Family Heart Puzzle
I absolutely adore the symbolism of this little puzzle.
The natural wooden figures fit together like family members in a comfortable and cosy embrace.
Between the contours of the cuddling figures there is space - perhaps symbolising the concept that families can 'grow'.
The figures could just as easily be interpreted as symbols of a classroom community. The placement of the figures together projects a message of union, harmony, cooperation and togetherness. This is a message that is equally powerful in the home or the classroom.
It is a gorgeous puzzle for any time of year but I find it is particularly relevant during periods of social and cultural celebrations of family, such as Mother's Day or Father's Day.
The puzzle only contains four pieces (and the heart frame) but it is actually surprisingly challenging! Since the figures are quite abstract the arrangement is not immediately obvious. The presence of 'empty spaces' within the completed puzzle also makes the solution less self-evident, increasing the level of the challenge. There are many potential couplings and placements that seem logical until they fail to leave space for the final piece. The completion of the puzzle therefore requires a great deal of persistence, problem-solving and trial and error! I would recommend the puzzle for 3 - 6 year olds, who will enjoy focusing on rearranging the figures until they neatly snuggle together.
I'll finish with an illustration of the priceless process of problem-solving inspired by the Heart Puzzle...