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Puzzle clutter drives me bananas

We have a lot of learning materials in this space. I don’t know about you but sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with the amount of boxes that come with all of the games we play. Puzzles are especially cumbersome. I’m not really jazzed about the way all of the boxes look and the little ones have a harder time actually opening the boxes by themselves.

I stared at the boxes trying to figure out how I could make more room for all of the “stuff” while reducing the space AND making them more kid-friendly? Then it came to me…pencil cases! A minute later, I literally ran out the door yelling “I’ll be back in 20-minutes. Store! I need pencil cases!”

I was able to find a bunch of pencil cases at the dollar store with peek-a-boo windows.

I cut up all of the boxes, keeping puzzle pics for reference. I transferred the puzzle pieces into the bags and voila! Organized, viewable, toddler-sized game bags. Added bonus: These make packing for travel even simpler. Just grab and go!

Life just got a little more organized and all for the low-low price of $20. Very nice.

picstitch(1)

Matching Shapes Game

Walk into Target on any given Saturday and you’ll probably run in to me rummaging through the end aisles where all of the discounted crafting supplies live. I get very excited when I see a bright orange sticker! This week I found some really cool ‘Glitter Foam Sheets’ for whopping $1.37 per 12 sheets. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but I knew I’d think of something. Sold.

When I got home, I grabbed a pair of scissors and just started cutting. What I ended up with is a cool new matching shapes game for the little ones. They can find the shapes, sort and match to the outlines on the card stock. An added bonus is that these types of games aid in visual discrimination skills (think reading), sorting and matching and introduce puzzle concepts (think chess later in life!)

What You Need:

Craft foam
White card stock
Thick marker
Stencil (optional)
Ziplock bag

Steps:

1. Grab a pair of scissors and start cutting. Create different shapes of various sizes. I used three sheets of foam per project.
2. Cut white card stock to desired size.
3. Arrange foam pieces onto card stock and trace shapes (slightly larger) onto card stock.
4. Flip over foam pieces and put same number on each piece. I used a stencil. This is an optional step, but is a good idea if you plan on making additional game boards. It makes identifying pieces at clean-up super simple.
5. Grab a zip-lock or other type bag and put your number on it for easy storage. Don’t leave your little one unsupervised with plastic bags, please.
6. Have fun!

Activities for the kids don’t have to be complicated or expensive. They just have to be fun.

foam shape match game