Puzzle Activity Countdown
Of all the Christmas countdowns I have ever done, this one took the longest to make, but I truly loved the end result and my son was thrilled with it. (He was 8 years old at the time.)
What you need:
- A thick wood puzzle (the one I used is about 6″ x 9″ and had a dinosaur on it. If you like the image on your puzzle, it will make this project go faster. However I didn’t like the dinosaur scene so I found a cute picture of a LEGO Christmas tree to place over the dinosaur image.)
- A glue stick
- Sharp craft knife and cutting board
- A list of family activities (the activities I used are listed below)
What I did:
1. I scanned the puzzle and opened the image in Photoshop.
2. I added text to fit perfectly over each piece. There are 28 activities for 28 puzzle pieces.
If you are thinking, “ugh, I don’t want to bother with Photoshop and all that jazz,” you can always write out your activities by hand.
3. Once I was all done adding the activities, I deleted the background (the dinosaur image) so I just had the perfectly placed text. You can see an image below of the text after the background was removed.
4. Next, I printed out the Christmas tree (which will end up as the front of the puzzle) and the text (which will end up as the back of the puzzle). Of course, make sure that both are the exact same size as your puzzle before printing.
5. Now you need an outline to guide your cuts. Place the piece of paper with the text on top of your puzzle. Using a pencil (or something sharp like your fingernail) trace the imprints of each piece. This is pretty easy to do. Make sure the lines are as perfect as they can be.
This next one is the step that took the longest…
6. Now you need to cut out each puzzle shape from the two pieces of paper. Somehow you need to secure the paper with the Christmas tree (which will end up as the front of the puzzle) to the paper with the text (which will end up as the back of the puzzle). This will save you a lot of time in cutting, since you’ll be able to cut them at the same time. You can lightly glue the edges together, use staples, or paperclips. Just make sure that the pages won’t slide as you are cutting.
Above is the front and back after I finished cutting out one row of pieces.
7. Almost done! Now glue the paper puzzle shapes onto their corresponding puzzle pieces. Image to one side of the piece, text to the other side. I glued as I cut, just to make sure I didn’t mix anything up. The cutting and gluing is what made this take a long time.
However it was very worth it in the end.
8. Last step! Place each piece into its own numbered envelope and put them into a basket.
- Bake cookies
- Choose a movie for family movie night
- Do a random act of kindness
- Family game night
- Find new Christmas music
- Go see Christmas lights
- Have hot chocolate
- Make a blessings poster
- Make a Christmas cookie tree
- Make a Christmas craft
- Make a pinecone bird feeder
- Make birthday cake for Jesus
- Make Christmas ornaments
- Make Christmas pancakes
- Make Christmas pizza
- Make Christmas pretzels
- Make paper snowflakes
- Make popcorn garlands for the birds
- Make reindeer treat pops
- Open an early gift
- Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Watch A Christmas Story
- Watch Elf
- Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Watch The Polar Express
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