The Alberta Prairie C.O.W. program visits communities around the province for 12 months a year. To each visit we bring a variety of great family literacy activities and ideas for parents to explore with their young children.
We have books, puppets, blocks, and puzzles that have been purchased, but we also bring a wealth of activities that the families can make for themselves. For example, we have homemade “I Spy” bottles made from old pop bottles that are filled with rice and random trinkets (with the bottle lid glued on tightly afterwards). We also have a homemade cash register and a stove that are made out of cereal boxes, as well as matching games made from old calendars. We encourage parents to use materials they already have at home; materials that don’t cost a lot of money.
Among the homemade activities that we bring with us are a selection of DIY puzzles. Puzzles are a wonderful way for your children to develop their fine motor and problem-solving skills. Puzzles can also be made for different ages and stages of development. You can even create puzzles geared toward your children’s interests, so go ahead—be creative and have fun together!
Paper Plate Puzzle
Using a plain paper plate, have your child scribble or draw a picture. Depending on the age of your child, cut the paper plate into as few or as many pieces as they can put back together.
Cut the front of a cereal, cracker, or cookie box into as many pieces as your child will be able to put back together.
Popsicle Stick Puzzle
Tape together approximately 5 to 10 wide popsicle sticks so that they are parallel to one another and lying flat on the table. Glue a picture your child drew, a picture you cut out of a flyer or magazine, or a photograph, on top of the popsicle sticks. Once the glue is dry, you can cut the popsicle stick puzzle into its individual pieces for your child.
These are a just a few examples of DIY puzzles. Can you think of more? We would be happy to share your ideas, and create new homemade puzzles with families across the province.
For more easy and inexpensive craft ideas, check out the newsletters on the Centre for Family Literacy C.O.W. program page