Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parts-of-a-fish puzzle

As part of our fish theme this week, I made this fish felt puzzle for Sweetpea, based on the Montessori puzzles that teaches animal parts.

To make my own version, I covered a piece of cardboard (left over from the box my vacuum cleaner came in) with blue felt, using fabric glue. I then drew on the design with a black permanent marker.

I cut the parts of the fish from orange and red felt, and glued an A5-size manilla envelope to the back of the puzzle board to store the parts in.

The letters are from the Suczezz range of educational toys that I sell (the alphabet theme is R44. E-mail me if you would like to order some!) I have decided to start including letters more in our play. No pressure for Sweetpea to formally learn them, I just keep putting them out there and spelling things as we go along. She seems to learn best in this by-the-way manner: instead of sitting her down and teaching at her, I point things out in a casual way and she often surprises me with the things she picks up through observation.

We build this puzzle before we start any of our other fish themed activities every morning. The first time I showed her all the parts and where they go, and also named them for her. She then built it on her own, and I again repeated the correct name of each part as she did.

I leave the puzzle out for her in case she wants to return to it later in the day. Just this afternoon she sat building it at the kitchen counter, and I was impressed to see that she had also built the word fish, all on her own! (We are a bilingual family and I teach in my native Afrikaans, while my husband, an Australian, communicates only in English. PS: I showed Sweetpea the correct place for the dot on the 'i', but she insisted on keeping it right on top of the long part. Will be pointing out 'i's when we read our bedtime story tonight.)


  1. I love it! What a super idea! I'm impressed with your perfect fish...did you trace it first?

  2. Hi Georgia! I drew a fish on a piece of paper and cut it out to use as a pattern. I used it first to draw the outline on the blue felt, and then cut it apart and pinned the individual pieces to my red and orange felt before I cut them out. I kept the pattern if you'd like a copy sometime!

  3. Wow. This is a great idea! Definitely going to try make something like this

  4. Hi Donette, glad you like it. I plan on making some more for the other groups in the animal kingdom too, so watch this space. Thanks for stopping by!


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