What artistic ability I do have, I put to good use making Chelsea this Cardboard Animal Puzzle!
I found some free printables on Pinterest and happened to have an empty diapers box on hand (who doesn’t?) It wasn’t difficult, and getting creative with colors and patterns was a lot of fun! Why don’t you give it a go?
You will need:
X acto knife
Printable **You may need to resize the printables depending on how large you want the animals to be**
Hot glue gun
1. Cut apart a cardboard box so that you have two pieces that are the same size. I used the sides of a diaper box.
2. Print off the animal printables from this website (I resized the animals because they were too big) and tape them to the brown side of one piece of cardboard in the placement you want. Make sure you leave a bit of room (between .5-1”) between the pieces.
3. Use your x acto knife to very carefully cut out each animal shape (so you don’t hurt yourself, and because you’ll be using the pieces you cut out, AND the puzzle board that you cut the pieces out of). Find someplace to lie the cardboard on where it won’t hurt the surface underneath as you use the x acto knife to cut.
4. Test your animal puzzle pieces. If it’s too difficult to fit them back into their spots (which it probably will be), cut a little more of the outline out of the puzzle board to allow more room for the pieces to fit. You may want to cut the space in-between some of the animals legs to make it easier for little, sometimes uncoordinated, fingers.
5. *this is the fun part* PAINT! Tempera paint is great for painting on cardboard. Get creative with painting your animals, and use corresponding colors to paint the base board (the one that is the same size as the puzzle board that you cut the animals out of) in the spots where the pieces will fit. Also paint the puzzle board to an attractive color (I chose white).
And don’t forget to cut out small circular pieces of cardboard to paint, then glue to the front of your animals (so the kiddos can grab the puzzle piece more easily).
6. Use a hot glue gun to quickly (and carefully) glue the puzzle board to the base board.
“All you do is put it together. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Let me know how it goes for you!