Don’t be puzzled by National Puzzle Day. It happens every year on January 29th. Why then? Well, that’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma. While there’s no evidence suggesting National Puzzle Day is actually a “National” day (it’s a lot like “National” French Toast Day in that regard), it does provide a great opportunity for fun and mentally engaging classroom activities.
Spend an hour doing puzzles.
What better way is there to celebrate National Puzzle Day that to devote time to doing puzzles? It doesn’t matter if it’s a jigsaw, chunky, or floor puzzle; have students spend a quiet class period figuring out how shapes fit together.
Have team jigsaw puzzle races.
Kids love friendly competitions. Divide the class into groups, and then have the groups race to a solve jigsaw puzzles with the same number of pieces. Encourage cooperation and teamwork.
Create your own puzzles.
Some say National Puzzle Day is attributed to Jodi Jill, a newspaper puzzle maker who wanted to share her love of puzzles with the world by creating a brain-sharpening holiday. Use an online tool or Crossword Forge software and have students create a simple word search, or if you’re feeling really creative, have students create their own jigsaw puzzles.
Visit a local museum.
Puzzle solvers experience “Aha!” moments. Puzzle solving is an ancient, universal practice. It depends on the same primitive insight that ignited the first fire, created the first wheel, and led to numerous other inventions and discoveries. Celebrate mankind’s best “Aha!” moments by visiting a local museum.
Make a puzzle cake.
No National Puzzle Day is complete without food. Bring in a large sheet cake for the students. Have them frost the cake with white icing, and then use different color icing to draw jigsaw puzzle pieces.
When it comes to National Puzzle Day, there’s only one thing to say: Got game?