This past weekend, it rained all. weekend. long. And my oldest son (almost 3) drove. me. nuts! It occured to me that I didn’t have a plan for the, “what to do when the weather is awful, you’re on a budget and your child is driving you insane with an unrestrained amount of energy and enthusiasm,” emergency. You know, that emergency plan. So, my new goal is to create an emergency stash of ideas, activities and games to turn to when we get cooped up in the house. First on my list is puzzles.
Most all kids love puzzles. And bonus–they’re educational! Did you know you can make your own puzzle, for FREE? With a quick dig through your recycle bin and a few art supplies, you’ll have the makings of a do-it-yourself puzzle.
Make your own puzzle using magazines and cardboard
- colorful magazine picture or ad
- cardboard – this can be from a cereal or food box or from a mailer/packing box
- permanent marker or ballpoint pen
1. Once you’ve found a picture to use for your puzzle, cut off the edges so that you have a nice square or rectangle shape.
2. Using a permanent marker or ballpoint pen, draw puzzle shapes on the wrong side of your picture. Take your child’s skill level into consideration when drawing the puzzle shapes.
3. Cut out the puzzle pieces.
4. Open up a cereal box or packing box and lay it flat.
5. Glue each puzzle piece onto your cardboard, making sure that the corners and edges of each piece are firmly glued down. Glue puzzle pieces only onto flat surfaces of the cardboard–don’t glue over any folds.
6. Let the glue dry completely.
7. Cut out your puzzle pieces, taking care to follow the edges as closely as possible.
8. Where to store your puzzle? In a repurposed plastic fruit container, of course (blueberry containers work best)!
Variations on this project: Instead of using a magazine ad, have your child draw and color a picture, and use his artwork to make the puzzle. Or, if you have a colorful or decorative cereal box, draw your puzzle directly onto the back of the cereal box and cut the pieces out to make your puzzle. No glueing necessary! Flipflops and Applesauce suggests cutting up the pictures from and old calendar to make a puzzle. Again, no glue is needed!
Why it’s fun: Younger children will enjoy putting the puzzle together, and older children will enjoy creating, glueing and cutting out their own puzzle.
Build your stash: Spend half a day (or a few evenings) creating several of these puzzles to build your boredom emergency supplies. When an emergency occurs, make the most of this activity by bringing out one puzzle at a time. When your child tires of one puzzle, bring out a new one!
Stay tuned for more of repurposeful‘s “How to plan for boredom emergencies” series.
What do you do when your child suffers from rainy-day boredom?
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