In our house, we love puzzles... well, toddler puzzles, that is! Inspired by Pinterest and Sara at Mom Endeavors, and my new-found love of Mod Podge, I decided we would make our own popsicle stick puzzles. The concept is simple enough, and honestly the trickiest part is cutting the pieces apart at the end - but we'll get to that. Here's how we did it:
Popsicle Stick Puzzles
Printed image or photo
We found our images online... my son's new favorite shows are Doc McStuffins and Octonauts, so I simply 'Googled' those titles under images. I printed them on cardstock paper, then cut them out. We also used a few photos for puzzles. I thought Olivia would enjoy those ones especially.
Lay out the popsicle sticks to see how many you'll need for each image. Bonus - this is a good counting exercise for your little one! Tape the sticks together, then flip it over so the taped side is down, and then cover the sticks with a layer of Mod Podge. I found that a wide paint brush worked better than the foam brush, though it was harder to clean.
Carefully lay the image on top of the sticks. We used a Mod Podge brayer to get get rid of any air bubbles - I think this was Ethan's favorite part! Then let this dry about 30 minutes.
Add a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the image, and let dry. (You could repeat this step one more time, but I found one layer was ok).
Once the Mod Podge has completely dried, flip the sticks over and remove the scotch tape. Use your craft knife to carefully cut the pieces apart. I recommend using a cutting board or craft mat so you don't cut your work surface (ahem, some lessons are learned the hard way... even for Mumma!)
The puzzles can be stored perfectly in snack-size baggies, and are a perfect take-along to restaurants or other travels since they're so lightweight.
I'm also linking up with a bunch of great fellow bloggers today, come along for the party!