Jigsaw puzzles spell hours of fun for both children and adults. It is a great way to occupy as well as challenge your mind. Putting together a jigsaw puzzle helps children learn how to develop their fine-motor skills as well as match colors, shapes and designs. It gives them a boost of confidence each time they are able to connect two pieces. Once they finish a whole puzzle, they have a palpable sense of accomplishment.
You can buy different types of jigsaw puzzles in stores and online. There are jigsaw puzzle websites and downloadable jigsaw puzzle games. But to make it more interesting for your child, make your own jigsaw puzzle!
Here are two ways of making your own children's jigsaw puzzles.
If you have extra cardboard pieces, you can make your own children's jigsaw puzzle easily. You will need stiff cardboard, drawing materials, pictures or art work, glue, pencil, scissors and a container.
- Draw a picture, choose an existing photograph or use your child's artwork as the image for the completed puzzle. You can also take a page from a magazine. The options are endless. Make sure to photocopy the image so your child can use this as a guide.
- Get a stiff or heavy cardboard to be used as backing for the puzzle.
- Glue the image onto the cardboard using white glue or craft glue. Do not use too much glue so that the image does not bubble or wrinkle. A better option is to use a glue spray that is specifically used for mounting pictures. Allow the mounted image to dry.
- Flip the picture so that the cardboard is facing you.
- Use a pencil to draw different interlocking shapes. Shapes are supposed to be irregular; avoid very thin or sharp shapes. Try not to make the pieces too complicated because you will have a hard time cutting them and the child might have difficulty putting them together. You can make squares or rectangle shapes instead if the child who will put together the puzzle is fairly young.
- Cut the interlocking shapes with your scissors. Carefully follow the lines you drew with your pencil. You can also use a sharp utility knife. If your child is helping you, make sure to keep this away from him.
- Keep the interlocking pieces in a container. A re-sealable bag will do fine as would plain boxes, cans or plastic containers. Place the extra copy of the image together with the jigsaw puzzle for reference. You can glue or tape it to the container.
Using blank puzzle forms
You can now buy blank jigsaw puzzle forms from different suppliers, like CompozaPuzzle.com and Make-Jigsaw-Puzzles.com. This is the easiest way to make a jigsaw puzzle on your own. Blank jigsaw puzzles come in different shapes and sizes. They are usually made of white cardboard material. You can choose the number of pieces per puzzle, puzzle size as well as configurations. These have been die cut for convenience. You can draw directly on the puzzle using crayons, pencils, paint, rubber stamps, airbrush, stencils and many more. These come in various thickness and some are even printer friendly. Print a photo or graphic directly on the printable blank puzzle form!
Encourage your child to play with jigsaw puzzles. It stimulates his mind and builds his confidence along the way. Making your own children's jigsaw puzzle is a great craft project to do with your child. It makes the puzzle more interesting because the image that you use is something that can be close to your child's heart.