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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Children's Gift Ideas: Felt Cookie Sheet Puzzles

This is a gift that I made for Clark's birthday last month.  I hadn't posted it, and I thought that now might be a good time.

Do any of you ever run out of things to do with your toddlers?  Clark's attention span is pretty good for his age, but I seem to run out of activities pretty early on in the day and week.

He's getting to the point where he's pretty good with puzzles.  I decided that I'd make him a rocket ship puzzle.  He's obsessed with rocket ships and planets.

I didn't want to have to deal with creating interlocking puzzle pieces, so to give the puzzle some structure I created it the same dimensions of the inside of a cookie sheet.  Using the same dimensions of the cookie sheet allows Clark to have a basic format to work with.  At this point I took a piece of paper the same dimensions as the finished puzzle and broke it down into eight sections, or the same number of puzzle pieces that I wanted.  I designed the image of the puzzle in a way that each piece had part of the rocket ship, planet, or stars overlapping the edges of the puzzle piece-making it easier to see where the pieces connect.

  I  transferred the images to felt, and cut out the main  shapes.  I then sewed my image onto  two thicknesses of felt with a thickness of batting sandwiched  between them. If I'd thought through this a bit more I would have made the bottom layer of felt a different color and extended it beyond the border of the top layer by a quarter inch or so, that way Clark would be able to tell which sides are edge sides.

Once my image was sewn to the felt sandwich I took my rotary cutter and cut it into my predetermined puzzle pieces. Next I sewed around the open edges of the puzzle pieces.  If you wanted to make your own puzzle, and keep the puzzle pieces in place on the cookie sheet, you could consider attaching magnets between the batting and bottom layer of felt.  I'd suggest using the technique that I used for these number and shape magnets.

So what are your favorite activities to keep your toddlers busy (especially during the winter months)?  I'd love to know, I'm desperate for some new ideas.


Emily said...

These are cool! I will have to check back for ideas- I'm afraid it's going to be a long winter. . . .

Unknown said...

So awesome! I love this idea.

Honestly? I am planning to get a plastic bin and fill it with rice. My son loves using measuring cups and dumping anything between cups and pans and "cooking" so I figure that should keep him entertained for awhile... and I can always vacuum up the spilled rice. :) Planning to minimize spill/waste by putting down a tablecloth so that I can just scoop it all back up and dump it in the bin! :)

Nicole F. said...

I love this! You did a beautiful job.

...could you maybe go back and add another row of stitching around the outside edges to help him differentiate. Otherwise it is just perfect! I think I will have to make a few of these for my little ones 2nd b-day in a few months.

Jasmine Smith said...

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