Paper Plate Puzzles - Create your own materials to teach number, letter, and word recognition:All you need is: cheap paper plates, some markers or crayons, and a pair of scissors. Depending on the purpose of the puzzles you can tweak the design and its placement. We have used many variations.
For the younger ones who are learning their ABC's you can draw a letter and image in the middle of the plate and with the scissors make a distinct zigzag or wavy cut down the middle of the plate so that the image can be easily matched to its other half. This is easy enough as the child completes and image and sees the letter that starts the word. Notice the consonants are dark blue and vowels are light blue!
Maybe after the child knows his ABCs you can make the design placement or unique cut where matching is more of a challenge. For example: Take the paper plate and write one letter of the alphabet on the top of the plate with a marker and draw a picture that starts with that letter on the bottom of the plate. Use the scissors to cut a funky shape to divide the letter from the image. The picture can be matched with the correct letter like one big puzzle with two pieces. The child isn't simply completing the image by matching the two halves of the plate but trying to find a picture that starts with the correct letter.
Another variation would be to draw an image and have the child match the whole word:
My daughter made these paper-plate puzzles to help her little brother work on his reading skills. After he matches them he can try to read only the words back:
I have made number recognition paper plate puzzles too! Notice that the even numbers are red and the odd numbers are blue!