Culture

Meet The Howard University Alums Making Puzzles For Black Children

Meet The Howard University Alums Making Puzzles For Black Children

This is so necessary (and adorable)!

Matthew and Marnel Goins are the owners of Puzzle Huddle, a homemade puzzle company for children that displays diverse images of African Americans. 

The company was created in 2018 by the husband and wife duo, after experiencing frustration with the lack of diversity in the toy market. The couple spoke with Because Of Them We Can to share the inspiration behind their puzzles.

“As a new father, my first two children were girls and I really struggled getting into tea time and playing with dolls. I eventually discovered my kids interest in puzzles and I probably went a little overboard buying puzzles online. After some time, I looked around and realized that none of the puzzles featured diverse characters. Although the puzzles were fun, they didn’t have characters that looked like our kids, our family, or our community, “ Matthew said. 

That’s when the father of three decided to do something about it. He started experimenting, making puzzles out of cardboard and foam board, running up a tab at his local craft store trying to get it just right. But regardless of how much he tried, the puzzles just weren’t durable enough. Eventually, he found a manufacturer online and begin making his own puzzles.

Photo Courtesy of Puzzle Huddle

Puzzle Huddle features an array of puzzles showcasing Black children in career images, bible stories, learning tools and cultural images. The puzzles come in four different sizes and have recommendations based on the child’s age. The Howard University alumna said it's important to them that children learn from their puzzles and see themselves reflected in their toys. 

“The puzzles are a manifestation of a much bigger idea where we want to inspire and affirm children toward education and high achievement. Kids deserve to have toys that match their skin tones and hair textures which can provide them with a sense of confidence and value. We appreciate the opportunity to share positive images with families,” Marnell said.

Photo Courtesy of Puzzle Huddle

The couple hope to expand Puzzle Huddle soon. They want to expound upon their puzzles, including designs that reflect the fullness of the African diaspora, Latino inspired designs and more career images. 

To learn more about Puzzle Huddle, follow them on social media or YouTube and purchase your puzzles at www.PuzzleHuddle.com.

Photo Courtesy of Puzzle Huddle