I have been wanting to create some popsicle puzzles for the kids for quite a while, but I don't usually keep the large craft sticks on hand and we use popsicle sticks for so many things that I'm usually out of them quick. Another road block for me has been that I am not a very good artist AT ALL!
With the help of Oriental Trading, I was able to create some fun popsicle stick puzzles for the kids and can't wait to make even more. I even stepped it up a bit and added Xyron magnetic tape to the back sides of them for use on their activity trays.
Here are 10 Easy Ideas for DIY Popsicle Stick Puzzles and Activities (Even for non-artists)
- Numbers- use 10 sticks and number them 1-10, then add the appropriate number of dots or other shapes to the sticks.
- Use the appropriate number of sticks and write the child's name on it. Then, draw a simple picture. Once the letters are in order, the picture is complete!
- Decoupage a photo onto the sticks and cut them with a craft knife to separate
- Use stickers to make a scene and then cut with a craft knife
- Create a matching game using letters, numbers, colors, or shapes and clothespins
- Have kids create shapes out of the sticks. Color code them and write the name of the shape
- Write trivia or jokes, including the answer on the back
- Let kids color a picture on the sticks and make those the puzzle
- Create activity sticks by writing different activities on the sticks and letting them choose
- Are you going to see a family member you haven't seen in a while, that your child may not remember? Decoupage a photo of them to the popsicle sticks, cut with a craft knife, and let your child get acquainted before you arrive.
Here are some tips I've gained from trial and error:
- Don't make them too complicated- you will only get frustrated
- Tape the sticks together with painter's tape before drawing to keep them lined up and then remove the tape when done.
- Use markers that do not bleed- this is very important.
- Have plenty of extra sticks on hand for errors!
- Make puzzles that will be good for travel and home- bonus points if they can be used for a variety of "lessons"
- Add magnetic tape to the back, especially for little ones- it is easier for them to line up
- Have fun!