Alex loves puzzles. If it's under a 100 pieces, he can put it together himself in under two minutes. 300 pieces is his current "challenge" level.
He seems to like the art of Charles Wysocki, an artist who paints idealized, very detailed images of American life circa the turn of the last century. This is the one we worked on tonight.
(Not the actual puzzle, that didn't last long enough to get a photograph.) But you can see why it works as a puzzle. Lots of details which makes it easier to keep track of what goes where. (Not like a picture of butterflies on leaves ... stupid colours are all the same.)
Tonight, I thought I'd try and do some writing since it's been over two weeks since I got any work done on my novel. I thought, kids'll be happy playing on the computer or watching TV. Instead, Alex comes to me and asks for the "farm puzzle" and then "Mommy, help?"
How can I say no to that? So we sat down and did the puzzle together despite wildly divergent puzzle-solving styles. I like to find all the edge pieces first and put them together. Alex likes to start with one recognizable bit (in this case, the writing on the side of the barn) and then keep trying pieces to see if they fit. It's interesting to see that he doesn't look at all at the picture on the front (which is, of course, the part I'm relying on). He's purely checking out the various shapes. It's an example of how differently we see the world.
But he gets frustrated quickly if he can't find a fit on more than a half dozen pieces. So I try and sort them as fast as I can into different areas, like the chicken feed wagon or the waterfall or one of the trees. Then he can happily fit the bits together.
It's nice when he and I can do something together. Even nicer when it's his idea.