Hidden Puzzles

This is such a great idea that one of my online friends, Karen uses with her toddler. I asked her to share her great idea for all to enjoy.  If your toddler hesitates to pull out those puzzles, this is a great way to add some interest.  Thanks Karen!   

Not your same old boring puzzle….

Age attempted: 25 months

 Materials needed:
Shoe size clear plastic tub with lid (for storage)..I bought at dollar general for $1.00
Large bag of uncooked elbow macaroni
½ bag of dry beans
Puzzle of your choice (I use Melissa and Doug’s See-Inside Numbers Peg Puzzle http://melissaanddoug.com/see-inside-numbers-learning-peg-puzzle )

 Directions:
1. Pour the bag of noodles and ½ bag of beans in the tub
2. Pour out an age appropriate puzzle into the tub with mac and beans
3. Have the child hide the puzzle pieces in the mac and beans (or you can show them the first time)
4. Have the child find the pieces of the puzzle and put them into the puzzle board in the right places

I like to put the tub on a child’s table at the child’s reach and the puzzle board on the floor so it’s an up and down work out (but it’s not necessary).

I’ve been doing this with my two year old with a number puzzle he had ZERO interest in. I figured the tactile mac and beans would get him interested in learning his numbers and it was an instant success! We’ve only been doing this for two weeks and he can already find most of numbers in order.

The first time you do this you may want to let your little one explore the mac and beans before pouring in the puzzle pieces.

Alternative: use oatmeal and/or rice in the tub to hide puzzle pieces. 

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2 responses to “Hidden Puzzles

  1. I wanted to let you know I added you to my new blog as an inspiration and favorite! I am a former kindergarten teacher, now stay at home mom with a toddler daughter and a baby on the way!

    • Thanks! I hope you find ideas that your little ones enjoy. As a kindergarten teacher, I’m sure you have a ton of wonderful ideas too.

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