We are SO excited about this activity which will enable you to make your own animal puzzles for your little ones! You can download the printable sheets, cut along the indicated lines and start playing immediately. Or, if you'd like to create something that is a bit more durable, we have some easy instructions for creating puzzles backed with thick cardboard!
There are 6 animals in the set. These simple two-part puzzles are such fun to play with. We had similar puzzles as a child and used to love playing with them.
How to play:
You can start using this puzzle for a very young child by showing him/her how to match the correct top part of the animal with the correct bottom half. For older children, you can mix and match the top and bottom halves of the animals and come up with new and exotic names for the wondrous new animals that you create. Stimulate creativity by making new animals such as the exotic
- Owlsie... See how many new ones you can come up with!
How to stick your animal puzzle to thick cardboard:
Note from Liesl: I've experimented with doing this already, and I had great results with a bit of cardboard and some Modge Podge. I painted Modge Podge over the front and back of the cards. This sealed my cards and gave them a lovely shiny finish. They can now be cleaned with a damp cloth and played with over and over again!
You will need:
- The animal puzzle activity sheet - printed on regular computer printing paper
- A spray bottle filled with water
- A sheet of stiff cardboard - A4 size. (The back of a drawing pad or other paper pad is ideal)
- Some Modge Podge or other decoupage medium. (Available from your local craft shop)
- A flat paintbrush
- A craft knife and metal ruler; or sharp scissors
Step 1: Spray the back of your printed activity sheet with a small amount of water. Don't wet it too much - a few small spritzes should make the paper curl - this is exactly what you want.
Step 2: Use your paintbrush to paint a thin layer of Modge Podge onto the cardboard. Make sure that you cover the entire surface evenly.
Step 3: Take your curling sheet of paper and carefully place it onto the cardboard sheet - right side facing upward. Smooth the paper down onto the cardboard, getting rid of any air bubbles with sweeping movements toward the side of the paper.
Step 4: Once your paper is stuck completely flat on the cardboard, you need to leave it to dry. Modge Podge dries quite quickly - but if you need to hurry the process along, you could also use a hairdryer on a low setting to dry the paper.
Step 5: Use your paintbrush to paint a layer of Modge Podge over the top of your puzzle - this will seal the paper and create a nice shiny finish over your puzzle. Leave to dry, then repeat. Two thin coats of Modge Podge over the top of the puzzle should be enough. Once the top has dried, you could also seal the back of the puzzle (cardboard side) with Modge Podge if you like - this will make the puzzle extra durable.
Step 6: Use your craft knife or scissors to cut along the grey cut lines indicated on the puzzle. Remember to also cut through the middle of the puzzle to divide each animal in two parts.
Your puzzle is now ready to play with!