Remember that holiday photo that you took when visiting grandma last winter? What special memories does it bring back? Who is in the picture? What details do you remember of the day it was shot? Here is a way to capture it all, mix it up, and put it all back together again. Create your own jigsaw puzzle using a blown-up family photo, or any picture that you prefer, and reconstruct the image as many times as you like.
What You Do:
- Choose a picture that has special meaning to you. If you do not want to destroy the picture by using it to make the puzzle, you will have to make a photocopy. Using a color photocopier and enlarging it to the maximum size is the best way to create a puzzle with the most possible pieces. Color copy centers offer very inexpensive deals on enlarging copies.
- Apply a thin layer of glue across the entire back of your picture, then paste it to the piece of thick card stock. Make sure to smooth and press firmly on the surface of the picture to ensure that the image sticks, and that there are no air pockets. Trim the edges of the card stock to the shape and size of the picture pasted on it.
- Once the picture is completely dry, flip it over and draw out puzzle shapes on the card stock that will be used for the puzzle pieces.
- Now have an adult cut out the drawn shapes using a craft knife on a flat surface with cardboard underneath, or with a very sharp pair of scissors.
- Once all pieces are cut out, work on putting the puzzle back together again!
Create other puzzles following the same steps using other photos, magazine pictures, or artwork you have created. This original puzzle activity makes a great gift for any occasion or to send to a friend using a photo from a special time together. Write a message on the opposite side of the picture to a friend before cutting out shapes, and they'll receive two special surprises in one! Remember, printing photos from a home printer works just as well.
Alicia Danyali, BS Elementary Education, taught primary-level students for four years at the International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The last four years of her teaching career, she taught at the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. She recently completed writing a series of children's picture books and is a mother of one young son.