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The kids in Ms.Ryder’s art group all gathered round.

“Our school Welcome sign is looking old and faded.” Ms. Ryder pointed up at the old wall painting. “It’s our turn to do something new and bright.”

The children sat around Ms. Ryder in a circle. They all looked up at the Welcome picture, now dull and not looking welcoming at all.

“Let’s collect some ideas.” Ms. Ryder stood up, the children started to think.

“Let’s just do a new Welcome sign in bright colours.” Ella beamed.

Ms. Ryder smiled. “Nice idea, but I was thinking that we could paint a big picture about all you children, something a bit more special.”

“A giant heart with all our names in it.” Sara smiled.

“Why a heart? Why not a giant dragon with all our faces.” Ali joined in.

“All our hands in lots of colours, they’ve got that my sister’s nursery school.” Carlos grinned.

“A unicorn in rainbow colours, I’ve seen that, too.” Mia nodded.

“Sport.” Tiger joined in. “We do lots of sport, let’s have an enormous picture with all kinds of sports.”

“Your ideas are all so good.” Ms. Ryder nodded. “We’ll have to write them all down to pick the best.”

“The Earth, with people all over it.” Mattie was thoughtful.

“Fair play, no bullying or nasty things. A great big rainbow and we can all write things on it.” Nik spoke carefully.

But then Eliza joined in. “It’s a puzzle, how can we all join in and paint a picture. We’ve all got different ideas.”

“Yes.” Arnie agreed. “We don’t all fit together with our ideas. We’ve all got ideas, but how can they fit together?”

Ms. Ryder smiled and raised her hand for them all to listen. “That’s it! We all have different ideas, but we all fit together and want to paint a big picture. Like Eliza says, it’s just like a giant puzzle.”

The next day, Ms. Ryder showed the group an idea. “Let’s paint a giant puzzle in the brightest colours. We all fit together, but we are all a bit different.”

And that’s what they did. But first they had to wash off the old Welcome – that was real hard work.

Then, they spread out old papers, got aprons, even made newspaper hats for splashes, and there were plenty.

They set to work, getting the big wall ready for action. They were ready to paint the giant jigsaw puzzle. The ‘Puzzle’ was very big with lots of pieces, all the puzzle fitted together, but there was a space all around.

“For our names?” Carlos asked.

“What a good idea Carlos, for ALL our names, and, for all the children in our school.” Ms. Ryder was having fun.

The paints got mixed, a few got spilled.

“We want so many colours.” Eliza smiled. “We are so many different kids, so, we all want to be in our puzzle. Red and blue and green, that’s not enough for all of us.”

Ms. Ryder agreed and the children learned to mix as many colours as there were kids at school! They had a long line of old glass jars, and good thick paint brushes. Red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, brown. They learnt new colours, too – Indigo, Scarlett, Apple Green, Sapphire Blue, Canary Yellow, Crimson Red, Fern Green, Electric Blue and Amber Orange.

“How can there be so many different colours?” Jackson asked.

“Like there are so many different children, with different looks, ideas, languages, talents and personalities.” Ms. Ryder explained.

Ali spilled his crimson paint jar.

“Look what’ve done.” Eliza pointed at the blob of red paint on the floor and splashes of her yellow paint dropped onto the blob. Ali mixed the two colours before he cleaned it up.

“Wow, that’s cool, it’s a bright cool orange.”

The children looked down.

“Ali’s Orange, a cool new colour.”

They all whooped, and Ali’s Orange was a new puzzle fit.

Eliza’s ‘Pink Puff’ got mixed. Pablo’s ‘Pizza Red’ got mixed. Arnie’s ‘Yellow Hot Mustard’ got mixed. Mia’s ‘Ghostly Green’ got mixed. And day by day the puzzle wall got better.

The children wanted as many colours as possible in their new picture. They all mixed and invented new colours.

“They aren’t all bright, but they all fit together, just like us.”

The children stood back and were very pleased and proud with the new picture.

“Apple pie green is my very new favourite.” Eliza smiled.

“But it isn’t quite finished yet.” Ms. Ryder told them and put up a ladder. “This is for the brave ones.”

At the top, she sketched, ‘We All Fit Together’ in curly letters. “Who will start?” She held up the red paint pot. “We’ll all hold the ladder, who wants to be first?”

It wasn’t so easy, it was high up, but the brave ones each did a letter. It was a bit like a word rainbow with red, yellow, blue, green and purple.

The amazing Puzzle Picture needed a few days to dry out. All the school pupils stopped to take a look.



“Wow, look at that.”

But, then came the day that Ms. Ryder and all the other teachers told them.

“We are all different, but, we all fit together. Our Big Picture is waiting for each of you to write your names all around the edge. Neat and nice. Can you all do that?”

A mighty whooping cheer went through the school. Over the next days, each class were so ‘neat and nice’ writing their names – Carlos, Emma, Jake, Ali, Jackson, Fatima, Deniz, Manuela, Pablo, Lucia, Grace- the list was long, each in turn, and, oh so very neat! Ms. Ryder told her art group,

“Wouldn’t you just know it. We’ve got another job to do. The long dark corridor near the sports hall needs a Big Picture.”

“I knew it.” Tiger whooped out mighty loud, his fist in the air. “We get to do sports paintings at last! Kids running, jumping, kicking balls…”

Ms. Ryder shook her head and laughed. “Clever idea Tiger, it fits, it really does!”

Short stories for kids We All Fit In Together bedtime stories header

© Andrea Kaczmarek 2020


Community, Independent Thinking

1. Can you think of some ways in which people are different?

2. How about the same?

3. In this story, the children use a puzzle to show how people can fit together while still honouring their differences. How are some other ways they might have had all their favourite colours work together?

Short Story for Kids written by Andrea Kaczmarek

In-text illustrations by Andrea Kaczmarek