Thornapple Kellogg School District

Skip to main content

Students Make and Donate Wooden Puzzles to Children's Hospital

Sophomore Monica Bluhm and junior Samantha Craven are taking the woods production class offered as part of the woodworking courses at TKHS. In the class, students are tasked with mass producing items that can be sold like a business. But Bluhm and Craven opted instead to donate their handmade items.

The girls made 20, three-piece wooden puzzles shaped like turtles, pigs and alligators. Each puzzle piece is painted brightly on both sides and pieces are interchangeable so there are many colorful options for young children to create.

"We were trying to figure out what we should do and we just kind of came up with this idea," said Craven.

They used a computer program Adobe Illustrator to trace out the shape and lines of the puzzles in order to laser cut them. After getting all the pieces cut and sanded, they enlisted help from the TK Art Club to colorfully paint the pieces with stripes, polka dots and fun designs.

"There was a lot of work that went into the mass production. I like being able to donate these to the kids at the hospital and I hope they'll have fun putting them together in different ways," said Bluhm.

Craven said she knows a little about spending time in hospitals herself, so being able to donate to make children happy is something she's proud to do. She and other members of her family have a blood disorder requiring them to get frequent checkups and sometimes blood transfusions.

Both girls said they have enjoyed the woods class and hope to be able to fit more woods classes into their schedules in the future.