I have been searching for a way to get ‘Buddy’ interested in puzzles. Not knowing quite what or how he sees can make it tough to figure out what type of puzzle is best. Most puzzles I tried yielded no response. Then I came across Melissa & Doug Sound Puzzles, the Musical Instruments one in particular. ‘Buddy’ loves music, so shen he moved the puzzle piece and it began to play a song…I found my hook.

‘Buddy’s’ fine motor skills are not great. It is hard when his diet to so restrictive to find small things for him to practice with that are not a hazard to him, but these puzzles have tiny red pegs that make him work to achieve sounds. I wanted to build on this, so sought out more puzzles: transportation, shapes, and alphabet. However, some of these had complex backgrounds that I knew would make focusing on the task more complicated, so I fixed them…or should I say adapted them.

The adaption was really very simple and quick. That is a very satisfying combination. I took black shelf paper and covered the back ground, then used an exacto knife to trim out the edges and the shapes. It took about 15 min per puzzle. (Alphabet puzzle being the exception. That one took a bit longer.)

Here are the step by step instructions:

1.       Dump out the pieces and wipe down the puzzle.

2.       Cut a piece of shelf paper a little larger than the puzzle base.

3.       Pull off the backing and fold the paper in half sticky side out.

4.       Line up the paper with the center of the puzzle and starting in the center let the sides slowly roll down and cover the base.
5.       Using a mini legal pad, and starting in the center press the paper into place pushing any air bubbles to the sides.
6.       Using your exacto knife trim the excess of the edges, and cut out the shapes. It helps to use your finger to press the outline of the shape before cutting to make it more visible.

7.       Find the speaker and cut a little x in the paper above each hole. Careful not to go too deep. You don’t want to damage the speaker. Take a pen cap or other rounded device to press the x flaps down and into the hole so the sound is not muffled.

8.       Replace pieces and play!

After I did ours, I brought home the puzzles from school and did their too. It is such a simple project it was a very Zen way to spend a Saturday morning. Have fun!
9/8/2015 07:25:09 pm

This is a great idea! I want to do all of our puzzles right now!


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