Puzzles last for ages, but we throw out old boxes and magazines every week. Why not recycle some of them and get your kids to make their own cardboard puzzle?
The process is very simple and can be adjusted to suit all ages. To alter how difficult the puzzle is, all your kids need to do is cut the pieces different sizes or choose an easier or more difficult picture.
However, make sure they keep in mind that they won't have a copy of their image to work from when they try to put it back together again. Don't let them get carried away with the scissors and make it too hard!
Time: 15 minutes to make
Age: Any Age
An old magazine or newspaper
An old cereal box or other source of carboard
All you need to make a puzzle
Choose an picture from a magazine or newspaper. It doesn't have to be an entire page. In fact, a smaller one is probably better, otherwise you'll have to find a piece of cardboard big enough. I've found that good places to find images are travel magazines, because these are the most likely to dedicate larger areas to a pretty image.
Now you need to rip the page out. If the image is in a magazine and close to the centre, a tip to getting it out cleanly is to hold a ruler against the spine of the magazine and run the sharp edge of your scissors down its side. The page will then tear away easily.
Now the page tears away easily
Trim the picture.
Cut out the cardboard so you're left with one big piece.
Glue the picture onto the cardboard, making sure the entire image is stuck down well. If you stick it onto the side of the cardboard with the graphics on it, the back of the puzzle will end up all the same colour.
If you align your picture with one of the corners of the cardboard you will only have to cut two sides
Trim the cardboard (or image) to size.
Cut out your pieces (you might want to take photo of image first, so you can remember what it looks like later). It doesn't matter what shape the pieces are; squares or any other shapes are fine. I found triangles are the easiest to cut, but there's no system to putting them back together.
Cutting it out
See if you can put your puzzle back together again.