Jan 7, 2013

DIY Puzzle Block Project

Image: 101 Woonideeën
About a year ago, we bought a 4 in 1 jigsaw puzzle (of a famous toy train character) in the vain hope that our 18 month old would show signs of being 'just as clever' as all the other amazing, in your face 18 month olds.

There was a 12 piece, 16 piece, 20 and 24 piece jigsaw.

Just taking the 12 piece jigsaw first and packing away the other 3 for a much later date, we were in for a big shock. Not the kind of shock that entails finding the next Garry Kasparov. Having become bored and unchallenged by a 12 piece jigsaw, our genius offspring would now attempt all 4 jigsaws at once whilst twirling his dummy on a chain in a counter clockwise motion, all the time singing the alphabet...backwards.
Next stop, Mensa.

No, it was not that kind of shock.

What began as the usual, "Give him time...he's only 18 months old", turned quickly into "He's eaten another piece of the jigsaw. What does that make...5?"

Of course, that's only a phase.
A phase that lasted 10 months...but still, it's a phase.

So one day last week, when he made a 7 piece jigsaw (from the original 12) and said "Mammy, jigsaw broken" we jumped at the chance to bring another jigsaw out of hiding- this time a much bigger sacrifice at a whopping 16 pieces.

Within 10 minutes he had put it all together and that night he had the 20 piece and 24 piece done also.
There has been an explosion of interest in jigsaws and puzzles in this last week and this morning he finished a 49 piece jigsaw (with a little help from me - which if I have to be honest, was a little tough)

Obviously, as we learnt from our own little jigsaw gobbler, not every child works to the same speed but it's great to encourage them to get started on puzzles and jigsaws.

The sheer joy of seeing his little face work out where the pieces go and the delight when he figured it out was priceless. It's then that I, as a parent, see the bigger pieces of a grander puzzle fall in to place.

Here is a roundup of a few simple, DIY puzzle block projects from around the web.

From apartment therapy there is this great idea for DIY painted blocks
Image: apartment therapy
Make Projects has a wonderful Elephant Puzzle that you can download and transfer to wood blocks.

Image: Make Projects
You could also try pages from an old children's book (ideally use one that is beyond repair as I still have an issue with cutting up a perfectly good book). Z Recommends has a nice tutorial for making your own Block Puzzles.
Image: Z Recommends

And the photo at the top of this post comes from 101 Woonideeën which suggest using your own child's drawing to make in to Puzzle Blocks.

Image: 101 Woonideeën

Finally, if your child has moved on from puzzle blocks and exhausted all manner of jigsaws, you can still recycle your old jigsaws in to a brand new one with a simple paint job.
Which you can find amongst these pages here.

Image: Alisa Burke

Image: Patent Pending Projects


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