Use wooden building blocks and a wooden tray to make a challenging puzzle activity for preschoolers.
I love making homemade puzzles for the toddlers and preschoolers in my daycare. We’ve had quite a few over the years: name puzzles, toy puzzles and puzzles made from cereal boxes. Today I came up with this homemade block challenge puzzle when I was loading up a tray of blocks to take upstairs for the kids to play with.
Homemade Puzzle Challenge with Building Blocks
- wooden tray
- building blocks
Provide your child with a tray, box or box lid, and a generous pile of wooden building blocks, and challenge them to completely fill the tray with the blocks, until there is no empty space left in the tray. It sounds easy, but it’s actually trickier than you think.
For a young child, you can provide them with much smaller box or container and just a few blocks.
Alternative to using a wooden tray – use the floor!
If you don’t have a box or tray to frame your block puzzle, make frame on the floor with painter’s tape like they did over at Hands On: As We Grow.
I tried our block challenge/puzzle myself, filling the tray to the max before giving it to the hooligans , and it was really fun to do. It probably took me about 20 minutes to get the perfect configuration of blocks.
When I presented it to the hooligans, I took several blocks out, and asked them if they could make them fit back into the tray. I think they were a little too young to really grasp the concept, but they had fun re-arranging the blocks..
And even more fun taking the blocks all OUT of the tray to make a city on the car-mat with them.
Even though my hooligans were a bit young for it, I wanted to pass the idea along to you because I really think it would be a great challenge for older kids!
More easy block and building activities for preschoolers:
Stacking and Spreading with Shaving Cream and Foam Blocks
Frozen Fractals – Building with Ice Blocks
Construction Activity with Styrofoam
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
This is a great play idea! I have done this on a smaller scale, and traced the shape of the blocks on the tray, or on paper taped to the tray, making it like a puzzle. That should make it easier for younger kiddos. 🙂
That is just a brilliant idea, Debbye! I am definitely going to do that to make it easier for the little ones! Thank you!
Thanks! I LOVE all of your ideas and come to your blog ALL the time for inspiration! I
oops! sent that too soon… I wish my hooligan could come and play with your hooligans!
Aw, thanks, Debbye! I love that you’re enjoying our ideas, and using my blog as a resource for ideas in your home!
I really like the sound of this challenge. I wonder how my “instant gratification” boy would handle it. I like Debbye’s idea of having the shapes traced on paper too. Thanks for another wonderful idea!