Being an educator, I understand the importance of teaching through unique methods. Children are not always interested in learning through books. I have been using multiple manipulatives, board games, and storybooks to engage children in a comprehensive learning environment. However, it becomes difficult when children simply have to watch the process. At times, they need something entertaining. It is probably the combination of learning and being engaged in any activity.
As I scroll through various such games and creative ideas available on the internet, the biggest challenge is the expense. Educational toys are costlier due to their usage and benefits. That’s when I thought of engaging children with DIY Number Puzzles. When children get an opportunity to do it, they are more likely to learn the concept better. It also enhances their motor skills, and communication skills and builds their interest in learning.
DIY number puzzles: Exploring what’s within
Number Puzzles offer a combination of fun and learning. While math is a tricky subject, the puzzle makes it easy to learn counting, and the number order and it also helps children in understanding the correct pair of the puzzle. Interestingly, the activity can be carried out by teachers or educators to engage students in math. Similarly, parents can also use this activity to creatively involve children in the learning process.
Materials required to make Number puzzles
- 1 A4 blank thick sheet
- A ruler
- A black sketch pen/pen
- A box of crayons
- A pencil
Once you have collected the required materials, let’s begin with the making of DIY Number Puzzles.
- Take the A4 blank, thick sheet and place it on a stable surface.
- Fold the sheet into its exact half to get a perfect division of the paper.
- Now, begin by drawing rectangles on the paper, as shown in the picture.
- Once you are done drawing the rectangles, make sure to use a black sketch pen or pen to apply a border to each rectangle.
- Once you have completed this, just like any other puzzle, draw a zigzag line or curved lines in the center of the rectangle with the help of a black crayon. Crayon gives a thick outline to the center.
- You can also choose to draw a random line which is a mix of different shapes to give it a quirky look.
- Now, write numbers on the left side of the rectangle with a black crayon or a black pen.
- Similarly, draw any desirable shape on the right side of the rectangle with a black pen or sketch pen.
- Here, if the number is 2, you need to draw 2 shapes only on the right side.
- Follow the same for all numbers till you complete the DIY Number Puzzle.
- Once you are done drawing the shape, take any color to fill the shapes on the right side.
- After filling, use a scissor to take the central line without damaging the border.
- Similarly, cut all rectangles from the center to have two different sets of puzzles.
- You now have 1 set of numbers and another set of shapes to join them with numbers.
Your DIY Number Puzzle is ready! Don’t they look adorable? It is time to invite little ones and engage them in math play like never before!
Fun ways to use number puzzles
Number puzzles can be used in a variety of ways to teach mathematical concepts. They can be used by parents as well as adults to engage children in learning.
Learning through number problems is really hands-on! Numerical puzzles are suitable for differentiated little groups. You can also adapt puzzles to pupils’ ability levels. When children can converse and work constructively, they also learn to work in teams. Puzzles can rather be given as tasks by dividing students into teams and watching their team-building skills as well.
Number puzzles are all about the steps that result in an answer. There is already a solution for each puzzle. Children already have part and need to find the other. Hence, present it as a challenge to children. Through this, children learn to identify various approaches to arrive at the given result.
Number puzzles are helpful to engage kids in a kid’s birthday party or playtime in school. A group of children should have the numbers while the other group should have the shapes. After this, you can ask them to match the right pair through innovative ways.
DIY Number Puzzles offer an interesting learning environment involving students, teachers, and parents. It not only helps them with mathematical concepts but also engages them in brainstorming. When students make the puzzle together, they are likely to come across various shapes, colors and sizes. This enables them to widen their scope of knowledge.
Along with this, educators and parents can use various manipulatives, real-life examples, jokes, and quotes to teach significant concepts. It is important to strike a balance between fun and learning and DIY activities are a great way to do so!
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,