Thursday, December 10, 2015

Perplexing Puzzles 12/10/15 - Winter Holidays

Christmas Missing Words

A special treat for today!  Winter Holiday Missing Word puzzles!  First up is Christmas.  You can download the puzzle here.

Hanukkah Missing Words

Next up is Hanukkah!  Download this puzzle here.

Kwanzaa Missing Words

And next is Kwanzaa.  Download this puzzle by clicking here.

Solstice Missing Words

And the season wouldn't be complete without a Winter Solstice Celebration!  You can download this puzzle here.

Winter Puzzle Answer Key

If any of these puzzles give you trouble, you can download a packet of all the answers by clicking here!  (Note: This file is a PDF.  The others are JPGs.)

Need some dates for these celebrations?  For the winter of 2015, Hanukkah comes first (it's already started!) and is celebrated from Dec 6th thru the 14th.  Kwanzaa starts on the 26th and ends on Dec 1st (Kwanzaa is celebrated on the same dates each year).  Winter Solstice occurs on Dec 22nd, but I think celebrations carry on for several days.  And of course, Christmas is on the 25th, and that celebration stretches on for least you'd think so based on the decor at our local shops!

I hope you enjoy these puzzles!  And have a wonderful holiday season, whichever one (or more...or none) that you celebrate!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Puzzles

Thanksgiving Rebus Puzzles

Thanksgiving Rebus Puzzles

I have two new free puzzles ready for Thanksgiving!  These are rebuses (again, I know, but I like them!)  One is easy and the other is a bit harder.  You can work on these with your kids while you wait for the turkey to cook!

And don't miss out on free Thanksgiving puzzles from previous years...

Turkey Color-By-Number addition

Turkey Color-By-Number - addition practice

Turkey Color-By-Number multiplication

Turkey Color-By-Number- multiplication practice

Thanksgiving Missing Words #1

Thanksgiving Missing Words #1

Thanksgiving Missing Words #2

Thanksgiving Missing Words #2

Word Compass Puzzle - All About Turkeys

Word Compass - All About Turkeys

Have a lovely holiday weekend!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Perplexing Puzzles 11/11/15 - Fall Rebuses

Fall Rebus Puzzles

This week's free puzzles are rebus style.  Click on the picture above and you can download 2 free Fall themed rebus puzzles, one easier and one harder.  These rebus puzzles aren't like your typical rebuses where words like "are" might be represented with a big letter "R".  I've designed these to correctly spell out each of the fall words.  This gives kids practice at spelling while also having fun solving the puzzles!  I hope you enjoy these!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Perplexing Puzzles - 9/9/15

Digital Dates #7

Today I have a Digital Dates puzzle freebie...

Color By Number 6

And a Color By Number featuring the number 6!

Both activities help students practice their math skills.  The Digital Dates is a decimal addition and subtraction practice sheet with historical date trivia.  And the Color By Number helps younger students practice their addition facts up to 6.


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Perplexing Puzzles 8/19/15

Punundrum and Phrase Finder

Today, I have a puzzle page for older kids with a Punundrum and Phrase Finder.

Color The Number 4
There are also 2 new number coloring pages for your younger students.  You can find more of these pages here and here.

Color the Number 5

Click on the pictures to download the puzzles shown and have fun!

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

String Art Templates

A couple weeks ago, I posted about creating string art with my kids.  While we were making these masterpieces, I kept thinking that it might be an easier project to accomplish if you had some templates!  Especially if you are working with younger kids.  So I whipped up a couple and gave it a try...

Download templates here.

The first version I attempted used a hole punch.  This works well, but creates some rather big holes in your design.

But if you're working with younger children, this should make it easier to thread a plastic needle through the holes.  Here are some instructions, if you'd like to give this a try:

  Craft Foam Sheets - 8 1/2" X 5 1/2" or larger
  Hole Punch (or paper punch/poker thingy)
  Plastic sewing needles
  Variety of yarns

1)  Print out the template.  The first one in the file (template #1) makes the design above and is the easiest to sew.

2)  Cut your foam sheet to 5 1/2" X 5 1/2" and cut closely around the template.  Tape the template on top of the foam at the edges.

3)  Use your hole punch to punch out all the black dots.  It's a little bit harder to punch through foam than paper, but it works fine.

4)  I wanted to leave the number guides on the foam for ease of sewing, so I cut around the inside of the holes and removed the inner section of paper.  If you have the template taped securely along the edges of the foam, the numbers should stay in place.

Now I am ready to sew!

5)  I started with about 8ft of yarn.  Thread that onto your needle.

6)  Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the project.

7)  Bring your string up through hole number one and then down in hole number two.  Come back up through hole number three and continue.

8)  For this template, I decided to change colors after hole number 18, so I cut the string and taped the end to the back.

9)  Thread a new color onto your needle and begin again at hole number 19.  (You'll notice that this is also hole number 1).  Proceed to hole number 20 and finish at number 36.

10)  When you're done, remove the paper template and your masterpiece is ready!

For the second version of this project, I used a paper poker tool to create the holes for the needle.  (I really can't remember what these are called, but above is a picture of one.)  I'm pretty sure you can get these at a scrapbook supply store.  Maybe they even make hole punchers with smaller holes!  Anyhow, the point (pun intended) of using this tool is to get smaller holes.

For this project, I used template #2.  You can see the tiny holes created by the tool above.  The big plastic needles slide through these small holes just fine.

This is what template #2 looks like when finished.  To get this effect, use two colors.  With the first colors sew from holes 1 to 36.  Then switch to a different color and sew from holes 37 to 72.

If you want to use 4 colors (one for each corner), then switch colors like this:
   Color 1 - sew from 1 to 18
   Color 2 - sew from 19 to 36
   Color 3 - sew from 37 to 54
   Color 4 - sew from 55 to 72

To create this project, use template #3.  With one color, sew from 1 to 56.

You can vary this design by adding another layer of color.  Simply start at hole 1 and then decide how many holes you want to skip before you sew.  For the yellow, I brought my thread up through a hole, skipped four holes, and brought my thread down through the fifth.  You can vary how big your final circle will be by changing how many holes you skip!

Template #4 is more complex.  You can use the template to create a rainbow flower.

I used the template to create this spiral instead.  To create this, simply sew every other letter.  So I sewed from A1 to A18, then C1 to C18, E1 to E18, G1 to G18, I1 to I18, and K1 to K18 all with a single color.

To get the look of the flower, sew from A to K, switching out your colors for every letter.

The easiest template for young kids will be temple #1.  They will need to be able to count from 1 to 36 and not get too frustrated when their yarn becomes tangled.  Moms are great at helping with untangling!  Template #3 is also not too difficult.

Spirelli String Art

I also found this easy tutorial, Spirelli String Art, for creating circular string art.  It uses cut paper circles with notches, and the thread is wrapped around the circle.  Sounds quite simple.  And those are some pretty circles they have made!

Good luck with your string art projects and let me know below if you have any questions!
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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Break - Day 10 - Paracord Bracelets

Last night, we stayed up late watching "The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box" and making paracord bracelets.

Jack has made these before, so he was our experienced professional!  He required the chunkier paracord for his manly bracelets.  Ginny and I liked the thinner cord...mostly because it came in prettier colors!

Here's one of the thin ones partly done.  The standard paracord bracelet uses a square knot.  This is a pretty easy knot to tie.  Jack and Ginny are now masters square knotters!  I believe Jack got a paracord bracelet kit for Christmas when he was 10, and he had no problems with the knots at that age either. 

We picked up some compasses to add to our bracelets too.  Now they are truly survival bracelets!  Paracord bracelets are made so that you can unravel them in an emergency and use the cord for rappelling down a mountain, tying down some gear, or making a tourniquet.  In our case, we also have a compass to tell which direction we are going!  Paracord sold at a craft store is not military grade.  So I wouldn't actually use the cords from the bracelets to rappel down mountains!  But they should be good for tying down gear.  Since our Papa is an Army guy, we do have real paracord lying around the house, but it's not for crafting use.  He used to parachute out of planes and paracord is often used to rig parachutes.

Here is our final set of bracelets from last night.  We did try one multicolor bracelet.  There are a ton of tutorials on youtube for making these, including a bunch of really neat looking variations.  I am going to give some of those other knots a try today...we certainly bought enough paracord!

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