My 4 year old is a kinesthetic learner all the way. His hands have to be active and touching something most of the time. Naturally, puzzles are one of his favorite activities. Puzzles can become pricey and can be hard to find, especially if you are looking for everyday puzzles that celebrate your child . As with most of his activities, my main goal is to look for entertaining and challenging items that celebrate who he his, what he likes, and offer opportunities for him to grow and explore. I ran across this great inexpensive puzzle idea on ohamanda.com, and I wanted to pass it along to you guys. I think this is a great community project for your kiddos or classroom (yeah teachers!). Your little ones will enjoy the opportunity to take pictures , create puzzles of their favorite things and /or people, and take pride in the highlights of their community.
This is what you will need:
-Printer or photo store (kinkos, walgreens, etc..)
-Popsicle sticks (of the large variety)
-Favorite photos of your community
Step 1: Take you kids out for a walk in your community and let them snap away! Anything or anyone that is special to them would be great for this puzzle project. Some examples may be a picture of your community park, a favorite bike, a group of friends or family members, a tree house, the ice cream truck, their school, or your own home. The sky is the limit!
Step 2: Print out your pictures. If you chose to print from a home printer,I would suggest using photo paper. Your pictures are going to need some durability!
Step 3: Lay out as many popsicle sticks that you need for the width of your picture. I used nine. Make sure they are even on the sides as well as the top. Secure the popsicle sticks with two rows of tape. Now, turn them over.
Step 4: On the side without tape, thoroughly glue your photo onto the bed of popsicle sticks. It's easier if you use a paint brush to apply your adhesive. Now, place your picture on top of it to dry. Let it dry a bit first, then place a heavy object on top until photo is completely dry. Afterwards, coat your photo with an additional layer of Mod Podge.
Step 5: Using a popsicle stick or a ruler as a guide, carefully cut your photo puzzle. This will take a little bit of elbow grease. Color code each puzzle piece on the back in each set to aide in keeping the puzzle set together.
Step 6: All done! Create as many puzzles as your kiddos desire! We store each puzzle set within a rubber band, and keep our collection in a pencil box for easy storage. (last thing I need is popsicle sticks everywhere!) This project is a great idea for car trips as well. Let us know how this project worked for you. We want to praise n' post your flow!
Growing up, I remember how excited I used to get when a package or letter was in the mailbox with my name on it. Now a days, there's email, skype, text, facebook,,, so many instant ways of keeping in contact with others. Technology is booming! That's all well and good, but there is just something about receiving a letter in the mail that lifts your spirits and connects you to others. It's a classic way of showing someone that you care. Nothing makes your heart smile louder than receiving a 'handmade special' from a child. It's something you can preserve and look back at time and time again.
My kiddos and I were at the post office one day doing just that, and I saw these words on a card display:
Got me to thinking..how cool would it be to create our own personalized envelopes for our loved ones and pen pals? And yes, pen pals still do exist. So, this is what I have come up with. I am sure that your kiddos will bring a smile to a grandparent, uncle, friend or neighbor's face with one of these in their mailbox.
You will need:
-Superhero Postcard Printable
(colored copy click here) (b&w click here)
-A printer or a printing source (Kinko's, library, etc...)
-Coloring pencils, markers, crayons, stickers, etc...
Step 1: Print and cut out postcard.
Step 2: Have your kiddos write or draw a creative, warmhearted letter to someone in your family or community. If there is a elderly neighbor in your community or church, get their mailing info and send them something special. It would really make their day. Make it snazzy...add stickers or any other bling that will make their postcard shine!