We’ve been treating ourselves to lots of yummy, sugary cereals during quarantine so we have lots of empty cereal boxes going into recycling. Food boxes, book covers and store signs are some of the first types of environmental print your child learns to recognize and remember. So why not turn those cereal boxes into puzzles! Puzzles are an interactive way to challenge young minds and help develop pattern recognition, visual-spatial reasoning, and fine motor skills. If you don’t have any at home, you can make your own!
Cereal box (or other printed item)
Sandwich bag (for storage)
I used a 9-piece template I found online and cut out pieces to use as stencils on the back of the cardboard. I recommend using adult scissors to cut the cardboard and letting your little one help put the puzzle together when it’s done.
Encourage your child to turn all pieces with the picture-side up, look at the original image and determine corner pieces, edge pieces and the center pieces. Nine pieces is a great start for toddlers, but preschoolers may be able to complete 12, 24 or even 50 piece puzzles. Store in a sandwich bag to be sure you don’t lose any pieces.