Play Date Idea: Homemade Shape Puzzles!
By Jackie Currie, Happy Hooligans
Jan 28, 2013
When it comes to ensuring my daycare Hooligans are learning and having fun, I'm all about keeping things simple and inexpensive. I've been making these homemade shape puzzles for years, and they're always a hit. A true favourite!
One of the best things about making a shape puzzle of your own is that you already have all the materials at home. You just need to go on a bit of a treasure hunt. If you have older children at home, they can pitch in and help with this part.
Small toys, office supplies, kitchen utensils and game pieces are all perfect, but anything goes, really, as long as it fits on your piece of paper, and lays flat enough to be traced.
When you're satisfied with the goodies that you've collected, lay them all out on your paper, playing around with the arrangement until you're happy with it.
Now simply trace each item. If you're using a marker, I would recommend using one that is washable to avoid getting permanent ink on any of your items. Alternatively, you can do your tracing with a pencil, and then go over it with a marker.
Once you've completed your tracing, place all of the "puzzle pieces" in a basket or on a tray, and let your little ones put their "matching" skills to the test.
You can make puzzles for individual use, like this one:Or, if you're entertaining a group during a play date, you can make several puzzles. For my gang, I used a large piece of cardboard and traced out four separate puzzles so The Hooligans could work alongside each other, and move from one puzzle to the next as they completed them. This shape puzzle activity is great for all ages. Our almost-two-year-old enjoyed it, and did a great job with her puzzle, and the preschoolers had a blast, making matches, trading places and cheering each other on. I love that this activity can be done anywhere, whether you're at home and simply looking for a new way to entertain and engage your little one, or at Grandma's or a friend's. As long as you have a pen and a piece of paper, you can always find a few random objects to make a shape puzzle.
And you know those restaurants with the tables covered in brown paper for scribbling and drawing? You can even make one there. Pull a few things out of your purse or diaper bag, and use some items that are already on your table, and you have a great way to keep your hooligans happy until their meal arrives!
If you enjoyed this homemade shape puzzle, I'd love for you to pop by my blog for more easy and inexpensive ideas for kids' crafts and activities! You can find us at Happy Hooligans.