Saturday, March 29, 2014

Amazing Mazes on TpT

Amazing Mazes On TpT

Teachers Pay Teachers has a plethora of, no...I mean, a plethora of mazes!
Here are just ten of the fun and diverse mazes you can find on TpT:

Outside the Lines: Maze Bundle

1) This pack is from Scott Cummins from Outside the LinesMaze Bundle has 9 challenging mazes that will keep your kids busy for quite some time!  These look tough!  Scott's store is like a playground!  You should check out some of his other resources too.  My wishlist just got larger!

All Things Algebra - Two-Step Equations

2) Two-Step Equations is a free pack with an algebra maze included from All Things Algebra.  There are actually quite a lot of this sort of math maze on TpT.  You might have to search around a bit, but you can probably find math mazes for almost any math level you need! 

Games 4 Learning: Easter Mazes

3) And here are some more free math mazes!  This Easter Math pack is from Games 4 Learning.  These mazes have addition and subtraction math practice and an Easter theme (which is right around the corner!)  The Games 4 Learning shop has a ton of puzzles and games!

Vowel Alpha Letter Mazes

4) This maze freebie contains 5 vowel mazes.  The idea is to help students recognized the various ways that the vowels can be written.  So for the A maze, they must follow the path of A's from beginning to end.  The Vowel Alphabet Letter Mazes Freebie is from HoJo.  You can also buy mazes for the rest of the letters of the alphabet at this store.

Kalena Bakder: Long U Freebie Maze

5) Here's a maze where students have to follow the long U words from beginning to end.  This Long U Freebie Maze! pack comes from Kalena Baker's store.  There's also a bigger pack of mazes available to practice all the long and short vowel sounds.

Debbie Bryant: Magnet Center and Mazes

6)  Magnet Center and Mazes puts some science into mazes!  Kids will try to get a mouse or a car to move magnetically over a couple of mazes.  You'll need some magnets, wood, paper, plastic and cloth to complete these mazes.  This free pack is from Debbie Bryant's store.

Mathew's Mazes: Owl and Dog Maze Freebie

7) Here's a lovely new store called Mathew's Mazes!  This Dog and Owl Art Maze is free to download.  The other mazes in this store are beautiful.  I hope he adds more soon!

Maria Monore: Differentiated Number Mazes

8) Differentiated Number Mazes for Each Decade helps students practice their counting skills.  Maria Manore (creator) suggests using bingo daubers to complete these mazes.  That sounds pretty fun to me!

Not Just For Elementary: Areas of Triangles Maze

9) This maze challenges students to find the areas of triangles!  I do love these math mazes!  Areas of Triangles Maze is from Not Just for Elementary.  Do a search for mazes in this store, and you will find Order of Operations, Perimeter, Scientific Notation, Irony and Types of Character Conflict mazes.

Created By Mr Hughes: Plural Nouns Mystery Mazes

10) Here's another language arts maze set.  Plural Nouns Mystery Mazes helps students review their plural nouns.  This maze pack comes from Created By Mr Hughes.  This is another creative store that is worth a long browse!

Sneaky, sneaky mazes...there are tons of mazes on TpT (many free) that help kids cement their math facts, explore their language skills, or just have some fun!  If you didn't find any above that tickled your fancy, just search "mazes" on TpT and I'm sure you'll find something fun for your students!

 post signature

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

1. Whoa-Nuts!  We found a great new sweet shop this week.  It's a locally owned donut shop with a twist.  They'll give you a donut with glazes on it, then you can load it up with toppings of your choice.  Kind of like a frozen yogurt joint.  They also have signature selections.  Jack and I got "The Papa" which was loaded with peanuts, chocolate chips, and peanut butter and chocolate glazes.  So amazingly good!  I think we are still on a sugar high two days later!  Check out the Whoa-Nuts website and if you're in town, give them a try!

2. We all got haircuts this week.  Finally!  Jack's hair was so out of control, we couldn't get it to lay flat anymore!  You can see that even after the hair cut it's still a little wonky.  I think the water here in Augusta doesn't quite do right with our weird Norwegian-Swede-Dutch hair.

Earth Day Puzzles for Grades 5 and 6

3. My Earth Day puzzles are cleaned up and ready for a new year of puzzling!  Earth Day is on April 22nd.  We're thinking about seeing the DisneyNature movie Bears this years.

Spring Mini-Puzzle Book for First Graders

4.  I also got 2 mini-puzzle books posted for Spring.  There's a K and first pack done.  I'm planning on getting 2nd through 4th whipped up over the next couple weeks.

Optical Illusion

5. And I'll leave you with an optical illusion I found on Pinterest this week.  There's a frog in the picture, but also a horse.  Can you see both?

post signature

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Perplexing Puzzles - 5/26/14

Another PolySU for you!

I don't believe this one is too much harder than the first PolySU, but it should be slightly more challenging.

PolySU 2 - Polyomino Sudoku

Good luck!

 post signature

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

1)  We went on a field trip with our homeschool group to a Water Treatment Plant.  JP and I thought it was really amazing...the kids were like, 'meh'.  But it really was neat to see the process the water goes through before we can drink it.  They get the water right from the river.  Um...I can't believe I drink river water, like, with fish pee in it and everything!  ;-)

2)  This is Mona bothering us at homeschool this week.  She suddenly seems to think she should sit on our laps while we are at our desks.  It's not always very comfortable to balance a cat on your lap while you're trying to write!  The top picture shows some wee little birds on our window sill which had Mona's complete attention.  Which of course, distracted us while we watched her watching the birds!

3)  We had another history test this week.  Jack absorbs information like his father, but Ginny needs a bit more studying (she's also 2 years younger than Jack).  So I've been making flashcards for them to use to study.  I also made these concentration cards.  These were a great way to get the kids really familiar with the terms and people we've been studying in history.  They had so much fun playing (in a very loud way) that Papa had to yell down from upstairs to see what was going on!  He's been home for several weeks on vacation, so he's been around while we've been schooling lately.

History Flashcards - Conquistadors

4)  This is the set of flashcards that I made for this last unit.  It was all about the Spanish conquest of the New World and the beginning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  It also includes the concentration game cards.  I've got another set about the European Explorers also available in my store.  These sets are one dollar each!

5)  And just for's a cool video of a robot spider!  The movement of this robot is very life-like.  Check it out!

 post signature

Monday, March 17, 2014

Microbes Attack!

Microbes Attack!

What could possibly be cuter than a bunch of microbes in a petri dish?  I'm really not sure I can answer that, because this little game has me completely goo-goo!  (or is that gooey?)

Microbes Attack! is a single player puzzle game from Daddy O Productions.  It comes with 12 microbes, 107 puzzling challenges, and a petri dish to store it all in.

The instructions are hilarious too!

"Lab Rules:

  • Remove all of the puzzle pieces before starting (you can quarantine them in the lid of the petri dish for safe keeping).  (See above photo!)
  • Adult supervision is required for ages under 6 - otherwise, Microbes may take over!
  • Do not put the puzzle pieces in mouth - microbes taste horrible.
  • Do not throw the puzzle pieces at anyone - microbes can bite!
  • Keep the game away from excessive heat - microbes melt!
  • Do not use this game for gambling purposes - microbes have SOME ethics..."
My son thought that last rule was the best!

The game works the same as most single player puzzle games.  Select a challenge, set up the board, and then think really hard!

Pat yourself on the back when you solve it!

Ginny (my 10 year old daughter) and I played this game for a couple hours the other day.  We didn't get to any of the really hard challenges, but we had a blast with the easier ones!  Luckily, we remembered to wash our hands after playing with the microbes.

 post signature

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Perplexing Puzzles - 3/12/14

Today's free puzzle is something a little different.  I've been reading a lot about Polyominoes lately, and I thought it might be fun to try to mix a Sudoku with a bunch of Polyominoes.  And so you see the puzzle below!  I provided a ton of clues, so this should be fairly easy to solve.  Good luck!

PolySU - A Polyomino Sudoku

As far as I know, there aren't any other puzzles out there like this one, so I'm calling it a "PolySU".  There are so many different versions of Sudoku these days, I wouldn't be surprised to find that someone else has done something similar already.  But it still sounded fun!  I'll try to make a more challenging puzzle for next week, so stay tuned!

 post signature

Monday, March 10, 2014


I finally broke down and ordered this book from Amazon last week, and it came in the mail today! It is Pentomino Puzzles: 365 Teasers to Keep Your Brain in Shape by Eric Harshbarger.  I was surprised to find that it came with a set of pentominoes!  I guess if you can read the little purple circle at the top of the book in the picture, then you would know that it "Includes a full set of 12 pentominoes."  I figured I'd just use the book with the set I already own, but a new set is nice!

The book contains 365 shape outlines.  The challenge for each one is to place all 12 pentominoes so that they create that shape!  Trust me, this is much harder than it looks! 

Pentomino Grid

As I tried to solve some of these challenges, I thought to myself that it would be really nice to have a grid to work on.  So I whipped one up in Photoshop.  Each square of the grid is 5/8ths of an inch, so the pieces that come with the book fit the grid perfectly.  You can download the grid by clicking on the photo above.  Just watch that your printer doesn't resize the image.  I make sure"Scale to fit media" is NOT checked when I print, to alleviate this problem.

I even picked a challenge and drew it onto the paper.  It certainly helped to be able to fit the pentominoes into a more visual grid.  I do wish the pentominoes that came with the puzzle were marked by these...
Pentominos at Amazon

Pentominoes are composed of 5 squares each.  It's easier to visualize possible spots for the pieces when the squares are marked on them, as well as having a grid.  But maybe that's cheating?!

In any case, here's a picture of the train puzzle solved.  It took 2 brains to solve this one, plus a hint or two from the answers.  I thought this one would be easy as there are several spots where only one or two pieces could possibly fit.  This was supposed to help whittle down the possibilities, but it didn't seem to help that much!

But having a grid was definitely a bonus.  Feel free to print as many of these as you like.  I'm sure kids would appreciate having a grid to work with.  Especially if you draw some challenges out for them too!

This book would be great for older kids and adults.  Younger kids would probably get way too frustrated with the challenges, but I'm sure they would enjoy building their own creations with them!  You could also use the grids to copy down creations that your children have made.

More information about Pentominoes can be found at Eric Harshbarger's website.

While I was surfing the web for Pentomino information, I came across some really fun make-it-yourself versions.  Check these out!

Knit Pentominos

Knit Pentominoes by Wooly Thoughts

Lego Pentominos

Lego version also from Eric H

Perler Bead Pentominos

Perler Bead version from Rachel Swartley

Have fun!

post signature

Sunday, March 9, 2014

St Patrick's Day Puzzles

I've just finished updating my St Patrick's Day puzzle sets, and they are looking snazzy for this year's holiday! I have two packs in my store, one for grades 1 to 3 and the other for grades 4 to 6. The pack for upper grades now has two brand new puzzles! I've added a maze and a picto-crossword. You can check out each set by clicking on the pictures below.

St Patrick's Day Puzzles for grades 1 to 3

St Patrick's Day Puzzles for grades 4 to 6

And if you're looking for March themed resources for your students, check out this great link-up at Dr Clement's Kindergarten!

post signature