Good morning! Today's post is a review on DIY puzzles that Oriental Trading provided to me. I was so excited to put these to work and since they're a kid's craft, I decided to put them to the most challenging test by the most outspoken critics I could think of: 14 active preschoolers!
I was very excited at all of the possibilities they offered. It's a top rated puzzle on their site with a five star review, so it sounded like a great bet. The front of the puzzle was shiny so there was concern that some of the ink would smear, so I did a few test puzzles and was very pleased that the washable markers dried very quickly with little smearing. I noticed the ink smeared only if I pressed on the marker and rubbed my finger across it, but since it dried in only a few seconds, it wasn't really an issue. While testing them, I took note of a few things that would make it more adaptable for the preschool classroom:
**It is best to draw pictures on all of the puzzles before giving them to the kids.
**It's important to have a picture large enough to touch all of the puzzle pieces. If not, you're left with white space that won't be easy to piece together.
**When drawing something smaller, (ie: eyes on a pumpkin, moon, mouth, etc.), make sure they're large enough to touch several different puzzle pieces.
**Although we didn't really use it for any of these puzzles, patterns help make it easier to match up pieces.
The kids used Crayola Washable Markers and had the freedom to color and decorate however they wanted. They sat quietly, sharing markers and were, for the most part, completely focused on their creation. The craft took probably 15-20 minutes to complete and within a couple of minutes after finishing, they were dry enough to go into plastic bags to be taken home. Simple, fun, and the kids really enjoyed themselves :)
Just starting out:
The puzzles were perforated and came apart easily. They were fun and just challenging enough to put back together. I was so excited to put these to use and cannot wait to use them again! They met every expectation that I had. I highly recommend these puzzles to parents and teachers alike! We've made several more at home for crafts. My son asks to make them, so I know they're a hit :)
Thanks so much for spending part of your day with me!