This weeks #toolsforlearning theme is puzzles. Adam adores puzzles. He has so many of them and loves to play with them time and time again. However, there is one puzzle I haven’t been able to find. I have been looking for a large number puzzle that went up to 30. I wanted the puzzle to be plain with no illustrations to distract from the numbers and that each number had their own puzzle piece. After searching in vain, I decided to make our own Missing Number Puzzle.
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I looked through Adam’s puzzle collection. The puzzle had to have a plain back (most of them were dark blue or patterned), it had to have 30 pieces and the puzzle had to be easy to put together. I found the perfect puzzle. Adam’s Alphabet Giant Floor Puzzle Alphabet Puzzle had a plain back and the pieces created a 6×5 piece rectangle. The puzzle was a giant floor one so the pieces were huge and fitted together easily.
I made the puzzle up as normal and then turned it upside down. On the plain side of the puzzle I wrote out the numbers 1-30 using coloured Permanent Marker Pens. Normal felt tip pens should work in the same way. In no time at all I had made our own DIY Number Puzzle.
Adam had a wonderful time putting the Number Puzzle together. He is confident with his numbers to 30 and loved telling me which number he was looking for next to complete the puzzle.
Once the number puzzle was complete we started to play our Missing Number Puzzle game. I got Adam to close his eyes whilst I removed a number from the puzzle. Due to the layout of our puzzle the numbers were in a line so it was easy to see which number was missing. I hid the number underneath me and asked Adam to work out what the missing number was. For numbers up to 20 he could tell me the answer instantly by looking at the number that was next to the space. For numbers above 21 he had to count along from 20 to work out what the missing number was.
After several games I started to remove two numbers. By now he had got used to the game and could tell me the answers quickly.
For our final version of playing with our Missing Number Puzzle. I got Adam to close his eyes. I then picked out two puzzle pieces and swapped them around before placing them back into the puzzle. This time Adam had to search the puzzle to identify what two numbers had changed.
Our DIY Missing Number Puzzle was a huge success and has been played with constantly since I made it. I have even spotted Adam hiding numbers for his Teddy to find!
Can you think of any other games that we can play with our Missing Number Puzzle?
Check out these Puzzle activities as part of the #toolsforlearning series:
Shape Matching Puzzle Cards from Life Over C’s
Stamping Shapes in Kinetic Sand from Still Playing School
Rainbow My Name Puzzles from Powerful Mothering
Brain Games for Kids: The ‘Puzzle’ puzzle from Edventures with Kids
Hillarious Number Line Game (using foam number puzzles) from Teach Me Mommy
Simple Puzzle Sensory Bin from School Time Snippets
Letter Recognition Sensory Bin from This Outnumbered Mama
In-Hand Manipulation Letter Puzzle Activity from Sugar Aunts
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