Kids today are excited by ultra realistic video games and 3D movies that take them into virtual worlds. But, put a classic picture puzzle in front of these junior cyber wizards, and they might just do the same thing we did when we were their age: dump it out and start shuffling the pieces together. There’s something about an old-fashioned puzzle that can still captivate kids, especially if you start them young. This beginner’s puzzle is sturdily made and simple enough to keep a little one engaged but not frustrated. You can choose any image or photo for your puzzle’s theme, provided it can be trimmed to a final 8″ x 10-1⁄2″ size.
Applying the Puzzle Grid and Face Image
Quarter-inch-thick MDF makes a good substrate for the puzzle pieces, because both faces are tempered and smooth and there’s no risk of splinters. Cut an 8-1⁄2″ x 11″ blank (piece 1) to shape.
Print out the grid using a laser printer. Then, position it print-side down, and wipe the back of the paper liberally with acetone. The solvent will release the black toner onto the MDF and transfer the grid. If you have an ink-jet printer, you can accomplish the same result using special inkjet transfer paper (available from craft stores or online) and ironing the printout with a household iron set to high heat.