Make Your Own Developmental Baby Toys

First Puzzle

Age range: 14-24 months

Developmental skills: For toddlers, a favorite form of play is fitting one object to another. A child will often show pride when she fits puzzle pieces into their positions, and an adult's praise of the child's accomplishments is reinforcing. A child may also show signs of frustration, such as throwing the pieces aside, if you encourage her to fit them when she is not ready to enjoy such a task.

Materials needed:

  • corrugated cardboard about 1/4 inch thick, cut from a sturdy carton
  • cloth tape
  • contact paper, patterned and plain
  • Elmer's glue
  • mat knife or box cutter


1. With the mat knife, cut two cardboard rectangles 7 x 13 inches. These will be your puzzles frames.

2. Cut out of one frame a square of 3 1/2 inches on each side and a triangle 3 1/2 inches on each side.

3. Lay the first frame with cutouts on top of your other frame. Trace the shapes through the holes and cut out another square and triangle.

4. Trim 1/8 inch off all sides of your puzzle pieces (so when bound with tape they still fit the holes).

5. Glue (laminate) the two squares together, then the two triangles, and finally, the two puzzle frames.

6. Cover both sides of the puzzle pieces with plain contact paper and cover both sides of frame with patterned contact paper.

7. Bind all edges with cloth tape.

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