Recycled Puzzles


Submitted by: Alicia Colebeck

After your students have enjoyed their valentines, try making classroom Recycled Puzzles out of them! Don’t stop there, you can make Recycled Puzzles with Christmas cards, invitations and food boxes.


  • To recycle and use up those extra/leftover cards for learning
  • To introduce the skill of using hook-and-loop fasteners to young ones

Before You Start:
Gather cards, stickers, food boxes or anything you want to make a puzzle with. Save any extra food box panels to use for backing to make the puzzle pieces stiffer. Get glue, hook and loop fasteners and scissors too!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut out a piece of cardboard the same size as your card or picture.

Step 2.
Then, glue your card or picture to the cardboard.

Step 3.
For the puzzle base, cut out one more piece of cardboard, the same size of your card or picture.

Step 4.
Cut out the pieces of your puzzle.

Step 5.
Once cut out, put a cut piece of sticky hook-and-loop on the back of the puzzle piece-one sticky side only-both hook-and-loop pieces should still be together.

Step 6.
Then take the other sticky side off and place firmly against your puzzle base.

Step 7.
Now, both sides are stuck, but you can pull off the puzzle piece. The hook-and-loop fasteners should now be in the correct place to later replace the puzzle piece correctly!

Step 8.
Now you can store these puzzles together and play. They look great! They won’t last forever but you extended the life of the “trash” by reusing it!

You don’t have to use the hook-and-loop, but for ease of storage and kid friendliness, the hook-and-loop is a good idea. You can cut them, bag them and you’ve got instant puzzles! If you’re worried about too many puzzles getting mixed up- make the base with an arrow to show the way the base should be sitting, then add a name, or code, to each puzzle piece and the same name, or code, to the base.

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