My House is Made Of Shapes Puzzle Printable Packet: Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series

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It's our 4th week in the Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series here on the blog! So far we have looked at horizontal & vertical lines, circle shapes, and cross shapes! Today we are going to look at squares and rectangles.

Let's do a quick review before we get started of the developmental sequence of prewriting strokes or shapes:

  • Vertical line
  • Horizontal Line
  • Circle
  • Cross shape (+)
  • Right/Left Diagonal Line
  • Square
  • X shape
  • Triangle

I added in the rectangle shape with today's activity and that is a great way to talk about big lines vs. small lines that make up the shape! Squares, of course, are 4 straight lines altogether. They can either be big or small!

I am really excited to share today's activity with you! There is a FREE printable with everything you will need (except the laminator, haha) to complete this activity! It is a  DIY puzzle that I made with the square and rectangle shapes. I also added one triangle for the roof and there are also lots of ways you can practice all the previous pre-writing strokes we have talked about in this series!

A fun DIY puzzle activity for kids of all ages! My House is Made of Shapes Printable Packet : Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series |

Items Needed for My House is Made of Shapes Puzzle:

Directions for My House is Made of Shapes Puzzle Activity

Print out the My House is Made of Shapes Puzzle Printable Packet that I provided above!

The first page that comes in the packet is this one pictured below. I used a red marker so you could see the sentence, but the letters are made of dashed lines so your child can trace the sentence. This part of the activity will only be age appropriate for older children, ages 5 and up!

A fun DIY puzzle activity for kids of all ages! My House is Made of Shapes Printable Packet : Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series |

The next two pages on your puzzle pieces. Your child will be coloring these pieces before you cut them out. This is a great time to practice proper grasp on their crayons!

A fun DIY puzzle activity for kids of all ages! My House is Made of Shapes Printable Packet : Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series |

The house on the bottom left is a model for when your child puts the puzzle together. That is what the finished product will look like, so if you have a child who needs that extra visual of where the pieces go you can have it sitting close by so they can look at it.

The rectangle on the right with the windows and doors on it you will want to have them color the entire thing the same color. The windows and doors on this piece are where the other pieces will go once you have everything cut out. This is also a great time to practice coloring inside the lines. Ages 4 and under it is age appropriate to have deviations outside the coloring line up to 1/2″. Over age 4 it is age appropriate to have deviations at 1/4″ outside the coloring line.

Another option to bring in all the previous pre-writing strokes is to have your child draw the cross shape on their windows before you laminate. They are getting in some good practice of writing a line down (vertical lines) and a line across (horizontal lines) to make a cross shape!

After they have colored everything, here is where you can decide if you want to laminate all the pages! I highly suggest doing this! It will make the pieces easier for your child to pick up and will also help the puzzle to last longer!

A fun DIY puzzle activity for any age! My House is Made of Shapes Printable Packet : Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series |

This was my first time using my new laminator that I found on Amazon for only $19.99 during Christmas time!! Right now it is on sale for $27.22, still a great deal! It is the Scotch Thermal Laminator Two Roller System. It comes with two laminating pouches and I used both for this activity. So you will want to make sure you order an extra set of the laminating pouches so you will have more for other projects! It was super easy to use and I can't wait to use it again for another project! Just a little note, you will want to do this part yourself. The laminator does get hot so it is not appropriate for younger children to use.

Once you finish laminating then you can have them cut the pieces out. On the large blue rectangle that I colored above, again just have them cut the entire shape out. Do not cut out the windows and doors on that piece, they are guidelines for where to put the window and door pieces that you will be cutting out.

Remember to practice a good grasp with the scissors as well. Both thumbs up, or thumbs up position and one hand holding on to the paper as they cut. If the piece of paper is too hard for them to manage while cutting, you can cut it in half or into fourths to make it more manageable to hold during cutting.

Some of the pieces are a little small, so they will not be appropriate for ages under 4 to cut out. However, my 17 month old still enjoyed playing with this after I had put it all together myself. Use your judgement as to how much of it your child can handle.

a fun DIY puzzle activity - My House is Made of Shapes Printable Packet : Pre-writing Activities for Kids Series |

And here is the finished product! The house on the page with the sentence is the guideline of the puzzle. Your child can then place the cut out rectangle onto, the triangle shape for the roof, and also the chimney piece. Then they can place the square shapes and rectangle shape for the door on top of the bottom of the house. When laminated, these pieces are much easier to pick up. You can also put tape on the back of each piece if you want the pieces to stay in place after they put it together. If not, then just place the entire puzzle into a gallon zip lock bag for safe keeping after they are done playing!

There are lots of great skills being practiced with this activity:

  • Shape recognition – squares have four equal {short or long lines} sides ; rectangles have 2 short sides and 2 long sides ; triangles have 3 short or long sides
  • Big vs. small shapes and lines – Big vs. small lines to make up each shape. Big vs. small shapes
  • Bilateral Coordination – using both sides of the body together {scissor skills, coloring (holding the paper down with one hand and coloring with the other)}
  • Visual Motor/Eye Hand Coordination – Coloring, placing the shapes in the correct boxes.
  • Proper Hand Grasp – Pincher grasp for picking up the puzzle pieces, proper grasp on crayons, proper scissors grasp
  • Pre-writing practice – Drawing the vertical and horizontal lines on the windows to make a cross shape. Tracing the sentence at the top of the first page (remember this section of the activity is only appropriate for ages 5 and up!)

Other activities in the Pre-Writing Activities for Kids Series

You can also get many more ideas from my Pinterest boards:

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog's board Handwriting Skills & Activities on Pinterest.

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog's board Fine Motor Skills Prek & Up on Pinterest.

This activity is part of my new ebook Basic Shapes for Beginners: A Hands-On Approach to Pre-Writing Strokes for Preschoolers.

Basic Shapes for Beginners

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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  1. I haven’t been able to download the My House is Made of Shapes template – please help

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
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