Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY Self-Correcting Letter and Number Puzzles

The kids are working on letter recognition and are currently practicing matching uppercase and lowercase letters. I was inspired to create my own after purchasing these Self-Correcting Letter Puzzles from Melissa & Doug. I wanted to be able to fit my own set in a busy bag so it would be easy to store. We still use the Melissa and Doug Letter and Number puzzles that we bought, but since my children have trouble with the pieces (they are unfinished wood, so they splinter easily) we prefer using these paper puzzles. 

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These DIY paper letter puzzles were very easy to make and we modeled them after the Melissa and Doug puzzles, so they are "self-correcting". Each letter and number piece is cut separate from the others, so basically the A's only fit with the A's and the B's only fit with the B's. I created two sets, for each of the kids, and used red and gold for Munchkin's and green and purple for Bean's. Each colour represented either a consonant or vowel. I love how multi-purpose these cards are becoming! We have used them for sorting consonants and vowels, separating uppercase and lowercase letters, matching uppercase to lowercase, and arranging them in alphabetical order. 

To make the letter cards I used 52 index cards. For the numbers I used 40 index cards. I held two index cards together and cut them in some pattern down the middle. That way the two cards were cut identically (in case they mix and match their cards). I then used the corresponding colours and wrote the letters and numbers on the cards. For the numbers I used one colour and wrote the same number on both sides of the card (1-1, 2-2, etc. up to twenty). I later made a second batch of number cards (one-1, two-2, etc. up to twenty). For the letters I wrote uppercase on the left side and lowercase on the right side (A-a, B-b, etc. up to Z-z). 

As you can see, some of the simple patterns I cut are similar, but they are different enough that they wouldn't line up to a different card.

Another example of how they line up with their match. 

Numbers and their matching word (uppercase and lowercase).

We will definitely be using these cards a lot! And already have, actually. The kids still like using the wooden puzzles, but not too often since I still have to sand down the rough edges. The paper puzzles are so simple and I can't wait to get them laminated so we can add them to more activities! They are definitely a perfect addition to our busy bag collection.

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