred that grain in the ply may have helped and painting the backside would help in two aspects, obscure grain but more importantly puzzle pieces identification as different color would be required for each puzzle. We emphasized that each puzzle had to go into its own gallon Zip Lock bag so "Mom" wouldn't have the loose pieces all over the house. Very gratifying to see an idea take hold so well and fringe benefit for both will be visual recognition of matching curves.
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I neglected an important aspect of this whole thing. I feel that interlocking pieces is very important if possible as the kids don't need a moving target when assembling small parts. After witnessing them shooting at a moving target so to speak seeing if another piece will fit and finding the entire assembly moving away as they try it occurred to me that interlocking is essential. Now an attempt is made to include an interlock for each cut, redundancy be damned thinks I. Hope this helps!
On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 07:21:36 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

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Kids are very cleaver little creatures. Guess they have to be to get what they need, and just about anything they want, given their size and income. That's why THEY invented parents, grand parents! NEVER underestimate them.
Perhaps adulthood grinds off all our creative edges. I've got neighborhood kids in the shop during the summer. The projects they come up get you thinking outside the box. When they get board they hit the scrap bags, grab some tacky glue and start putting things together. I've learned to say "That's really interesting. Tell me about it." rather than "OK, what is it?"
Since you're using a page out of a coloring book, why not make a frame with a back to contain/constrain the parts? Each puzzle can be kept in its frame for storage. And you could copy the page and glue a copy inside the frame - more for you than the kids.
Just when you think you know everything - you have kids. Then when you're sure you know everything - the grand kids come over.
No much to learn in just one lifetime. No wonder reincarnation is necessary for most of us.
charlie b
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Hot dog! You gave me more ammo to get a scroll saw: "But honey, it's for the grandkids."
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 07:21:36 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

How bout printing a copy of the picture on colored paper, with a different picture and color paper on each side? Two puzzles in one.
Or if you really want to be devious, make two copies of the same page and use two pieces of ply with the grain in opposite directions. Stack cut and then randomly intermix the pieces. That should throw em for a loop. And if a piece gets lost you'll have a spare.
-Leuf
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