The next time you’re near a craft store drop in and see the huge selection of fabulous supplies they have. One thing you’ll notice while you’re there is the huge amount of wooden shapes they have. Look for small wooden blocks which can easily be turned into fun 3-D puzzles for your kids. The blocks are found in assorted sizes and generally come in a pack of several.
The blocks are sold in an all-natural condition but you can paint them if you want. When the paint is dry you’ll make the puzzle. Arrange the blocks of wood in a square or rectangular pattern. The blocks should all be butted tightly against each other.
Cut a picture from a calendar, magazine or another source. The image can even be cloth. The fabric or paper should be cut to the size of the wooden rectangle or square. This image will become the actual puzzle after you glue it to the blocks. Use a craft knife to cut the cloth or paper, between each block. When you’re finished you should have several blocks that each contain a portion of the image. Trim around the outer blocks if needed. The puzzle is now finished or you can further embellish it.
Use rubber stamping, stickers, or even markers to create designs for the blocks. Pay attention to which block is placed where so you won’t embellish sides that won’t show. Only the blocks around the perimeter should be embellished. This can even help really young kids get the individual blocks in order.
Use Scrabble tiles to make something similar. Arrange the tiles on a piece of cardboard so that they spell out a phrase. Use blank tiles, or upside-down tiles, to make spaces between words. After you’ve glued on all the tiles you’ll use a razor to slice the cardboard. It’s easiest to do this from the backside of the cardboard. Children who are learning to read will have hours of fun with this puzzle.
Make a really cheap version of the kids’ puzzles by starting with a thick piece of cardboard. Or, stack and glue cardboard until it’s very thick. Now you can glue on a picture from a product box or even a family photo. Cut the cardboard into individual blocks.
You don’t necessarily have to use pictures, tiles or cloth images to create the puzzles. Draw a picture, freehand, on the set of blocks. Or, use stickers to spell out a phrase or saying. There are numerous ways to make the fun puzzles.
One of the greatest things about these puzzles is, when they’re not in use, they can stand on a mantle, window sill or a shelf. They make unique conversation pieces and are always ready to use. They don’t necessarily have to be for children, either. The puzzles, when put together and placed on a shelf, make unique decor pieces like none you’ve ever seen.
The puzzles can have any number of themes, like cartoon characters, seascapes, holiday scenes, or even famous people. There are no limits to the different puzzles you can create in minutes. The puzzles can be placed in a box and given as a gift to any child. They’re great to use as party favors, too. Give them out to children who attend your child’s birthday and you’ll see many happy children.
Use really large blocks to make a poster into a puzzle. These puzzles can be put together on the floor. When not in use they can simply be stacked against a wall. Save same-size, small cardboard boxes and make lighter weight puzzles that are just as much fun.
Get kids in on the project by letting them align the wooden blocks and glue on the picture. Parents can then cut the blocks apart and turn them over to the children. They, and their friends, will have lots of fun putting the puzzles together again and again.