Chloe has been very into puzzles lately. So when it came time (as in right now) to make some Valentines for her preschool classmates, I took that as inspiration and thought why not make Puzzle Valentines.
As Chloe's getting older, I like doing crafts where she can be involved in the actual design (as opposed to me doing all the drawing or cutting or pasting). This idea worked well in that regard and it was super simple to put together too.
1. Have your child design one Valentine card. Here is ours. We call him Mr. Valentine Man.
To make this a "workable" puzzle, make sure that each area of the paper has some drawing on it (i.e. no big white spots).
2. Scan the drawing. Using photoshop or other graphic software, arrange the scan so it will print two to a 8.5"x11" page. Print out as many copies as you need on hard card stock.
3. Cut the drawing into pieces around 2"x2"
4. Have your child test out the puzzle and see if they can do it. You don't want a puzzle that is too complicated where all the pieces look the same.
5. Using graphic software, create a fold-over tag. On the bottom half (this will be the front of the tag), put a fun little message. On the top half of the tag, put a mini image of the puzzle. This will help the littles know what the finished puzzle is supposed to look like! Remember to flip your image upside down so that when you fold the tag along the middle, it will be right side up.
7. Make two small hole punches in the bottom left and right corners of the tag. String some bakery twine through the holes and tie in front. You could also just staple the tag to the bag, but since our Valentines were going to 3-4 year olds, I like the no-hurt string option ;)
And that's it! Now I just have to make 27 more of these before Chloe eats all the chocolate.
Have you made or bought Valentines yet for your kid's classmates? I'm still fond of the old school perforated Valentines-in-a-box kind I used to get when I was a kid.