Monday, July 8, 2013

extending the life of a puzzle

When we bought the horse breed puzzle for my girl, we knew we had to get the horse figurines to make it a 3D experience. As soon as she brought her pinto horse replica and placed it on top of the same breed horse on her puzzle we knew we were going to look for all of them. We still are missing a few of the horses.  It is such a joy when we spot one in the places we were not even expecting them (during a grocery trip at Meijer's).  Our big girl loves the puzzle and her figures and we keep them together (see post all about horses).

I decided to do the same thing with a puzzle my son got last year.  It is the Alphabet Train floor puzzle from Melissa and Doug.  I looked for the miniature animals in the safari toobs which we already had.  It took me a while to buy the rest.  I was getting one toob at a time with a coupon from JoAn for 40 or 50% off. Then a toob is only $4.00 instead of $9.99 and you will have quite the variety of miniatures (these are great for your letter sound games and so much more!).  I also was lucky enough to find some toobs on clearance for only $1.99! We are still missing a few and I know that we can get them online easily, and very expensively. Instead, we look for them at dollar stores, crafts, hobby suppliers, and at the museums.  Even without having them all, my kids love to place the small replicas by the puzzle pieces. We usually put the puzzle together saying the sound of the letter, and the finding the right animal.  Then I start calling out the name of the animal in Spanish and give it to whomever wants to place it... My daughter has her favorites and so does my son.  It ends up being a bilingual activity. 

Miniatures and puzzle pieces. Can you see the frogs? the one on the top part of the puzzle piece is a miniature replica

Make puzzles alive!  We have found 21 of the 26 animals
If you can find a miniature quail or vulture.... let me know!

Update: We found the skunk!  $1.99 at Hobby town USA!
Update: We found the vulture! $.60 at American science surplus 

If you are interested in making something similar here is the list of the animals in both Spanish and English:

Alligator, bear (grizzly), cow, dog, elephant, frog, gorilla, horse, iguana, jaguar, kangaroo, lion, moose, narwhal, ostrich, pig, quail, rabbit, tiger, baby tiger covered by an umbrella, vulture, walrus, foX, yak, zebra

Cocodrilo, el oso (pardo), vaca, perro, elefante, rana, gorila, caballo, iguana, jaguar, canguro, león, alce, narval, avestruz, cerdo, codorniz, conejo, tigre, tigre bebé con un paraguas, buitre, morsa, zorro, yak, cebra. 

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Thank you for sharing!