While doing a purge of toys in our playroom I found 3 cheap puzzles I bought years ago that have never once been played with. I popped two into the donate box but kept one to make these easy word puzzles for my son. The unique thing about these word puzzles is that the shape of pieces help give the players clues to the correct word choice. This goes along with the question that we often ask new readers as they work on reading new words ” Does the word fit?” and this game helps work on those new reader skills.
- Gather your materials. Both of these games require almost nothing. Puzzle pieces, markers and paper.
- Write out a few pages with something along the lines of ” These words rhyme with ____.” Make sure to use words that your child can read for the main word on the paper. For the matching words you write on the puzzle pieces add one or two words that may challenge them a little. Trace the puzzle pieces on the paper for an added clue.
- After writing out a few pages and corresponding pieces with rhyming words add a few puzzle pieces that do not rhyme to add into the mix.
- Play. I set both games up and presented them to him at the same time – scroll down for the 2nd game instructions.
- Hmm does the word fit ? Yes! My son enjoyed this and understood that he could sound the words out to match the rhymes as well as check if he was correct with the shapes matching as well.
This activity was a huge hit. My son was in stitches and learning at the same time.
- Write out simple sentences that appeal to your child with some words missing. Leave large spaces. The ones I wrote for my son included sentences like ” I forgot to put the milk in the fridge and now it smells so gross.” and ” The enemy place dropped a bomb on the base but no one was injured.” Write what will interest your child, it will make all the difference. Make figuring out the sentence fun and worth it.
- Write the missing words on puzzle pieces and trace them on the paper.
- Make sure to add words on other puzzle pieces that don’t make sense but are in the same shape as the ones that do. This is what makes it funny. Funny is good, laughing while learning is a fantastic thing.
- Play. Start by reading it.
- Now find the right missing words.
- Read the whole thing when the puzzle is done.
- With the next sheet he was laughing so hard I was worried he was going to wake his sleeping sister. It would have been worth it.
Looking for a fun way to practice number recognition? Then look no further. Playing with these letter and number recognition puzzles is a fun way to get little fingers and mind active. This is an activity you will want to do ahead of time and have ready for the little ones.
Grab a piece of corrugated cardboard, a marker, and a pair of scissors. You can use posterboard or craft foam, but corrugated cardboard is so much thicker and it is easier for your child to see that they are matching the pieces up correctly.
Draw some leaves on the cardboard. Then draw a line through them. I like to do a squiggly line to help the pieces “lock” in together better. Now draw a number on one side of the leaf and dots corresponding to that number on the other side.
Cut out the leaves. This is the part where you will be glad you are not making these pieces with your children. Cutting the cardboard can be tricky because it is so thick.
You can also draw and cut out leaves with upper and lower case letters to match up.
*VARIATION- Math equations would offer a more challenging task for older siblings that want to join in the fun, too. For younger children (and ambitious caregivers) you could color the leaves for color matching.
Cut along the line you drew that divides the leaf.
Now divide your leaf pieces into two sections. One section with the numbers written on them and one section with the dots drawn on them, or upper case letters and lower case letters.
Watch your child match them up. It is fun to watch them match different ways each time. Sometimes my daughter would match by number recognition and then counting the dots. While other times she matched the shape of the leaves.
Any way they match is great practice for reasoning and logic skills. Putting the pieces together make great motor skill exercise, too.
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
I didn’t want it to be too easy for Sweet P so I created 10 mustaches and made some that looked similar to make it challenging for her. I used a variety of colors (but you could just use black), including some that we don’t talk about often so we could incorporate color recognition as well. I looked up a few of the styles (Charlie Chaplin, Fu Manchu, Handlebar, Lorax) so I could talk about the type of mustaches with her for fun. Sweet P loved this game and wanted to do it several times.
The Project: Mustache Match Game
What you need:
- 1 piece of construction paper
- various colors of felt
- black marker or Sharpie
- flat magnets
- hot glue gun/glue
Hot glue flat magnets to the back of each mustache. Place the puzzle mat on a baking sheet with your mustache magnets in a small bowl and you’re ready to go!
As you may know especially if you have a preschooler, frustration is learning’s enemy. Challenging is positive but when you cross into frustration with many kids the activity is all but lost. A few simple adjustments can make all the difference, like adding magnets to your puzzle, so pieces stay right where you put them. I was sent a box of crafty supplies from Craftprojectideas.com these magnetic sheets were the first thing to catch my eye. I immediately knew what I was going to do with them. Using a book cover is a fun activity for an author’s studies
- Gather your materials. I decided to make the puzzle out of a book that recently got ravaged by a baby girl who we will not name. We luckily had two copies so I decided to use it for this, you could also use a print out of a picture, cereal box etc… you will also need some magnetic sheets and scissors. Also a cookie sheet to complete the puzzle.
- Start by cutting your cover or picture to size .
- Now it’s time for peeling and sticking the magnet sheets on.
- Cut the pieces, I did some huge so it’s not too tricky and a few smaller for a challenge. I flipped the pieces over to better show the shapes.
- Invite your kids to read the book.
- Show them the puzzle. My son was shocked I’d turned out favorite book into a puzzle.
- He loved that even if the pieces didn’t all connect the magnets kept them where he wanted them.
- Since they were stuck to the tray even if a certain book ripping baby came by to grab at it , the puzzle was unscathed.
- Huge success on many levels, and totally easy to make.
David Shannon Books
Alice The Fairy is such a sweet book about a fairy who is still learning the ropes. I love the spells she casts and kids relate to her type of magic, I promise! I love that this book is about a fairy but not the Disney idea that we are so often bombarded with. It’s fresh, fun and I can’t wait for my daughter to enjoy doing more than using it as a teether because I know she will love it.
Duck on a Bike tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals .
No, David! is probably the author’s best known book, in it we follow the misadventures of little David and his eventual dicsiplining and hug from his mom! This book is a wonderful gate way into talking about rules with a class, I have successfully used it as a reminder about rules and why we have them. Kids love watching other kids do naughty things , so this book is always a hit with toddlers on up.
Disclosure: As stated above I was sent the magnetic sheets free of charge to do with what I wished from Craftprojectideas.com , I have not been paid for this post.
My son has been asking how to spell words for a while, he knows his letter sounds and while I am not planning on formally teaching him to read yet I do want to keep him interested and learning , as well as offering some challenge . This activity evolved as we played and is easy to adapt to various abilities. You could even skip spelling as use it as a match game for younger children!
- Gather your materials. You will need a cardboard puzzle ours was from trick or treating , and markers in various colors. If you are doing this with school age or more proficient readers you can use one color, but for beginners or children needing less challenge the single color per word will help the process.
- Start by putting the puzzle together.
- Next divide it into smaller pieces for the words.
- Using one color per word , write the word one letter per piece on the back of the puzzle. Out of habit Icapitalized two of the words. When we put those together we talked about Uppercase letters and when we use them.
- Now to play! The way we did it for my son was to pick out all the letters in one color and place them on the tray.
- Next we tried to decide which letter came first. This frustrated my son, it was too much of a challenge. So I found the first letter and he was golden from there.
- Once the pieces are all together he sounded it out without prompting .