My daughter and I made this Giant Easter Egg Puzzle together on a cold and dreary afternoon a few weeks ago. The craft wasn't planned, but I took pictures as we went along just in case the final product was "blog worthy." I think it is, and I'm excited to share it with you! This giant egg turned out to be much more than a painted piece of poster board, which was my original plan. It actually became something unique and super educational!
If I may, allow me to quickly list the learning topics and experiences that my three-year-old had while making her egg. This list is the reason why I'm writing about our Giant Easter Egg Puzzle. The learning that happened here was authentic and meaningful, and I want to share it with parents and preschool/elementary teachers who may be looking for something engaging with lots of built-in learning opportunities.
1) Problem solving- Putting the puzzle together.
2) Counting and number identification- Helping to number the back of the puzzle pieces (either by counting aloud or writing the numerals) and putting the pieces in order.
3) Colors- Painting the puzzle pieces, mixing colors.
4) Texture- Using different techniques to paint the pieces (sponge painting, stamping, taping)
5) Vocabulary development- Describing the texture and color of the pieces using words such as bumpy, smooth, bright, dull, rough.
6) Following directions- Throughout the entire process.
7) Creative expression- Freedom to decorate the egg pieces in any way imaginable.
So, there you have it- seven areas in which children can benefit from making a Giant Easter Egg Puzzle. Now, let's get to the materials and instructions so that you can get started!
- Large piece of white poster board
- Marker (dark color)
- Paints (poster or acrylic, watercolors)
- Paint brush
- Optional: Objects to make various textures with paint. (We used sponges, Q-tips, a fork, and masking tape.)
- Optional: Other decorative elements and glue. (We used buttons.)
1) On the large piece of poster board, draw a giant Easter egg. I used pencil so that I could erase if I made a mistake. My apologies for the poor photo quality below. It was difficult to capture the light pencil marks with my camera. NOTE: I was feeling super ambitious, (AKA extra mind-numbingly bored) that day and took the time to draw the squiggles and pointy lines on this egg. If we make this again, I'll most likely simplify by drawing straight lines and maybe a few bumpy separations. There's minimal artistic ability needed here. Make your egg as simple or as complex as you'd like!
2) Cut out the egg. I also took some time to erase some of the pencil markings after I cut the pieces out to make it look neater. If your child is going to use darker paint colors, the pencil lines will be covered, so you can skip this step.
3) Number the backs of the pieces in ascending order from top to bottom. My daughter struggled with placing the pieces in the correct order and direction. Numbering the pieces (with her assistance) made it easier for her to assemble the puzzle. (Note: Our puzzle consists of nine pieces, but there's certainly no rules against having fewer or more!)
4) Paint each piece of the puzzle and/or add texture however you'd like. Here are the techniques we used:
Fork and Q-Tip Stamping- Dip the objects in paint and press on the paper.
Sponge Painting- Dip a sponge in acrylic or poster paint and dab onto the paper.
Masking Tape Texture Paint- Rip pieces of masking tape and stick them all over the puzzle piece. The tape pieces should overlap to create a ridge effect. Paint over the tape with acrylic or poster paint. The photo on the right shows a close up of the finished masking tape piece. It's the pink wavy section in the middle.
5) Add decorations. We used buttons, but feel free to add some flair with glitter, ribbon, sequins, beads, etc.
6) Once dry, allow your child to play with the puzzle. I forgot to take photos of my tot in action, but here's a closer peek at the completed puzzle on the floor.
After my tot spent some time playing with her Giant Easter Egg Puzzle, we decided it would be a great idea to hang it on her seasonal door. The egg looks adorable hanging up, and it's definitely going to become a tradition to display it every spring!
On a side note to the teachers out there, might I suggest making a few Giant Easter Egg Puzzles for a preschool or elementary classroom? Each child can be responsible for one piece of an egg and the related lesson could be on the subjects of teamwork and individuality!
I do hope you enjoy our little Giant Easter Egg Puzzle creation! Let me know what you think in the comments! :)