Friday, June 14, 2013

33 New Ways to Play with an Animal Puzzle

Check out his awesome thrift store wooden animal puzzle a parent found for us!

Isn't it lovely and for under $2, it can't be beat!  It even has the names of the animals printed under the pieces.

If you have a puzzle like this or another animal puzzle at home that has lost it's appeal, then read on!  If you don't already have one, go get one!  You won't be sorry to invest in this versatile toy.  For the cards that are seen in the picture, go to BrillKids.  They have tons of printable flashcards with images on one side and words on the back.  They have A$ and Letter format for most.  If you print the A4 format, they still work but the image may be slightly higher on the paper and the small word under the image may not print.  Sign into the forum for even more free flashcards sorted by category.  It's a bit confusing on the site so surf around and let me know if you need help finding anything.  You can print just one card from the set by selecting PRINT and choosing just that one page.  You can print 2 to a page for smaller flashcards.  I use the small prints in the Treasure Baskets and I don't have to worry about them getting destroyed.

Here's a bunch of new ways to play with your puzzle:

1.  Match the pieces to stuffed animals or bean bag toys you already have

 2.  Match the animals to color cards

3. Match the animals to the letter their name starts with
(can also use magnet letters for this) 

4. Match the animals to what they eat 

5. Match the animals to where they live (land, water, sky) 

6. Count the animals and match them to dot or number cards

7. Sort the animals into loud and quiet animals 

8. Sort the animals into big or little animals

9. Sort animals as large, medium and small 

10. Match animals to their name cards
(could also print them on sentence strips or index cards) 

11. Match the animals to photo images
(Could also make your own with clipart or magazine images on index cards) 

12.  Line the animals up from largest to smallest

And here's even more ideas not pictured:

13. line the animals up from longest life span to shortest life span (use google)
14. sort animals by where they live (trees, water, caves...)
15. sort animals by habitat (arctic, forest, jungle, ocean...)
16. sort animals by herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores
17. sort animals by how they move (crawl, slither, swim, fly...)
18. match animals to types of coverings (fur, feather, scales...)
19. sort animals that can jump from animals that can not jump
20. sort animals by those that lay eggs and those that have live birth
21. sort animals by number of legs (4, 2, none...)
22. match animals to images of their footprints
23. match animals to images of their silhouettes (photocopy and cut from black paper)
24. match animals to images of their skeletons
25. match animals to images of their babies
26. use the animal pieces as tracing shapes (colored pencil does the least damage)
27. line up the animals from fastest to slowest (use google)
28. use a small muffin tine to place on piece in each compartment (1 to 1 correspondence)
29. place the animals on a map according to which continent they're found on (use google)
30. play animals noises and have the child pick up the correct animal piece
31. use photocopies of the animal pieces and sound effects to make sound bingo cards
32. concentraion: how fast can you put the puzzler together or take it apart (for little ones, you replace the pieces as they take them out, who's faster?)
33. try the puzzle blindfolded

Can you think of any more?

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