On the Edmonton COW (Classroom on Wheels) bus, we try to create our own games and puzzles to encourage the families who visit the bus to do the same at home.
One of our newest do-it-yourself activities is to create popsicle stick puzzles. These are great because they require few supplies and are very inexpensive to make. After an internet search, I found these easy, step-by-step instructions on www.mamamiss.com
I even found a DIY Mod Podge recipe (50% white glue & 50% water) and was able to start within minutes.
Step 1: round up the supplies
Step 2: line up the popsicle sticks and tape them in place
Step 3: coat the popsicle stick picture space with a first layer of Mod Podge
Step 4: immediately add the picture and a second thin layer of Mod Podge over it
Step 5: after it dries completely, use an exacto knife to separate each stick
This was my first attempt. It was not a success, but I learned that thick paper tends to curl up and is harder to cut; normal paper worked better.
I added the alphabet and numbers to make it a sequencing activity as well.
Now that I had the technique figured out, I decided to make another puzzle. For this one, I printed a photo of myself so the kids could have fun putting me back together.
The glue dried clear and it turned out pretty well! I added magnets to some of them and I store them in a ziplock bag.
Some other ideas I want to try are:
- Paint or draw a picture on the sticks instead of using a photo
- Put several face puzzles together so the kids can mix and match the faces
I am excited about bringing the puzzles on the bus for the children to try, and I hope they will be inspired to go home and make puzzles with their families.