Make a Puzzle With Cards


If you’re like me, you just can’t get rid of all the cards that come in for Birthdays, Christmases, Valentine’s Day, what have you. So, dont. Instead cut them up and make a puzzle with cards!

DIY Puzzle KAB Main

Puzzles are super easy to make. Do you still have any valentines or old Christmas cards left at your house? We have a bunch leftover from our holiday season.

When we first started making card puzzles, I cut puzzle pieces out of the cards and made them look exactly like jigsaw puzzle pieces. I thought they looked really cool… and then I thought, “Wait, my little guy can cut…” so I pretty much scrapped my pieces and had him start cutting his own. So much cuter and more fun!

Materials Needed to Make a Puzzle With Cards:

  • scissors
  • valentines or other holiday cards
  • marker (optional)

How to Make a Puzzle With Cards:

  1. Have your child draw lines on the back of the card to make puzzle pieces (I skipped this step, see why below)
  2. Have your child start cutting along the lines.
  3. Count the number of pieces cut while you are working together.
  4. Put the puzzle back together.

I encouraged my son to cut his cards into four or five pieces, since that was pretty manageable for him. Sometimes he listened, and sometimes he didn’t. I should have had my son draw some lines first, then try to cut along the lines… but he got caught up in the excitement of cutting, so I just let him enjoy himself.

homemade puzzles


One of the reasons I love doing puzzles is because they are such great learning activities!

While you put your card puzzles together you can…

  • talk about the shapes your child cut
  • teach spatial concepts (next to, in front of, behind, around, near, etc.)
  • practice problem solving skills
  • discuss designs and pictures on the cards
  • introduce new vocabulary (we talked about the words diagonal, curved, rounded, pointy, etc.)

Another reason that kid-made puzzles are fabulous is because they can be adapted to fit your child’s individual needs/abilities. Younger children can just create 3-5 piece puzzles and older kids could cut their cards into 20+ pieces and make them really tricky to put together. You could even have an older sibling create a puzzle for a younger sibling.

You can cut any of your cards up like this, or even do family photos!

DIY puzzles 2

In addition to playing pretend post office, I plan to laminate a few of our favorite card puzzles and add them to our puzzle shelf, this way my son can hold onto a few of his favorite cards… but they won’t be cluttering up my kitchen anymore! We may also need to try this with several of the birthday cards he just received!

4 days later teeth whitening

About Kristina

Kristina is a mom of two (a preschooler and a toddler) and a former Special Education teacher for children with communication disabilities. She writes about her creative explorations over at Toddler Approved. Her goal is to find ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.