Friday, May 18, 2018

Creating Picture Puzzles - Seek and Find

by Susan Stephenson,

This is the third in my series of articles that give kids ideas on how to create their own visual puzzles digitally for others to solve. The first was Creating Picture Puzzles - Spot the Difference, and the second was Creating Picture Puzzles - a Digital Image to Copy. Today I want to explain one method for creating a Seek and Find puzzle.

I think of a Seek and Find puzzle as one where a child is asked to examine a picture carefully and answer questions about it. Often the questions will start with “How many…?” or use positional vocabulary eg “What is on top of the tallest tree?”

To make my sample image above, I went to Google Drive//New/Google Drawing. Kids could use another program that will allow them to add images in layers. I went to File/Page set up/Custom/ and entered the dimensions 29.7 x 21 cm to fit a standard A4 landscape page, but kids can of course choose the dimensions that suit.

I then went to town with inserting different shapes, changing colour and overlapping them to create a background for my picture. My bushes used the same cloud shape as the clouds you might notice. I downloaded the image at that point (File/Download as/PNG) and imported it into PicMonkey. Here I added clip art to build detail on the background. I exported the finished image as a jpg to my computer, but I could also have gone back to Google Drawings if I needed to, and added more or downloaded it as a pdf.

Just like with a Spot the Difference puzzle, children could again experiment with using shapes and clipart to make puzzles more difficult: overlapping, using the “send to back” function. making clipart quite small and changing colour so it is similar to background, choosing point of insertion carefully to make something tricky to find etc.

If I had been finishing my puzzle, instead of demonstrating how an image can be made, I would have gone on to make some problems for a viewer to solve e.g. how many toucans can you find? or what insects do you see? Kids might also decide they want to add a “blank” shape inside their image, and put in that the small images they want people to find. Naturally, this whole activity can be done with paper instead, but I love the opportunities it gives for children to use technology to create a puzzle of their own.

Coming Soon:

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