Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Kiki's Delivery Service Jigsaw Puzzle

We found this awesome puzzle at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago.  They have an area in their games/puzzles section that is devoted to Studio Ghibli!  And the things you can find there are delightful...especially if you are a fan.

This little puzzle is from Kiki's Delivery Service.  It's the story of a young girl named Kiki who goes off on her own as part of her witch's training.  Of course, she has an adorable little cat named Jiji.  This puzzle shows Jiji in 6 different scenes. 

The puzzle pieces themselves are made out of some sort of clear plastic, which makes them see-through-ish. 

It would be really neat to somehow hang this finished puzzle in a window.  The back of the box shows the puzzle mounted in a frame.

These puzzles are made in Japan, so we are very lucky to be able to buy them.  But that also means that they are a bit pricey!  Some other puzzles that we saw were from the movies My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. 

These would make adorable stocking stuffers for fans of these fine animated movies!

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Angel Fill In Freebie

 The Puzzle Den - Christmas Angel Fill In - easier version

To those who celebrate it ... Merry Christmas! 

Here's an angel shaped fill in puzzle to help your children celebrate this fun holiday.  Just click on the picture above to download the easier version.

 The Puzzle Den - Christmas Angel Fill In - harder version

And click on this picture to download the harder version.

If you need the answers, you can find them here.

Happy December Holidays to All!

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shaped Fill In Puzzles

 The Puzzle Den - Snowman Fill In Puzzles

Winter Snowman puzzles #1 & 2

This year I have created a bunch of shaped Fill In puzzles for your enjoyment.  But as the year progressed, I decided that they might be a bit too easy.  So I recently went back to all of them and created a harder version of each. 

 The Puzzle Den - Fall Leaf puzzles

Fall Leaf puzzle

I updated each original post with a link to the new 'harder' version included.  So just visit those pages to download them.  I've included a link to each original page in this post.  Just click on the picture of the puzzle or on the link below each puzzle.

 The Puzzle Den - Halloween Ghost Puzzle

Halloween Ghost puzzle

You can also visit the Freebies/Fill In page of this blog to find all the puzzles of that type listed.  But for most of the puzzles, you have to visit the original post to find the answers.

 The Puzzle Den - Valentine Heart puzzle

Valentine Heart puzzle

So what makes these puzzles harder?  Instead of providing the start and end letters of each word in the puzzle, these versions are blank.  One way to get started is to find a word of a specific length and a space with the same length.  If that's the only word of that length, then that's the only spot it would fit in.  This adds a little bit of an extra challenge to a puzzle that might otherwise be too easy for some kids.

 The Puzzle Den - Thanksgiving Turkey Puzzle

Thanksgiving Turkey puzzle

I really enjoy creating these puzzles, so I hope you and yours enjoy solving them!  I will probably make more for future holidays, so keep watching the blog...

Happy Holidays!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Snowman Fill In - Free Puzzle

 The Puzzle Den - Winter Snowman #1 - Easy Version
Here's another FREE shaped Fill In style puzzle.  This one is to celebrate winter!  I've created a couple different versions of this snowman puzzle, so you can pick which version meets your kids' puzzle solving abilities.

 The Puzzle Den - Winter Snowman #1 - Hard Version

There are two versions of Winter Snowman #1.  The one at the very top of the page is the easiest version.  It shows the start and end letters of all the words.  The slightly harder version seen just above this paragraph does not have the start letters filled in, so solvers will have an extra bit of a challenge.

 The Puzzle Den - Snowman #2 - Easy Version

But after I finished creating Snowman #1, I realized that I had only fit 8 little words into the Fill In and I wasn't satisfied with that.  I also had already generated a whole string of words that was much longer, and I didn't want them to go to waste!  So I created Winter Snowman #2 which has 22 words spiraling inside of the snowman.  As with the first snowman, I created an easier and harder version of this one also.  The one seen above is the easier version with the start and end letters shown.

 The Puzzle Den - Winter Snowman #2 - Hard Version

And this version has the added challenge of no start letters showing!  Note that all the "harder" versions still show the starting and ending letter spaces as shaded squares. 

If you need answers, you can click here to download Snowman #1 Answers and here to download Snowman #2 Answers.  As always, just click on the picture of the puzzle you want to solve to download that from google drive.  (And remember, some networks (like schools) don't allow downloads from google drive, so you will have to download them from home instead.)

I hope your students enjoy these snowmen!

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Carol Letter Falls

 The Puzzle Den - Christmas Carol Letter Falls #1

Today's freebie was found down deep in the dusty folders on my computer.  I made them two years ago and never posted them.  Then I found them again last year, updated and polished them and still didn't post them.  But this year, I am finally getting them posted!  Hopefully you will like them!  (Click the pictures to download from Google Drive.)

 The Puzzle Den - Christmas Carol Letter Falls #2

I hesitated when I first made them because I thought they might be too easy to solve.  Those of us who love Christmas carols will have no trouble with them at all.  But for the younger folks who may not actually know all the words to all the carols ever written, these might pose something of a challenge.  They might even learn a thing or two, like how to spell "boughs". 

If you try these out with your kids, let me know how they liked them and if they were too challenging or just not challenging enough. 
And here are the answer keys, if you need them. 
Letter Falls #1 Answers
Letter Falls #2 Answers

Happy Holidays!

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Coming Soon...

We have acquired some new single player puzzle games and will be playing with them and writing up some reviews to share soon.  This photo highlights one of the new games we have and you can see another hiding behind it.  Ginny set this display up, and it shows two things that we think are the bomb (besides puzzles)...IKEA and kitties!  Yay!

So stayed tuned!

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Syllable Search - Free Puzzle

 The Puzzle Den Christmas Syllable Search

A Christmas-themed freebie today!  This type of puzzle is called a syllable search.  There are clues for each word and a syllable box filled with all the syllables you will need to figure out all the words.  Work back and forth between the clues and syllables, crossing off the used syllables as you go.  When all the words are discovered, all the syllables will have been used up.

I enjoy solving these types of puzzles myself, because I often find the clues to be very tricky!  Having the syllable box really helps.  I made the clues for this Christmas Syllable Search to be easy enough for most elementary aged kids.  There are a couple that will be tricky, but encourage them to solve the ones they know first and then try to put the syllables that are left together to form words and see if anything 'pops' out!

I didn't create an answer key for this puzzle, so if you need it, please leave me a comment here, and I will get one posted.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Books Complete

 Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Third Graders

All the Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Books are now complete!  Grades K through 6 are available and a bundle version as well.  Remember, these teeny-tiny books print on one sheet of paper, then you make one cut and fold it into a teeny-tiny book. 

 Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Fourth Graders

These puzzle books make great holiday gifts for your students and really cool stocking stuffers for Santa to deliver to all your children!

 Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Fifth Graders

They only cost one small dollar, so it's a real bargain!

 Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Sixth Graders

I do have other teeny-tiny puzzle books available.  To date, there are Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween puzzle books too.  You can go to my TpT store and click on Teeny-Tiny Books category to see all of them listed.

 Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book BUNDLE

And for those who teach a bunch of different grade levels, there is a bundle of all the grade available.  When you buy them as a bundle, you save 20% off buying each one separately.

 Winter Mini Puzzle Book for Third Graders

If you are looking for something less holiday oriented, I do have a line of winter themed puzzle books.  These are in the mini-book size, which means that two puzzles print on each sheet of paper.  Each page must be cut in half and then the entire thing stapled together.  These are bigger and easier to read, but do use a LOT more paper.  You can search my store for "winter" items and find them listed that way, or click on the Holiday category.

I hope you find something you like and enjoy!

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Silly math videos from Studio C

Studio C is my family's favorite comedy sketch group.  They are out of Utah, but these skits don't touch on religious topics, and are totally family friendly.

So I just wanted to share these two skits with you.  They are rather mathy.  The top skit "Scary Ghost Stories That Don't Add Up" has a trio of cowboys sitting around the campfire trying to tell ghost stories.  Unfortunately, they keep telling math word problems instead, and it is hilarious!

The second skit "AMC's Breaking Bad Parody: For Kids!" also known as "Fixing Good" finds our heroes creating blue math...and it is delightful!  So if you love math like we do, you will enjoy these silly videos!

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Books

 The Puzzle Den - Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Kinders

I've gotten some new puzzles uploaded to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  These are tiny packs of puzzles that are printed on one sheet of paper.  You just fold and make one cut, and the sheet turns into a teeny-tiny puzzle book!  These puzzles have a Christmas theme, but in a very generic and secular fashion.

 The Puzzle Den - Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for First Graders

There are three levels available so far:  Kinders, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.  When you purchase these sets from my store for $1.00, you get the puzzle sheet itself and a construction guide.  You can print as many of these little books as you like for your classes for as many years as you are a teacher!

 The Puzzle Den - Teeny-Tiny Christmas Puzzle Book for Second Graders

I will be making grades 3 thru 6 over the next couple of days, so check back if you need those levels.  I'm hoping to have them all done by Sunday, so that you can get them printed and to your classrooms before the Christmas break starts.

Merry Holidays!

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Puzzling Gift Ideas Off The Shelf

One of my favorite stores is Barnes and Noble.  Not only do they carry books (the most awesome creation in the world), but they also have a really decent selection of games and puzzles.  Of course, if you're in the market for some serious board games, you should venture over to your local game store and give them your support.  But for some light holiday shopping, B&N is the place!

For the very young on your list, how about some jigsaw puzzles?  These Beginner Puzzles from Petit Collage are so adorable!  I love how the baby is snuggled in with the parent!  Too cute, and I wish I had some babies on my shopping list this year, so I could buy one of these.  Amazon shows some very good reviews for these puzzles.  Age range suggested is 2 and up.

For 4 and ups, I found some fun games from Blue Orange.  Chickyboom is a balancing game, and Pengoloo is a memory game.  I have a couple other games from Blue Orange (Niya and Kingdomino) and am impressed by the quality and ingenuity of them.  I'm sure these will please your young gamers!

Next up is Tegu!  This is a new product to me, and I am dying to get my hands on a set!  Magnets and blocks combined...what could be better?  Now your creations won't get scattered when the cat decides to explore them!  These are recommended for ages 3 to 99!  I'm awfully glad I fall into that age range as I'm sure one of these will find its way into my household soon!

A little peek inside the box!  You can find out where the magnets are inside each block by visiting Tegu's website and scrolling way down for a diagram.  Something else interesting about this toy company...on their FAQ they ask that if you are ready to dispose of your Tegu sets, you should contact them.  They will pay for shipping so that you can return the toys to them, and they will recycle them.  What a nifty idea! 

The holiday season wouldn't be complete without a ThinkFun puzzle toy!  Lunar Landing is new this year and looks promising.  (Although I just read on the website that this is a reprint from a year 2000 edition with a different name.)  Also new this year is Roller Coaster Challenge, a cool series of //Code games, and Color Cube Sudoku

Ginny has decided to tackle a semester of architecture for homeschool this spring.  In our search for cool books and materials, we stumbled upon Arckit.  The kit we ordered arrived just last week, and we dove in and built some creations already.  We think these kits are for older kids, because some of the connections are a little tricky.  But at our advanced ages (14 and 47), we think this is perfect!  We found a kit with a crushed box in B&N's discount bin and got it for half off.  One can never have enough pieces!

For more building opportunites, we have OffBits!  These kits are recommended for 6 years and older.  With spring, bolts, nuts and wheels, the critters that you can build with these parts look amazing!

Getting a lot of hype this year on many podcast commercials is littleBits.  These kits also include electronic building blocks so you can power your creations!  I didn't see them at B&N, but they sound very cool so are worth a mention.

This puzzle from BeginAgain had Ginny and I wracking our brains for our space science knowledge!  It's a Space A to Z puzzle and it lists for children 3 and up.  But we had a blast trying to figure out the A to Z's of this puzzle.  It really is quite adorable!  This is another toy company using recycled and sustainable ingredients for their toys. 

I think I had a little too much fun in the games section for the younger set, but here's one offering from the older kids game section.  Perplext created these wee card games that are the size of a gum package.  So you can take them on the go and always have a game handy!  The artwork for these is adorable.  (You can see them on their kickstarter page here.)  And they have 2 different sets of games available, which you can find (and buy as sets or individually) on their website.  I think these make fantastic stocking stuffers!  (Hoping to find a couple in my stocking this year...)

So I hope that gives you some ideas for gift giving, if you still have some folks to buy for.  Enjoy your December!

(Note: I know that some bloggers have affiliations with companies and promote their items, but I do nothing of the sort.  I just happen to like B&N quite a lot (used to work there even) and adore some of the above mentioned game and toy companies.  So enjoy and click on the links and no need to worry.  I won't make a dime!)

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Free Fall Leaf Fill In Puzzle

 The Puzzle Den - Fall Leaf Fill In

Here is a Fall Leaf fill in puzzle that you can download for free for your students today!  Just click on the picture above to download from Google Drive.  (Note: Some schools do not allow downloads from Google Drive on their networks, so you may have to download to your home computer instead.)

You can download the answers here.

And do you need some Thanksgiving puzzles?  I have several you can download for free here on my blog.  Check out this post to find links to them all.

Have a great holiday!

 The Puzzle Den - Fall Leaf Fill In - Harder Version

Added 12/17/17 - I thought these puzzles could use a little toughening up, so I created a slightly harder version of each.  The version doesn't include the starting letters, which gives students an extra challenge getting started!  You can download whichever version you prefer by clicking on the pictures above.

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