Friday, February 4, 2011

LEARNING....How to Make Puzzle Sticks

The title on my blog has 4 words that are all spelled with caps. They are : LEARNING, LOVING, LIFE AND LIVING.  My blog is still unfolding and will probably go through several transformations before I am done with it and satisfied..if that is possible..LOL

I have many different things that I like to write about and in trying to achieve a nice flow for the blog, I have decided to write and share on the 4 topics listed below.  I think this will make things easier for those that visit.  

This is a general idea of what may be in each of the catagories:

LEARNING:  Will be about learning new/old ideas  tutorials, art projects, etc...
LOVING:  Will be the warm fuzzy entries that uplift and motivate, inspire and encourage
LIVING:  Will be our adventures on the road while traveling full time in our RV, places we visit
LIFE: Will be everything else.... is a tutorial....

I saw this project and fell in love with it.  I have lived in Utah for the past 5 years and I have been around all sorts of very artsy and talented woman that have made tons of home made crafts and toys for their kids.  I never saw this and thought that maybe someone else had not and would love it as much as I am. They are easy to make and easy to store.  

I had to buy the MOD PODGE,  disposable paint brush and the sticks.  Everything else I had at home.  I spent around $12.00 and will get around 10-15 puzzles. The amount depends on how large you make each puzzle.  I think this is a great activity for kids between 3-6, based on their abilities.

These are the supplies that I used: MOD PODGE, Sharpie, craft sticks (large), cutting board, disposable brush, paper cutter or scissors (not pictured), blow dryer and an Exact knife (not pictured) or a fabric cutter (round blade).

Find your pictures.  These can be printed off the internet, found in recycled books, post cards or pictures.  I used some old books.

Decide on your picture, line up your sticks to make sure you have enough for the picture and MOD Podge the back of the picture and lay onto of the sticks.  Try not to move sticks around.

MOD Podge on top of picture.  I went to the the very end of the sticks too.

In general, the MOD Podge will take about an hour to dry.  I used my blow dryer to speed this process up.  It took about 3-5 minutes to dry to the touch.  It will still need to sit for about 20 minutes to cure but I was able to cut the puzzle apart.
Once the puzzle was dry, I took my Sharpie and numbered the sticks.  This is not necessary but for me I thought it was a great way for her to learn to recognize her numbers.

I did not have an Exacto knife with me but I did have my quilting tools.  They worked great.  I turned the puzzle over and followed in the grooves between the sticks and cut the puzzle apart.

I added a key word to the back of each puzzle.  I know how puzzles go in my house and they may get mixed.  I wanted to be able to sort the puzzles without taking the time to do each puzzle.

When they are dried completely, I used a rubber band to secure them.
I toss them all into a bag.  

This is another idea I did.  We are learning letters.  I found these in one of her preschool books and decided to do A-D.  I added words on the side that start with that letter.  She is just starting to read.   I will do the whole alphabet if she is using these 4 letters.

This was my first one.  They take about 7-10 minutes to make and 20 minutes to cure....30 minutes total time for a whole lot of fun. You can do multiples at the same time...multi-tasking between the various stages.

When she returned home she was so excited to start putting them together.  

We also made a dragon craft for the Chinese New Year...This was her best friend the whole day!

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