How To Quickly And Easily Make Puzzles For Preschoolers
Making your own homemade puzzles for preschoolers is such a super-simple, quick and easy activity to set up for your kids. And it’s just perfect for rainy days.
Okay so I’ve headlined this activity as how to make a puzzle for preschoolers, but it’s one that you can do with kids of all ages. You simply need to adjust the difficulty level and it becomes a perfect activity for kids from toddlers to tweens.
And the best thing is that you’ll already have everything you need at home to make your homemade puzzle.
You won’t have to spend a penny for this kids activity!
Related: try making petal art with your kids too.
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We’re big fans of puzzles. Barely a day goes by in our house without someone getting a puzzle out to do.
(Read this to see what GinGin thought about her 3D LOL puzzle).
For older kids and adults there are long-term health benefits to doing puzzles linked to mental health and mindfulness. Puzzling is an informal mindful practice that can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which you can read more about here.
But there are great benefits for younger kids, toddlers and preschoolers do to puzzles too.
Puzzling promotes concentration. And it can be a really fun activity to do with your child, talking about shapes, colours and patterns. While also making connections with the wider world.
Or doing a puzzle can be a great way to entertain your little one and encourage independent play too.
What You’ll Need
This has to be one of the easiest activities to set up and you’ve probably got everything you need at home already.
All you’re going to need to make your homemade puzzle for preschoolers is:
- a pair of scissors – you might want to use child-friendly scissors
- an old breakfast cereal box – or any colourful cardboard packaging you have waiting to be recycled
- a pen or marker
- a ruler – or just something with a straight edge (I really like this folding one)
How To Make A Puzzle For Preschoolers
It couldn’t be easier to make your own homemade puzzle for preschoolers. Here’s how I did it:
- cut the front off an empty cereal box that was waiting to be recycled
- using the marker pen and ruler I marked out different shapes of varying sizes covering the entire piece of cardboard
- final step was to cut out the shapes along the lines I’d just drawn
Get Older Siblings Involved
Now there’s nothing more I absolutely love than getting my kids involved in preparing this kind of activity.
And I couldn’t miss this opportunity for GinGin to practise using scissors. So I asked her if she’d like to cut out the shapes. BONUS!
You’ll probably notice that GinGin’s using a smaller pair of scissors that are suitable for her age – she’s still only seven – but still they’re sharp enough to get the job done.
It goes without saying that if you’re going to get your kids to help with this too, then they should be supervised at all times.
Now we have our pieces ready for our homemade puzzle for preschoolers.
Puzzle For Preschoolers (and other kids to!)
Once GinGin had finished cutting out all the pieces, our homemade puzzle was ready.
Roo – who’s only just three – couldn’t wait to try it out.
I sat with her while she arranged all the pieces so they were picture side up and started trying to figure out where they all went.
She started off well. But, to be honest, she needed help with the middle section. In hindsight I think I made the shapes a little too complicated for a three year old.
But we worked through it together. We talked about shapes. And we discussed how the parts of the picture might fit together.
And she was super-proud to finish off the puzzle by putting in the last few pieces by herself!
GinGin – who’s seven – also wanted to have a go. She thought it would be easy because she’d been the one to cut out the puzzle pieces. But it was still a challenge for her too.
And it gave her and Roo to chat to one another about which parts of the puzzle they found easy and difficult.
It would be so straight forward to simplify this for toddlers – perhaps cutting fewer, bigger and more easily recognisable shapes.
And you could make it harder for older kids too. Make the pieces much smaller, with more complicated shapes.
GinGin challenged herself to doing the puzzle with the blank side up. She hasn’t managed it yet, but I know she’ll keep trying!
Related: have you tried playing pom pom pick up yet?
What Skills Is My Child Developing?
Children of all ages, from toddlers right through to tweens, will benefit from this activity. It’ll help them learn, develop and practise some key childhood development skills, including:
- Fine motor skills – being able to pick up the puzzle pieces and position them into place. Also using scissors if you get your child to help make the puzzle
- Shape recognition – learning to recognise shapes is a really important part of childhood development. Puzzles help this because the pieces need to be recognised and organised before the puzzle can be completed
- Problem solving – puzzles help children develop this vital skill, using their own minds to figure out how to solve a problem a think in a logical way
- Hand-eye coordination – puzzles encourage a child’s brain, eyes, hands and fingers to work together
- Confidence and independence – puzzles are great for independent play. Plus your child will feel proud of themselves when they successfully complete the puzzle either on their own or with your help.
Come and join us in my new Facebook group Toddlers to Tweens: Fun Learning and Play Ideas where we share activities, crafts and play ideas that can be done at home, with stuff you already have!
Read these posts next or bookmark them for later:
- 7 Reasons We Love to Play Yahtzee!
- 21 Non-Toxic Toys Your Toddler Will Love
- Positively Puzzling With Ravensburger LOL 3D Puzzle
- My Epic Parenting Fail And How I Overcame It
- How To Make A Sunflower Bird Feeder
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