How to Make Wooden Puzzles Art Activity

Kids can make their own wood puzzles with this fun painting activity. This STEAM project for kids engages math and creative skills with hands-on play and learning.

art and math STEAM activity with wooden blocks

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Wood blocks are a clean slate, just waiting for kids to explore. The possibilities for imaginative play are endless.

Wooden blocks are a great option for your child: they are easy to handle and store; they come without instructions or batteries; they last a long, long time.

We have homemade wood blocks in the toy box for everyday play.  We were able to use some of the blocks in this activity. You can also buy wooden blocks online for this project.

Kids benefit in many ways from child-led activities like playing with wood blocks. Painting a few blocks for a puzzle activity like this one supports creativity and math skills, along with decision making and discovery.

Wood puzzles activity

In this activity, kids paint colorful designs on small blocks of wood. By choosing two blocks and continuing the design from one block to the next, the blocks can be used as puzzle pieces.

If you have some small pieces of 2 x 4 left over from a home renovation project, simply sand the wood smooth to remove possible splinters before beginning to paint.


Wood blocks paint supplies


Materials list

  • wood blocks in a variety of sizes and shapes


Paint two or more blocks to make a puzzle


Instructions for making wood puzzles

1. Choose two or more pieces of wood of similar size and shape.

Make sure the wood pieces stay close to each other as you paint in order for the pattern to continue from one to the other.

Kids may choose to paint the wood block a solid color and allow that paint to dry before painting a design.



Painting wood blocks

Puzzle made with wood blocks for kids math play


2. When the paint is dry, place all the blocks in a box or basket. Remove the blocks and make the puzzle together.

How to play with painted wood blocks

Wood blocks are perfect for guided play as well as independent play.

Here are a few suggestions for small group time or teacher-led play with preschoolers.

1. Place several block puzzles in a box. Each child chooses a block from the box. All participants then move through the group until each one has found a block needed to complete a picture.

2. Turn the blocks upside down on a table to hide the design. Flip one block over to reveal a piece of a puzzle. Each child flips a block in turn, looking to see if a piece has been revealed that will complete a puzzle. Blocks remain with the design turned up until all the blocks are matched.

3. Create abstract designs and silly pictures by putting two or more blocks together that do not make a puzzle!


Homemade puzzles made with wood blocks


Natural materials like small wooden blocks are fun to use for kids crafts and activities.

Let's see what kids create from the clean slate offered by wood blocks.


homemade wooden blocks puzzles for kids


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Hands-on science and math activities for early learners!


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