DIY wood puzzle
Family, Toddler Stage

Puzzle at Home: A Montessori DIY

Wood puzzles are expensive! We use a couple of animal, number, and alphabet wood puzzles already. However, I found other great wood puzzles I wanted our girls to have.

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The only problem, with shipping, these puzzles would cost us around 100 dollars!

Clearly there has to be a better way. I went on Pinterest, and searched diy wood puzzles. Of course, most of the results were people making beautiful wood puzzles with expensive equipment at home. But good news! I also found a way any family can make their own “like-wood” puzzle at home. The answer is thick cardboard!

Step One: Acquire your cardboard

The first thing we needed to make our puzzle is a flat piece of cardboard. I found that our diaper boxes are a perfect size! Using a mix of scissors and an Exacto knife, I cut out two rectangles from the long end of the box.

Step Two: Design the Puzzle

After I had cardboard boards that were the right size for the puzzle I wanted to make, I set it down to trace my plan onto it. In this instance I put together a phases of the moon puzzle. For the circles I traced the bottom of a small glass. Stencils and other guide tools may be helpful here.

This is also the step where I added some colour to the puzzle.

Step Three: Cut Out the Pieces

Next, I used the Exacto knife to make the pieces of my moon puzzle. Of course, the fact my puzzle was made entirely of circles made this step harder. (Also, I need a new Exacto knife, or to sharpen it).

Puzzle DIYAlso, make sure to do the slicing on a surface that it is okay to scratch. I put a wooden board down to protect our desk. Except when I was not cutting with the board, our toddler came and shifted it about on the table, and we ended up with scratches anyway! Thankfully it was not a new desk. But hopefully you can find a way to be more careful than me.

Step Four: Enjoy the Puzzle

It may not be Pinterest perfect, but we now have a puzzle. My three year old is delighted to have a phases of the moon puzzle. She really loves the moon! I am also introducing phases of the moon three part cards with her, so she can start to learn the names of the different moon phases. And now this puzzle is a part of our Montessori work supplies! Whether you make a shape puzzle, a map puzzle, or any other board puzzle, I hope it goes well for you. This puzzle hack is certainly going to save us a lot of money in the coming years, or at least allow us to enjoy puzzles we never would have been able to afford otherwise!

The Byzantine Life

If you enjoyed this week’s article, you might also be interested in reading about Toddler Homeschooling, or about teaching your Toddler the Faith.

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