Match My Picture

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Here’s a fun game for your toddler that feels simply like playing, but will also boost cognitive skills. It’s easiest to play if you have a set of something (for example, we used Veronika’s toy tool set). But you could also play with random toys, so long as you have a picture of each (whether from the original packaging, or a picture from a catalog).

I purposely cut the images of her toy tools from the original box, which made things easy. Then, I simply set out the tools and the pictures, and challenged her to find each one in turn.

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She looked so delighted realizing that each cardboard picture corresponded to one of her tools. She would trot over, grab the real thing, and then look from one to the other almost with wonder.

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This was great for clean-up, too. As we found each item, she placed it back in the toolbox!

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You could also turn the game into a hunt by hiding some of the toys, then handing your toddler the picture as a clue. Or your toddler might be the one who wants to hide the items, and you go seeking! 

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This is definitely a game we’ll repeat and play in various ways.


Jumbo DIY Cardboard Puzzle

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This easy project can be your toddler’s first jigsaw puzzle! With just two pieces, it introduces the notion of interlocking pieces, and your child can proudly solve it all alone.

To start, I cut a cardboard box into pieces and saved the two largest sides. I drew an outline of a simple picture on each, choosing two of Veronika’s favorite things: a butterfly and a heart.

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I invited her to help me color them in! Now the process of making the puzzle was just as fun as the final play. She loved talking about colors as we used crayons side by side.

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Then I cut a big zig-zag shape down each of our two drawings. Voila: We had two-piece puzzles!

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“What happened to butterfly?” I asked her, coaxing her to realize the cardboard was now in two parts. I showed her how to slide the two pieces of cardboard together again.

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She echoed my words, and busily began moving the cardboard pieces apart and then back together again.

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It hadn’t occurred to me, but because we made two puzzles, she did some mixing and matching as well. She was confused when the heart wasn’t the other half of the butterfly until I helped her solve it.


I loved that I could really see her brain at work here!

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In sum, this is a fantastic first jigsaw puzzle, and so easy to make.

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