Get a captivating hands-on puzzle that the whole family will love, while helping bring to life a great resource for practicing logical thinking. Let's get more puzzles into math classrooms!
My name is Heather, I'm a math teacher and tutor at Village Home near Portland, OR. I always try to help learners discover their natural ability to solve mathematical and logical problems, and to discover that tapping into that ability can be super fun and exciting.
Puzzles have become one of my favorite ways of helping people discover their math-self. So I was super excited to find these colorful logic puzzles designed by Jim Bumgardner on his website krazydad.com. Now that I've had a chance to play with them more and show them to kids and adults, I've grown to love them even more.
What makes them so great?
- They are cute!
- They are hands on. Teachers know that the hands can be a window into the mind. Engaging with a subject in a tactile way is a powerful learning tool. Logic puzzles are great. Logic puzzles you do with your hands? Even better!
- They invite cooperation. When I put my first Pixidoku prototypes in front of a class, I was delighted to find that unlike with paper and pencil puzzles, the tiles out on the table drew kids together and soon they were working in groups and talking about the puzzles naturally!
- They come in a wide range of difficulties. The easiest puzzles are approachable for puzzle novices and kids age seven or even younger. The most challenging puzzles can keep me busy for quite a while... and let me tell you, I've been practicing!
- They are genuinely one of the most fun logic puzzles I know of. And I've tried a lot of them!
Last year I did a lot of searching around for fun logic puzzles to bring into my Puzzles & Mindbenders class at Village Home. I found these colorful logic puzzles designed by Jim Bumgardner and I was really excited to show them to my class. Logic puzzles combined with cute emoji icons? Perfect!
So I emailed Jim to let him know about my enthusiasm... and because I had a question. How do we fill in the puzzle? His reply was that he had wondered the same thing when making the puzzles, but thought they were cool enough to make anyway! He suggested we use letters to stand in for the different pictures or, for the artistically inclined, we could draw them in. Both methods were used when I first rolled out the puzzles in my class and already they were a big hit among the learners.
A few months later I was working on unrelated lesson planning projects and I got my "Aha!" moment. Card stock tiles would be just the thing! I was so excited that I dropped what I was doing and emailed Jim immediately. His reply was even more exciting because that was when he suggested we launch a Kickstarter with the idea.
So here we are! Since then, we've been making and trying prototypes, filming our video, talking with our printer in Shanghai, working on the details of starting a business, and spreading the word to as many people as we can.
We're so thrilled to have this opportunity to share our love of puzzles with the world!
Risks and challenges
This is our first time running a Kickstarter campaign, so there will probably be challenges we don't anticipate.
A big challenge will be reaching enough people. We're only a two-person team so we're relying a lot on you, our community, to help get the word out.
Since we're wrapping up near Christmas time, our printer may be swamped with other print jobs. There will be a lot of puzzle boxes to distribute in a short time. That's part of why the estimated delivery date is not until April. We don't want to over-promise on our delivery time.
- (31 days)