Homemade Puzzles

Mar 21, 2007Updated 5 months ago

Putting together a puzzle can be such a fun family activity. You’re working on a task together, but it’s easy enough to carry on a conversation. It’s good for fine motor skills, spatial relations, and problem solving skills. And don’t forget loads of fun!

If you’ve solved every one in your house and are looking for something new, why not make your own? Homemade puzzles can be custom made to fit your child’s age and ability. Your child can even help with the designs or make one himself. You can use pictures of things your child loves, making the solution all the more rewarding!

Here are three, simple ideas that don’t cost much and don’t require a lot of equipment.

Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

You will need:

  • Photographs, the larger the better
  • Poster board or fun foam sheets
  • Glue
  • Scissors or an Exacto knife
Brush glue evenly to the back of the photograph and place it on the poster board or foam sheet. Cover it with waxed paper and place a few heavy books on top and allow it to dry overnight.

The next morning, your picture will have dried without ripples or curled edges. Trim the excess backing from the photograph. On the back, draw lines in whatever shape you want your puzzle pieces to be. Cut along the lines to form puzzle pieces. Now solve the puzzle! If you want your photo puzzle to last longer, apply a layer of Mod Podge over mounted photograph and allow it to dry before cutting.

Preschooler Animal Puzzles

Mount a large picture of an animal onto a piece of poster board. Cut out the animal shape. Now cut the animal shape into parts – tail, head, feet, etc. Have your preschooler put the pieces together to form the animal.

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

Place popsicle sticks together side-by-side to form a square or rectangle. Hold them tightly together by taping the back with masking tape to form a pallet. Draw a picture on the front of the pallet with permanent marker.

Remove the tape and mix up the popsicle sticks. Have your child put the sticks back in order to form the picture.

Find the Hidden Word Puzzle

No puzzle pieces in this one, but your child will love trying to find his name.

With marker or pen on a white paper, draw big, fat, hollow letters that spell your child’s name. Remember the puffy letters in the mod posters of the ‘60s? That’s it! Draw a frame around it, leaving some space on all sides inside the frame.

Now draw curved lines inside and outside the letters making small sections right up to the edge of the frame. Soon, you won’t be able to recognize your original letters. Put tiny numbers – 2, 4, 6, or 8 – inside the sections that make up your original letters. Put tiny numbers – 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 – inside the other sections. Tell your child to color in the odd numbered sections (using one color) and he’ll reveal the hidden word.

For more family fun, see:

  • Rainy Day Activities for Kids
  • Make a Game of Your Child's Life
  • Crayon Crafts for Kids