World Food Puzzle
Creation of the Food Puzzle
One of the joys and challenges of modern parenthood is attempting a balance between active, educational, and screen-free play with popular and brilliantly marketed toys and technology. As I progressed through motherhood from infancy to the toddler stage, I noticed that many of the products available for children’s entertainment are flooded by white label makers. This indicates less direct input from parents in terms of what their kids are really using for play.
My sister, also a working mother of two kids, agreed with my assessment. Along with her valuable input, I decided to develop products for children that we wish existed for our own kids. Suddenly, I realized our mission was to design entertaining products for kids that parents would feel good about as well.
Our operating goals are products that:
- help parents engage their children in screen-free time
- offer an equal balance between fun and learning
- feature simple design for kids to achieve independent play
- use the least amount of plastic possible to promote eco-friendly packaging
- are well-suited for travel and gift-giving
My inspiration and designs have resulted in games, activity kits, books, and fantastic puzzles!
Importance of Puzzles
My son loves solving puzzles. He was only two years old when his fascination with puzzles began, and my interest grew along with his. As a full-time software engineer and mother of a busy toddler, I often felt that my days were like a puzzle in trying to manage my fully packed to-do list.
Like so many families, our household changed dramatically with the onset of Coronavirus. My stress level exponentially increased as my active son stayed at home where I continued to work. The biggest challenge I faced, like most parents, was engaging him in activities that didn’t involve or rely on digital media and screen time. As I am not a big fan of buying an abundance of plastic toys due to recycling and sustainability issues, I began purchasing more puzzles and activity kits.
Idea for the Food Puzzle
I noticed that the majority of the puzzles available for my son portrayed animals or cartoon characters. This motivated me to carefully design a “food” puzzle to teach my son not just about food as a source of life, but as a representation of cultures and unity across the world.
The Food Puzzle is thoughtfully crafted with 64 pieces—just the right challenge level for young puzzle solvers! It is also designed with a border, the pieces of which can be assembled first as a cognitive strategy. As kids feel rewarded for completing sections of the puzzle, or the entire thing, they can try to improve the time it takes them to reach the solution, thereby developing a sense of perseverance and expertise. The pieces are 2.2 mm thick, which is helpful for tiny hands to grip and develop fine motor skills.
Our Food Puzzle comes with a thick, durable legend so that kids can learn about the origins of the food items pictured. This enhances curiosity about geography and different cultures. In addition, food appeals to all five senses, so parents can have fun helping their children imagine how the pictured food items would smell, taste, feel, look, and sound. Does this look like it would sound crunchy? Would this one feel rough or smooth?
The options for this puzzle play are endless as children can identify colors, shapes, sizes, healthy food groups, and even ingredients they recognize from their own kitchens. Parents may even be inspired to try cooking different dishes as well! The sturdy storage box makes clean-up easy, and this puzzle is a thoughtful gift for friends and family with little ones.
Our mission at Cognisprings is to design and sell toys that we want our own kids to enjoy for the long term. As a company founded by mothers, we are dedicated to creating educational, sustainable, safe, and fun toys that encourage children to explore the world away from digital screens. Children are naturally curious, and their cognitive, emotional, and physical development greatly benefits from playing games and solving puzzles. In this way, we are building a brighter future for our kids and the environment in which they will grow.