I feel as though I am channeling N’Sync … It’s Gonna Be Me. (Know what I mean? Or are you too young to appreciate that comment …)
Anyways, have I got a great independent quiet time activity for you today. Playing card puzzles! Not only that, but 3 different ways you can use these puzzles to get the most fun and learning (and quiet time) out of them for all of the various ages and stages that might be on the other side of this computer.
These playing card puzzles had my boys working together, collaboratively and peacefully, for almost one hour! How is that for a summertime win? We added in a timed challenge, so the boys were competing against the clock – and importantly, not one another. But they really do love a good challenge.
Here is how I made the playing card puzzles:
If I was doing this activity with little Norah, who is 2.5, or if you are doing this activity with a young toddler I would simplify. I would take one of each card, numbers 2-10, and simply cut them in half. I would then have her match half to half while focusing on number recognition and matching skills.
This is how I did this activity for my boys.
The prep for this quiet time activity was just about as easy as it gets. First of all, I pulled out pairs of numbers 2-10 from a deck of cards. I didn’t worry about suits, I just made sure to have one red and one black of each number.
Then, I chopped the numbers off the corners of the cards. In fact, my boys even helped with this part, which is why the corners don’t match perfectly on our puzzles. If you really like your puzzles to be perfect, you will want to do this step on your own.
Then we played with those playing card puzzles in 3 different ways:
Matching Colours and Numbers
This was the easiest way and a great warm up for my kids. I spread out all the cards on the table and also all of the corners. Next, my children matched the cards back up, creating original, whole cards.
This playing card puzzle is perfect for preschoolers. You might wish to only use 3-5 cards at first, so as to not overwhelm little ones. They can count the symbols on the cards, find the correct matching numeral, and pop it into the corner.
I mean, think of all that learning!!!
- one-to-one correspondence (counting one number for each symbol)
- recognizing numerals
- matching colours
- fine motor skills and hand dexterity to get those corners in place
All with this simple quiet time activity. Who has got your back when it comes to learning AND quiet time …. you guessed it … It’s Gonna Be Me!
The second way we did these playing card puzzles was with adding. My children chose a card and counted the symbols. They then selected 2 corners that would add to get that number.
So if Ben selected the card 5 for example, he could put a 2 in one corner and a 3 in another. This one was also chalk full of learning. My boys quickly learned how some numbers would not work (such as the number 2).
Once they did as many cards as they could, they had a look through to see if they could change any cards around so they could accomplish more. For example, if they changed the card 6 (which currently had a 3 and a 3 in the corners) to have a 2 and a 4 in the corners instead, they could utilize one of the 3s to make 5, because the only way to possibly make 5 would be with a 2 and a 3 in this game. Make sense?
Finally, we did the same exact activity as adding, except with using multiplication. So for the card 8, the boys put a 2 and a 4 in the corners. They were very surprised to see how few of the cards could actually be used for this multiplication version of playing card puzzles … heellllooo learning about prime numbers through play!
And there you have it! Three fun and easy ways to play with these simple playing card puzzles. I hope you absolutely love them. And if you do, you are going to love my quiet time eBooks! Check them out right here to have creative, quiet time ideas right at your finger tips all year long.
Thank you so much for reading, sweet friend!