Thursday, October 13, 2011

Foam Puzzle Tiles: A Flurry of Activity

We love to move in our house, especially outside. As I think about the cooler months closing in quickly, I'm reminded of some of our inside activities that keep my busy boys from going stir crazy.

One of my favorite "go to" activities comes from Foam Puzzle Tiles. You know the ones... oversized, square jigsaw pieces that are somewhat textured. They can be a great play mat, but they have SO many other awesome uses. I love toys that can do double, triple, or quadruple duty. It saves space and money. I think we purchased at set of 12 of these at TJ Maxx several years ago for under $10. It's been a great investment!

Sure, it's perfect for placing in front of your train table to protect to your little one's knees, but let's think outside the box. Flip them over. Add numbers. And explore the possibilities!

Number line. Now that it has numbers, you can line up the tiles. Your child can jump, as they count. You can also help them understand the actual value. Try placing the coordinating number of objects on each tile. Which tile has more? Why is it bigger?

Let's a race! Let your kids (or you and the little one) take turns pushing cars across the tiles. Whose car went farther? How can you tell?

Indoor hopscotch. Yes, I've used masking tape on my floors before, but that takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Plus, my kids lose interest by the time I finished setting it up. Instead, line up your tiles with the number side up. Let the jumping begin! It makes my "Jumping Bean" (Regus #2) very happy.

Giant dice. I have to give my hubby some credit for this one. He put the cube together but with the numbers on the inside to give the boys something safe to jump. If you did catch my drift already, my boys are VERY active. The next day, I flipped the tiles around and made a die. It's great for making board games more physical and keeps their attention a little longer.

How do you keep your kids safe and active during the colder months?


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