Need to add something new into today’s activities? Make a puzzle. It will take you 10 minutes, I promise! Puzzles are wonderful tools for enhancing spatial reasoning skills and memory. It is very easy to make a puzzle and you have everything you need at home.
DIY Photo Puzzle:
1.Print off a picture on photo paper. (I use 8×11 photo paper, but you could also print onto regular paper, cardstock or construction paper.)
2.If you have it, you can cover the printout with clear contact paper, but don’t worry if you don’t have this on-hand.
3.Cut the picture into puzzle shapes for older kids, or simple squares for younger ones.
Keep in mind that the more pieces you cut, the smaller they will be and the greater the challenge to put them together: fewer pieces for toddlers, more pieces for preschoolers.
(I draw the design that I will cut out on the back of the image and use it as my cutting guide.)
4.Give your child the puzzle to put together.
They will have so much fun seeing their own face if you use a personal photo. You can include your child in the creation process so that they see this project from start to finish, or surprise them with it: a new, free, toy!
DIY Food Box Puzzle:
1.Save an empty cereal box or frozen waffle box (or other food box that is a favorite snack for your child).
2.Cut the box into puzzle shapes, or simple geometric shapes for younger children.
Again, the greater the number of pieces, the smaller they will be, and the more difficult the puzzle. Make it easier for younger children and challenge the older ones!
3.Give the puzzle to your child to put together.
This activity is great, because store-bought puzzle pieces get lost, or damaged. This project allows you to create new puzzles almost instantly if others get too shabby to keep! You can print a few images that coincide with your child’s newest interest (cartoon characters, cars, horses, frogs, etc.) and make puzzles you know they will be interested in. It’s a very versatile activity and can be personalized for each child’s interests.
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