There are so many digital number displays blinking and glowing in our environment, once children start learning the numbers, they will find these digital numbers around them, looking a bit different from the printed ones, intriguing. We also like the utilitarian look of the digital segment fonts, so this will make both a fun number activity for kids and a cool display for kids wall art!
You can play the puzzle with just one board, or make multiple boards like we did. We made 4 boards so we can display the month and date for a digital calendar activity. You can ask kids to display the dates everyday with these boards.
Create your own rules for the puzzle and enjoy!
The simplest way is to present one number card at a time for kids to copy with the cardboard segments.
There’s also a page of blank number cards, so you can also turn it into an abstract pattern and shape matching puzzle. Players can fill in the segments with a pen to create any pattern for each other, to be copied with the cardboard pieces. You can play a team game to see who completes the shapes fastest. So much fun to be had! We’re thinking of making a digital alphabet letter version next.
How to make this
digital number puzzle
You will need
all the flat and clean cardboard sheets you can get from empty boxes, a good sharp craft (x-acto) knife, glue, white & colored papers or paints
Print the large digital number template and cut out the diamond shapes. Trace the large number on to a cardboard sheet and cut it out.
Place another cardboard sheet on the back to create the puzzle board. You can paint the surface with white or cover with white paper if you like.
Cut many individual segments out of more cardboard. Don’t use the cut out shape from step 1, they will be too tight for the holes. Cut new pieces using the template that will not be bigger than the cut out holes.
Stack 2 or 3 segments together and glue. We glued 3 cardboard layers to make each segment, so they are quite chunky and easier for kids to grab. You’ll need 7 final pieces for one complete number.
Paint a bright color on one side of the segment. Alternatively, glue colored paper to the surface. Now paint white on the other side if you like, or leave them brown as they are.
You’ll have 7 pieces of cardboard per board, colorful on one side and white or plain brown on the other side.
This digital number puzzle comes with one large number template for the board, and a complete 0 to 9 digital number cards set to use alongside. Kids will need to insert all the pieces with the right side up in the right hole to match the number on the card. Even if they don’t know the numbers yet or find it difficult to recognize the digital numbers, it’s a fun visual and motor skill activity for any preschoolers.