DIY Cardboard Puzzles

These little cardboard puzzles make great busy bag ideas as well as quiet time activities. They are fairly simple to make and can be pulled out whenever you need a few minutes to get something done. A bonus, these little puzzles are great for developing spatial awareness and problem solving skills! Here’s what you’ll need to get started.


  • Cardboard rectangles (about the size of a birthday card)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Box cutters

Set up:

First I cut out 6 rectangles using the box cutters. Then I painted them. the painting part is optional. Or you could involve your toddler in this part of the prep and have them paint the rectangles! This will extend the activity and also get them curious about the next part of the activity.

Once the paint has dried, you can use the box cutters again to cut out different shapes at ends of the rectangle. You can make these as complex or as easy as you choose depending on your toddler’s ability. I cut out a square, triangle and semi-circle then I did more complex shapes that required my toddler to problem solve! She got frustrated a little but I was always there to help out her.

Her sense of accomplishment once she finished all the puzzles was immense and totally worth the extra work to make these. I store mine in a small make-up bag and take them whenever we go on a trip somewhere like a plane or restaurant.


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