As we get ready to take down our Christmas tree and pack our decorations away, before you throw the Christmas cards into the recycling bin – wait! We can have a little fun and learning with them first.
You might be asking yourself, what can I make with old Christmas cards?
Christmas cards come in a variety of colourful and appealing child-friendly designs, so they are the perfect material to use for a quick and easy DIY puzzle craft.
Just grab a few different left over Christmas cards and this easy activity for kids will be ready to go within a couple of minutes.
The best part is that this is totally free and recycles something that you already have around the house.
- Old Christmas cards
- (Optional) Glue and paper
- (Optional) Ziplock bag or plastic wallet to store the pieces for future use
How to Make the Recycled Christmas Card Puzzles
There are a few ways that you can cut your Christmas cards to create puzzle pieces. We decided to mix things up and use different shapes and different amounts of pieces for some of the cards.
Generally, with younger toddlers you will want fewer and bigger pieces – start with 2, 3 or 4 piece puzzles for the youngest children.
For preschoolers or school aged children you can increase this, depending on the sizes of the card. If you’re working with smaller Christmas cards you may want to cut around 9 or 12 pieces to keep things manageable.
Since Christmas cards are already made of cardboard (although thin) you do not need to mount the pieces onto card – just cut them up and they are ready to play as they are.
Kids of all ages can have a lot of indoor fun with this simple and easy activity.
You can cut square pieces with straight lines, make tangram type shapes (bottom right) or use traditional puzzle piece shapes.
If you want to use puzzle piece shapes you can refer below to this template for traditional puzzle piece pattern to copy, to make sure all the pieces connect if you would like a reference.
It helps to draw the lines on the back of the card before cutting, to make sure you have roughly equal sized pieces although you can cut free hand if you prefer.
The squares and the tangram shapes are quickest and easiest to cut up, particularly if the children would like to make the puzzles themselves to practice cutting skills.
The Christmas Card Puzzle Activity
Once you’ve cut out all of the pieces it’s time to have fun putting all of the puzzles together.
For an added challenge and to introduce a “sorting” element to the activity, you could mix up a few different puzzle pieces together and sort them first to separate them into their own groups.
What do children learn from this activity
Puzzles help children develop their logic skills, spacial awareness and concentration. Puzzles are a fun way to teach your child something and give them an enjoyable “brain workout.”
You can read our article to find out more about how puzzles help brain development in children
With this DIY Christmas card puzzle activity, our little ones are also practising the concept of re-using and recycling. This is a fun way to remind the kids “hey, we could make something fun before we throw this away!”
If your child enjoys completing puzzles, using the Christmas cards is a great way to provide them with many new puzzle pictures without having to buy a whole stack of new puzzles, and without taking up space for all those puzzle boxes.
Still have more left over Christmas cards? Why not use some more of them to make these upcycled snowman collage cards for next year!
More puzzle activities
Colour your own elf jigsaw puzzle with our free printable pack, with a choice of two different puzzle designs for kids to colour in.
If you enjoyed this Christmas puzzle activity please feel free to share with friends and family. We always appreciate pins to your Pinterest Boards – thank you so much!
Have fun! Happy crafting and happy puzzling!