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How to Make a Homemade Puzzle for Kids

Putting together puzzles can yield hours of fun for kids. After being assembled a few times though, purchased jigsaw puzzles will start to lose their appeal. Making homemade puzzles at home can be just as fun as assembling purchased ones, and once kids get started at it, they will want to make dozens of them.

Craft stores sell puzzle making templates on scrapbooking and greeting card supply aisles that allow you to cut a mounted image to create your own homemade puzzle, but these tools are usually small and very limited. Likewise, you can also purchase a blank puzzle that can be decorated with the image you choose, but they are limited in size and pieces as well.

Making your own homemade jigsaw puzzle doesn’t actually require any special tools or equipment. All you really need is a piece of non-corrugated cardboard (the thickness from note pads and cereal boxes both work well), scissors, glue, a pencil, and an image. Your puzzle image can come from a drawing, coloring book page or you can recycle a magazine page that has an attractive image on it.

To make the homemade puzzle the steps are very simple: apply glue to the cardboard (school glue is fine) and then carefully position the magazine page (or other image) on top of it. Smooth out the image to be sure there are no bubbles or puckers and set it aside to dry.

Once the glue has dried, turn the image over and draw jigsaw puzzle shapes on the back. Carefully cut the puzzle shapes with the scissors and you’re done. You may want to make a copy of the puzzle image before you begin to be able to identify the puzzle later. To keep up with the puzzle pieces, place them in a plastic zip bag, tin, or food storage container, and affix a small copy of the puzzle image on the outside with tape or glue.

For kids of reading age, you make even simpler puzzles by writing them notes on stationery or card stock. Cut the message up into pieces and place it in an envelope. Make the task even more fun for kids by writing clues on the puzzle about where to find a special treat.

Interlocking jigsaw puzzles provide a challenge for kids and adults in that the pieces have to be assembled, but those pieces are all one of a kind and fit only one way. To provide kids with more of a challenge, cut pieces all the same shape such as a triangle, square or rectangle.

Puzzles are a great way to pass the time and are great training for future problem solving. Putting them together is a lot of fun, but it can be just as enjoyable to make them yourself. 

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