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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

It's that time of year again - school has once again begun for many students or is going to start very soon.  When my girls were younger, they made popsicle stick puzzles. They had a blast making them and then putting them together.  This is an easy craft and one that could be used for both preschoolers and younger children.

How to Make Popsicle Stick Puzzles

You can collect popsicle sticks throughout the summer and wash them or you can purchase sticks brand new at your local craft store.  I bought ours at JoAnn's and used a coupon, so they were very affordable.
Each puzzle we made used 10 sticks, but you can use as many as you like.  Just make sure you have enough room to draw a picture on one side.  Tape the sticks together in a row and number the backs 1-10 (or to the number of sticks you use).  You can see the little "H" next to the numbers here - that was so my girls knew whose puzzle was whose and the pieces didn't get mixed up.

Once you have the sticks taped securely together, turn over the whole thing and draw a picture on the front with markers.
 It doesn't have to be a complex picture, just something simple.  Some ideas for pictures:  fish, dolphins, flowers, shapes, numbers, bears, cats, dogs, trucks, etc.

Remove the tape when you're done with the picture and mix them up.

Now watch the fun while your children put the sticks back together in the right order.  Encourage them not to look at the back where the numbers are!

We found these simple popsicle stick puzzles were a hit not only with our girls, but with our Junior Church students as well, so if you teach a Sunday school class or work with children in any way, this could be a fun and inexpensive craft for you.