Stay Put Puzzle

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 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

  1. 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.
  2. Start by cutting your cover or picture to size .
  3. Now it’s time for peeling and sticking the magnet sheets on.
  4. 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. 
  5. Invite your kids to read the book.
  6. Show them the puzzle. My son was shocked I’d turned out favorite book into a puzzle.
  7. He loved that even if the pieces didn’t all connect the magnets kept them where he wanted them.
  8. Since they were stuck to the tray even if a certain book ripping baby came by to grab at it , the puzzle was unscathed.
  9. 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 , I have not been paid for this post.

Spelling Puzzles

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!

  1. 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.
  2. Start by putting the puzzle together.
  3. Next divide it into smaller pieces for the words.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Once the pieces are all together he sounded it out without prompting .
  1. This is when he figured it out!