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Make your own nature puzzle

What you need

  • Paper or cardboard with shape outlines drawn onto them
  • a range of natural materials such as stones/pebbles or sticks. These could be found outside on a walk at the park or in a garden


Your child will build spatial awareness as they place the objects within the shape outline, or around the edges. Lots of children enjoy placing objects into an enclosed space or around a line, so it may well be a pattern of behaviour your child may demonstrate. The exploration of natural materials is also a lovely way for your child to engage their senses and lead to more communication.

The experience

Provide an outline of a shape for your child, or several different shapes. You may simply use a circle or square, or something such as a heart, butterfly outline or wavy lines. 

Set up the pebbles or other natural objects to be explored. Demonstrate to your child how they can place these along the outlines of the shape, or within it, creating a puzzle like activity, where you work to find pieces that will fit together and cover all of the shape. 

You may like to have your own shape and complete your own opposite your child, or explore together. Particularly with younger children, you will need to be supporting close by, to ensure your child safely explores the objects. Ensure you don’t use anything small enough to present a choking hazard.