Fly Guy and Buzz made puzzles out of drawings in Fly Guy and the FrankenFly and my 5 year-old, Kai, was fascinated. He didn’t know he could make his own puzzles and immediately wanted to try. This seemed like the perfect hot summer day project and we started collecting recycled boxes and magazines. In just a few minutes, we had our own recycled DIY puzzles for kids using supplies from around the house!
We made a few different puzzles using a drawing we created and pages from Kai’s Ranger Rick Jr. magazine. The quickest puzzle is made from simply cutting paper, but it isn’t very sturdy or durable. To create a more sturdy puzzle, we found recycled cereal boxes and glued on our picture. The back of cereal boxes often have an extra bonus, too – a puzzle made out of the picture!
The cereal box puzzle proved good enough for Kai, but I wondered if it could be improved. We had Modge Podge left over from Ella’s solar system science project, so I applied it to the top of a puzzle before cutting. The Modge Podge dried quickly in the heat and I liked the glossy, improved finish. This step is totally optional and definitely not for projects with kids who want to instantly play with their creations.
Recycled DIY Puzzles for Kids
Drawing, Magazine Page, or Coloring Page (You could print out a puzzle template and draw on it if you prefer)
Recycled Cardboard (cereal boxes work great)
Ruler or Jigsaw Template for older kids
Modge Podge (Optional)Instructions
- Prepare your puzzle design by creating a drawing or pulling a page from a magazine or coloring book.
- Cut out your cardboard.
- Glue your puzzle design to your cardboard.
- Cut off any excess cardboard.
- Take a photo of your design, so you can reference it when putting the puzzle together.
- Draw your puzzle design. This can be as complicated or simple as you like. We drew ours free-hand, but you could use a ruler or print a template on your puzzle picture.
- Optional Step: Add Modge Podge to seal your design and wait for it to dry.
- Cut out your puzzle design.
- Mix up your puzzle pieces, then put them back together.
I love this Recycled DIY Puzzles for Kids project because it is no to low cost, uses recycled materials, and can be adapted for multiple ages. Toddlers on up can help select a picture or color one of their own. Older kids can practice gluing and cutting skills as well. Once you are done, everyone can have fun puzzling together!
I’m so excited to share this reader submission from Melissa S. and her daughters out of Washington state! They printed the template onto magazine pages and look how elegant their puzzles are. This is what you can accomplish with older kids who have stronger cutting skills and patience with the printer.
These ladies also shared another excellent idea – write a letter on the solid back of your puzzle! They wrote letters to cousins who live far away and now they can piece together the letter before reading it. Thanks so much for sharing!
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