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Be creative and make a puzzle with your child.

What You Need:


• Empty cereal box or piece of lightweight cardboard
• Old magazines, greeting cards, or other materials with pictures
• Blunt, child-sized scissors
• Regular scissors (for adult use only)
• Glue stick or white glue (such as Elmer’s Glue®**)

What To Do:


1. Cut out a six-inch square from an empty cereal box or lightweight cardboard.
2. Cut out a picture from an old magazine, greeting card, or anything else with pictures.
3. Glue the picture(s) to the cardboard.
4. Draw a straight line across the picture in any direction.
5. Have your child cut on the line to cut the picture into two pieces. Show her how to use the scissors, if she needs help. (It’s okay if her cutting is not straight.)
6. Draw a line across each piece and have her cut each piece into two again so the picture is in four pieces.
7. Scramble the pieces and ask your child to put the pieces of the puzzle together to form the whole picture.
8. Talk about how many parts (pieces) it takes to make the whole picture. Ask her how she knows where each piece fits.

VARIATIONS:
1. When your child can easily put the four-piece puzzle together, turn all the pieces over to the side with no picture and have her put them together to make a square. Talk about what a square is: a shape with four sides of the same length and corners of the same size.
2. Help her cut the puzzle pieces into smaller pieces and have her put the puzzle together.
! Safety Alert: Adult-size scissors are not safe for young preschoolers. Let your child practice cutting with blunt, child-sized scissors. Monitor your child as she uses the scissors. If you do not have appropriate scissors or the paper is too thick for your child to cut, do the cutting yourself. Discuss the dangers of moving around with a pair of scissors in hand.

** Use of brand names is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the Center on the Family.