CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: ‘Pizza puzzle’ makes doing chores a real slice

By Donna Erickson

Try using a pizza puzzle to encourage children complete chores. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

Sometimes little ones get overwhelmed when confronted with a big job — like picking up a messy room. It may seem easy enough to adults, but to them, well, where do they begin? It’s easier when the tasks are broken up into chunks, and that’s what this activity is all about. Get a job done, but in slices, using this simple pizza puzzle game.

Here’s the crafting fun:

  1. Take a large plate, preferably 15 inches in diameter, turn it upside down on a piece of poster board or a craft foam sheet, and trace around it. Cut out the circle. Divide the circle into three pieces like pizza slices, and cut them out.
  2. Get your child thinking about pizza toppings and then begin to cut out the basic food shapes together from construction paper or craft foam. You might decide on red pepperoni circles, green pepper squiggles and tan mushroom slices. Glue them onto the slices.
  3. Cut out the numbers 1, 2 and 3 from construction paper or craft foam, and glue one on each slice. While you are doing this, decide what part of the chore each number will represent. For example, when cleaning a bedroom, the tasks might be put (1) shoes in the closet, (2) clothes in the hamper and (3) books in the basket.
  4. Glue a small magnet to the back of each slice. Let dry.

Here’s how the game works:

Watch your child speed into his room to get started! “Mom, my shoes are in the closet!” he might say as he completes the task. He’ll run into the kitchen to place slice No. 1 on a magnetic bulletin board or refrigerator door. He’ll run back to his room. “Mom, my clothes are in the hamper!” Up goes slice No. 2. “Mom! I put all my books in the basket!” Before you know it, all three pieces of his chore will be done, and an entire yummy pizza will be decorating your kitchen.

Of course, by the time he’s finished, he might decide he’s hungry for a slice of pizza. I’d hand him the real thing, though.

Extra tip: As your child grows, make an incentive with a few more pieces using a variety of themes. For example, use white poster board and make five snowballs for a snowman, or brown poster board for a chocolate cake. Surprise him with a special reward occasionally when there’s a significant chore to be tackled.


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© 2021 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Syndicate