Subtitle for this post, "Dear Disney, please don't sue me."
Disclaimer for this post: I receive no monetary compensation in any way from these.
That should cover me, right?
Here's a newsflash that is not news to anyone. Ellie loves princesses.
I could write a whole blog on how this is utterly baffling to me, as I am not exactly a girly-girl. But Disney's brilliant marketing minds are, well, brilliant, and long before Ellie had seen any movies, she loved those princesses.
So, in an effort to capitalize on that, I made some puzzles for her. My main goal with this, other than just being a fun activity, was letter recognition, especially matching upper- and lower-case letters. I found a jigsaw template online and made one puzzle per princess. Each has her picture, name, upper-case initial and lower-case initial. I printed them out on cardstock and spent maybe 10-15 minutes cutting them out.
Examining the pieces
I was pleasantly surprised by how effective this was. She naturally started sorting by letter, not color -- I know this because the doubles ended up together, like M for Mulan and Merida. We talked about looking at the names to match the upper case letter, which she did naturally with letters she's more familiar with (mostly related to our family -- E, S, M, B). I showed her lower-case for ones she didn't know and couldn't guess (s, c and m are easy to figure out because they're just miniature versions). She used the color-coding to determine which of the doubles matched with which puzzle.
A side benefit is that these puzzles don't "click" together like heavy cardboard or wooden ones, so she really has to use careful fine motor skills to get the pieces to line up.
Of course Elsa was her favorite because it has the same letter as Ellie, is in "aqua," and is FROM FROZEN OMG.
So proud of her work.
She's returned to these a number of times. It is a great thing for her to work on independently.
Here's the file (free of course) if you want to print them out yourself.