Check out this awesome thrift store find! A set of 5 wooden puzzles for only $3. I occasionally stop at various local thrift stores looking for homeschool materials. You might be surprised how much you can find!
I clean everything with Sol-u-guard before letting my little one play with her new to her toys. It's plant based and non-toxic, but it also kills 99% of germs including MERSA, H1N1, influenza, staph and more.
The puzzles were in a basket that also had two wooden trains and a small track at the bottom making it an even better deal! I took a chance hoping all the pieces where there. Well, when we got home I discovered several where missing. So off to the land of Google to find a few ideas. Apparently companies exist who will send you missing pieces for a price. I'm not willing to pay more for missing pieces than what I paid for the whole set of puzzles. I did find a few blog posts suggesting scanning, printing and cutting wood for new pieces, but that is a lot of work! Not to mention I have no idea how to operate a jigsaw.
So I gathered a few supplies around the house and made my own puzzle pieces for free. It was pretty easy! I laid paper over the empty puzzle piece hole and traced the shape. Cut first and check the fit. Then I drew the pictures. I used crayons because we recently moved and that was all I could find. By the way, octagons are super hard to draw! I ended up asking my teenager to draw the more complicated pictures since she is a fabulous artist. If you are not the world's best artist then you could take a picture and print it, but sizing could be tricky.
Don't stress over it too much. Little ones will love it no matter what. My little one is playing with her 'new puzzles as I type this up.
I glued the pictures onto thick cardboard and cut. I did end up finding my exacto knife which made cutting much easier. Did I mention we just moved? Most of my crafty supplies are still packed away. I was trying to decide what to use as the handles / knobs, but I ended up taking them off the extra pieces I had, that did not have a puzzle board. You could use anything even little pompoms! Just make sure the glue is completely dry before handing it over to your little one.
Sometimes you can find the best deals at a thrift store and they just need a little love to shine again. What have you fixed up lately?
I think the pictures my daughter drew are cuter than the original pieces!