Popsicle Stick Puzzles

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
    Shape Created with Sketch.


Question and Wonder:

  • What are puzzles made of?
  • Where do they find the pictures they put on puzzles?
  • I wonder if you can guess at the picture by looking at just one piece.
  • What pictures make the best puzzles? The hardest? Why?

Using the ruler, take two of the sticks and mark ¼” from the ends on both sides. Lay out your sticks with one marked stick at the top and one at the bottom. Using the marks as a guide, place painters’ tape along the edges. Smooth the tape so it holds your sticks together in a nice even rectangle. Turn it over and tape the back edges too.

Imagine and Design:

  • What will you draw or paint on your popsicle stick puzzle?
  • Will you use a stencil or pattern?
  • Does it have to be a picture? What else could it be?
  • Why tape the sticks together? How will it help to make the puzzle?

Paint or draw your picture, pattern, or design on the sticks. Let it dry. Remove the tape. If using paint, gently bend your puzzle along the line to crack the paint.

Test and Discuss:

  • Is there only one right way to put together your puzzle?
  • How is it different from other puzzles?
  • What else could you make with your puzzle pieces?
  • How does your design effect what you can do with the pieces?


Did You Know:

A puzzle teaches young children about the concept of a ‘whole’ and that each piece is a fraction of the bigger picture. It also helps develop basic skills such as shape recognition, concentration, goal setting, patience and a sense of achievement, which will stand children in good stead for school.

For other benefits of puzzles for toddlers, follow this link:



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