PuzzlEd

Educational puzzles and fun!

             

 NEW ACTIVITIES *

                

  This page is for my latest additions and my new discoveries as I roam the internet looking for educational, fun, free (or very cheap) activities.

e-cards:  I have been trying out various free ecards, but have not had much success with some of them. I'll keep trying, but have found a couple of good sites (see below).

New Puzzles: I am still looking at sites as I come across them. I have started looking at online games as well as those you can download and play off-line. Some of my new ePuzzle jigsaws are below, too.

Stories, both to read and to listen to- some online, others you can download to keep. There are some freebies out there- see my Stories for Children and Free Mini Books to Print pages for some excellent free stories and little books for kids!

Good Sites with games, activities etc for kids - see below...

 

*Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator ... make your own for free...                      Bobblehead bird GIF Copyright BillyBear4Kids.com

APTE Puzzle Centre:  2017 - link removed from list as no longer available  

www.uptoten.com is an award-winning site for young children, with a lots of free activities.

There is a range of online games, animated stories, songs, colouring pages and art activities. These seem to be fine with dial-up internet (it doesn't take too long for the stories etc to load). There is also a range of cute, animated ecards which are easy to send... but I haven't had any arrive yet... I'll keep trying.

 billybear4kids.com - some lovely, free resources for kids, including downloadable StoryBooks  that you can personalise with your children's names! The books won't win awards for great literature, but kids just love to read stories with their own name in.

There are some really cute free fonts, with teddies, dinosaurs, etc, and free clipart Bobbleheads (like the bird above).

This site also has good online games and printable games and puzzles for children, including some simple educational games for maths, spelling etc. There are games for Mac users, too. It's well worth a visit... just note that there are ads on the site.

E-cards *
 Send a card via email, and make someone happy without using any paper or transport resources (just power, but you can't have everything...)

This site has worked for me:

www.greetingsnecards.com - good range of cute animated designs, with music; all free, and easy to use.

 

2017 update - the other sites I had listed here have been removed as they are no longer available 

 

 

New ePuzzle Jigsaws to Download *

To download- click on the link below the picture.

           


For my latest jigsaws, see my New & Harder Jigsaws  page.

  

"FEEL-GOOD" ACTIVITIES

If you would like to help the environment or other people, here are some sites with free/low-cost options:

Free donations

www.thehungersite.com  - just visit the site and you can make a donation to a variety of causes- just by clicking on a sponsor's button, you can donate as often as you like to: 
Hunger                            
Breast Cancer                         
Child Health                    
Literacy          
Rainforest
Animal Rescue... 
             

Recycling If you have unwanted items... or if you need something:

http://www.freecycle.com
Find items that people are disposing of or find someone to come and take away something you no longer want!

Everything is given away for free! Look for your local Freecycle group.

Facebook also has local pages for buy/swap/sell - search for your area

 

Free ecards to support causes

·         www.care2.com/ecards/ Over 25000 free ecards - make a difference!  Sending free e-cards generates donations to great organizations

·         www.e-cards.com/ Send free E-Cards to friends and family! Every card sent helps generate a donation for wildlife and nature.

Not free, but great Feel-Good Value:

 

www.betterworldbooks.com If you want to buy books, check out this site for discount new and second-hand books- proceeds help fund literacy programs in third-world countries, and you can even pay a few cents extra to offset the environmental cost of the delivery.

 

 Oxfam Unwrapped –sites in many countries, e.g:     

                    www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com/ (US),                                

                    www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au/(Australia)                            

     

This is a brilliant idea, and very attractively presented- fun, and fabulous Feel-Good Factor! Ideal for a gift choice for the Person Who Has Everything, or for someone with a social conscience (my teenager's friends love these gifts), or to introduce children to an easy, fun way to donate to those less fortunate... and for less then the cost of a take-away pizza!

 

You can choose "gifts" such as a chicken (AU$10) or a piglet (AU$40) for an impoverished community, a duck ($30) for a Balinese family or school supplies (books, pencils, crayons) for a child in India. You'll get a special "gift" card, and it's all tax-deductable!

 

1.      World Vision Australia - Smiles Gift Catalogue also has "gifts" that you can buy for those in need, ranging from school pencils ($5), chickens & eggs or fast-growing seeds ($10) up... with a gift card and Tax Deduction thrown in...fantastic value any time of the year, not just at Christmas! You can choose your gifts by price range, category or packages, and there is a heartening list of "smiles results" on their website, listing how many of each item has been donated.

 

    (**The "gifts" you buy for Oxfam and World Vision are not necessarily delivered as the specific items, but rather your donation is used for related worthwhile projects...see their websites for more info).

 

       FREE CLIPART        

Here are some sites I use for free clipart-  for illustrating books etc for my students, and for this website:

Webweaver.nu - Free Website Tools & Clipart  free, no pop-ups or sign-ins - lots of cute little pictures,  many animated (e.g.running dog and kids on bench, above).



www.freeclipartnow.com/ -lots of varied public domain clipart images- no search function for the site, but good categories and no sign-ups.


www.allfreeclipart.com - June 2013 - simple site now clear of ads, with user-submitted mostly stylised clipart; free for non-commercial use.


wpclipart.com/ thousands of varied public domain clipart images in PNG/JPEG format, with large sizes available.  They are organised in categories and there is a search function, too. Unobtrusive ads  
      

Cathys Clip Art Collection - free clip art images of animals etc, from my Free-Fun-n- Games site. This is a growing collection of small images made from photos, free for non-commercial use. Larger sizes are available in a linked Photobucket album.

                                                        

 

2017 update - some sites are no longer available, so have been removed from the list.

Jan Brett

Link to www.janbrett.com     This is a gem of a website, with lots of appealing activities, plus artwork, games and even a book to download and print. The illustrations, by talented artist and children's book illustrator Jan Brett, are just delightful... and all free!

  

*like the fancy header images on this page? You can easily create your own heading/logo for free at  Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator   Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator . They also have a great range of free fonts!  (Note Oct 2010- I have found my images disappeared, so am storing them on my site, not on theirs)

                       FREE MINI BOOKS TO

   DOWNLOAD AND PRINT

Jan 2010 - I have found some excellent sites to download free little printable books for children. These encourage the joy of reading, and many can be read independently or with a little help, so build reading skills. With just a printer and paper, you can build a whole library of readers for your child. See my Free Mini Books to Print page for more information and links to the websites... plus some simple Tiny Books I've made that you can just print and fold.

 Dec. 2009 - Jan 2010 -   New additions to this site:

Printable Activity Sheets to download-

Earlier this year (2009), I put some Easter activities on this site

I have made some fun Christmas and Holiday activity sheets for my reading students to encourage reading fun practice, so I've put them on a new page, Holiday Fun.  

You can download and print these.  Have fun! (There are more in Premium access too)  

 

 Dec. 2009 -Jan. 2010 - I have added extra sets of printable Memory Game cards  (some in Premium option) to my  page  of

 

 

 

January 2010-

  is a page for my latest ePuzzle jigsaw additions and some more difficult jigsaws for the Big Kids! So far, there are some Europe travel pics and Aussie Animals, from 50 to 90+ pieces. Harder ones still to come!

                                 WINTER FUN

             - make your own virtual snowflakes! 

This is lots of fun- not so much a reading activity, but good for maths- or just for fun!

There are 2 sites I have tried -

1. Make-a-Flake: snowflakes.barkleyus.com/ - Note: needs Flash 6

  - at this site, you use virtual scissors to cut bits out of folded "paper"- quite tricky at first, but you can save your flake, email it or even download a file (the little flakes on this page are a much smaller version from the jpeg files)

 2. The Snowflake Factory - needs Adobe Flash Player -  -choose how many segments or "wedges" you want, then "punch" holes using a variety of shapes; open it out, select your colour- then decide  how to dispose of your snowflake: spin, rotate, snowfall, blizzard, melt, or even explode! Easy to use, and fun.     

  NEW  June-July 2010 -     Songs to play on Guitar:  

            www.cathyschords.com 

I have been playing guitar for many years, both as a pre-school teacher and with other adults.

I have set up a new website with:

- basic folk /acoustic guitar information

- how - to- play tips

- learn - to- play songs in sequence

- well-known songs with full words and chords, plus chord diagrams

- a key transposer to print and assemble

- children’s songs to play on guitar – words, chords, diagrams

- no ads

      

August 2010 -  www.free-fun-n-games.com  

         - "free family-friendly activities and information" *                     I have set up a new site for miscellaneous "fun" stuff, including: 

 Sea Monkeys journal -with photos, links for information and a  Journal on hatching and growing these fascinating creatures.

eCards and Clipart - all free for private/educational, strictly non-commercial use 

 - Learning Letters -to help children with pre-reading, by learning the alphabet sounds 

- Learning Sight Words - to help with teaching children to recognise common words in reading

- games to play with children to help them learn letter sounds and sight words. These are in the form of printable game boards etc and ideas for games.

 

 

 

 

 - Reading Games to Print  and Play

- games to play with children to help them learn letter sounds and sight words. These are in the form of printable game boards etc and ideas for games.

*

There is a number of free printable games, and I try to add a new free printable board game for each month - (now in the ReadingShouldBeFun blog), but you can also access a range of extra printable games by donating $5 towards my costs in running the site and keeping it ad-free. You can check out these extra games at the 

Premium Access Page.

  NEW August  2010 -                   New Website....

              www.poems-for-children.webs.com/

 - alphabet rhymes/ "personal poems" for children 

Dozens of fun rhymes for hundreds of kids' names...

 

find a poem for your child 

or use them as a focus for teaching alphabet sounds.

*there may be ads on this site, as I don't pay for this one.

Sept  - October 2010 -  My latest free, printable                                                  Reading Board Games

 

Visit  www.free-fun-n-games.com*  for my latest games, Horse Happy and Sea Monkeys Reading game- as well as spinners to use:

                      

Also- an extra free printable game most months - now in the ReadingShouldBeFun blog!

 

 Nov 2010:  NEW Web Page    eCARDS


I have made some "eCards" from photos of animals and nature- some humorous, some serious. You can add the eCards to an email, either as an attachment or, if you can, in the body of the email.
 
To access the ecards, go to www.free-fun-n-games.webs.com/ecards.htm  
 
There are ecards for birthdays, friendship and love, "missing you" and a few miscellaneous themes. Here are some Birthday Greetings cards:
 
 
 

 Feb-March 2011:  NEW board games etc 

 

   I have made some printable sheets of cards and a game for short vowel sounds (in the middle of words) and some new board games to print and play with "sight word" cards. They are at Reading Games to Print and Play. Here are some examples.

 Jan. 2012 update - As these sites have become more popular, some have been threatened with de-activation due to excessive downloads. This has meant increased costs for me to maintain the sites with free resources, so I am now only offering some of the games for free access.

I have set up a Premium Access page with all the current games, for those who would like to donate $5 or more to help with the site upkeep. Please see the Premium Access to Games page for more details.

 

Jan.- Feb. 2011:  NEW web page: Clipart Collection - free nature clipart images

            

I have been making some of my nature photographs into "clipart-style" images, and I am placing these on my Free-Fun-n-Games website (for non-commercial, personal/educational use).

They are at Cathy's Clipart Collection 

 March 2011:  recommended site: Kizclub.com

I've just come across this excellent site, Kizclub.com,  which has wonderful resources for parents and teachers of preschool to primary school children.

The resources are all free for not-for-profit use, and are beautifully presented with quality colour and/or line drawings.

There are printable games, books and activity sheets to help with various aspects of reading, plus lovely original clipart pictures and some gorgeous pictures ("story patterns") to print and use with re-telling of favourite stories.

There is a range of simple little books to read online or to print, in 3 levels, plus craft activities, alphabet flashcards, topics activities and more. This site is well worth a visit!

                      2012 - Now on Facebook

I've set up a Facebook page to add updates, announcements etc about my sites with 'educational' content: this site,   free-fun-n-games.com   and   poems-for-children.webs.com.

Please feel free to visit and Like or comment on the page!

Free-Fun-and-Games on Facebook 

 

Something to think about....

All these famous, talented and successful people (and many, many more) are thought to have had dyslexia or a related 'problem' condition....

  If you would like a PDF copy of this poster to print, you can download it HERE.      Note: this is only for personal/educational use.

                             Now on Pinterest

Check out  the Puzzledd Pinterest boards for lots of fun and educational ideas:   pinterest.com/puzzledd/ 

Note that I am now adding "new" finds to my Pinterest boards rather than on this page ;)

 

Educational Online Games

Thanks to Laura from the Northwest Home School Group for writing to me about an interesting list of online learning games: gopromocodes.com/online-learning-games

The list has links to various sites with some good games that children can play online- the topics include maths/finance, science, health and safety.

There are brief descriptions of the content and suitable age groups (kids/teens/young adults).   I've already checked out some of the Science games for my Science and nature Pinterest board;)

Card Games for kids (and adults)

Many thanks to Lindsay and her mum Julie for this suggestion for fun games for kids (and for their parents too) -no TV or computer required- perfect for long trips or just for family days at home:

CARD GAMES FOR CAR ROAD TRIPS

The page has links to lots of sites with card games, including old classics and a PDF page to download with 4 Kids’ Favorite Card Games.

     2017  Year Planner  to print

 Here is a 2017 Year Planner:


It's easy to print on A4 as a 'diary' planner or to fold into your pocket or handbag. You can also print it in A3 size to use as a wall planner.

You can print it as A4, or enlarge to A3 for a wall planner. 

          

Click on the picture to open the .pdf in another window for you to print or save. 

MAY UPDATE: Oops!! Just realised the link I'd added was for an old planner- many apologies!! Now updated to correct planner (and checked!)

This planner is free for your personal/educational use but may not be used for commercial purposes or distributed without my written consent.

Guitar, Ukulele and Banjo songs on CathysChords.com

CathysChords.com now has dozens of song sheets with guitar chords and ukulele chords, and some with banjo chords. They are all levelled to help learners, and all have chord diagrams.

You can find a complete list of "ALL THE SONGS" done up to date (as at Feb. 2016), and there are other pages with levelled and alphabetical lists for each instrument, as well as kids' songs, songs for 'oldies' and tips for playing, singing, changing key, etc.  

You can also keep up to date with all the latest developments and additions on the BLOG or on the CathysChords Facebook page.

"Reading Should Be Fun" blog - lots of freebies!

"Reading Should Be Fun" (blogspot.com.au) is the blog I began a while ago.

I haven't been posting so much this past year, but I am trying to at least post a free printable (usually a reading game) each month, so subscribe if you like for updates. 

 

MARCH 2017   - page updated

Many of my files had to be moved in the past couple of months due to Dropbox closing 'Public' folders, so I have had to re-do the links on an my sites. I am hoping they will now all work, but if you find any that don't, please let me know via the Facebook or Guestbook pages if you don't mind.

I've also checked all the links to external sites on this page and have deleted several that no longer work. 

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