Wednesday, March 17, 2021

DIY puzzles for kids with things at home using Ferrero Rocher boxes

 Make your own puzzles to play with things you already have at home. These ideas struck me when I was brainstorming what to do with empty chocolate boxes that I collected from the holiday season. I have made a lot of cool things with these boxes before and I still use them daily like the DIY essential oil storage and DIY storage for a sewing kit. This time I wanted to do something that everyone in the family can enjoy and the result is this DIY 3 in 1 puzzle game. Let's see how to do. 

Materials Used:

Empty clear chocolate box

Shipping box or cardboard pieces

Craft knife

Ruler and pencil

Popsicle sticks

Glue gun with glue sticks

Empty paper tubes

Clear tape

Dry erase marker

Small beads - 4 to 5 based on the puzzle you are making

Step 1: Trace the outline of the empty chocolate box onto the cardboard and cut the cardboard 0.2" smaller on all sides to make it fit inside the box. Use a sharp craft knife to make clear and neat cuts. 

Here is the knife I use:

Maze puzzle using popsicle sticks

Step 2: Draw your own maze or copy a maze from the internet using a ruler or a pencil on to the cardboard. 

This Ruler is great to keep your cardboard edges straight:

Step 3: Measure and cut the popsicle sticks using the pencil lines you drew in the previous step as guidance. Use hot-glue to glue the sticks to the cardboard to make the puzzle. Write or mark the start and finish using a marker. The puzzle is done. Add a bead into the puzzle and put the cardboard inside(Puzzle side facing to the bottom of the chocolate box)to play your own puzzle game. 

Note: I added two cardboard pieces on the sides as I initially made this maze for a different size chocolate box. As my son accidentally stepped on the box, I had to add the two pieces on the sides to prevent the bead from falling off when using in a bigger chocolate box. But it is absolutely unnecessary if you make it for the right size. 

Step 4: To make the puzzle stay flush to the base of the chocolate box and to avoid the bead rolling over add two to three popsicle sticks at the back of the cardboard to bridge the gap between the cardboard and the other side of the box. 

Beads and circles puzzle 

Step 1: Cut a cardboard piece that fits the chocolate box as you did for the previous one. 

Step 2: Cut the empty paper tubes with ~1.20" height. I cut 4 pieces, you may include more or less. Also, cut a slit for the beads to enter. Remove around 0.25" from the round. You may want to increase this size based on the beads you are using. 

Step 3: Hot glue the paper tubes onto the cardboard. Make sure each slit you cut in the paper tube is facing in a different direction so that if you want to play the game like whoever puts one bead in each circle wins, the bead should be able to stay inside when the player is trying to put the bead in another circle. Makes sense? 

Step 4: Remove the previous puzzle and put four beads and the cardboard piece glued with paper tubes inside to play the Beads and circles puzzle. Based on the age of the kids, you can change the rules as to 

1.whoever puts all the four beads in one circle wins or 

2.whoever puts one bead in each circle wins or 

3.set a timer and see who puts more beads. 

I will leave the rules and the fun of the game for you :P 

Hand-eye coordination for toddlers 

Step 1: Same as the previous one. 

Step 2: Cut a paper tube in half and cut small strips of the paper tubes as shown and arrange it however your heart desires and hot glue it. 

Step 3: Use clear tape on the top of each cut paper tube to write and erase numbers or alphabets. Use a marker to write the numbers/alphabets. Put a bead inside and place the puzzle into the box. Ask the toddler to pass the bead inside each tunnel in the number/alphabet sequence.  

Alternatively, you can color the tubes and use a color card for each color and place them in a different order and ask them to follow the sequence shown. As we are learning numbers and finding it difficult with tenth numbers I made the multiples of ten sequence. Feel free to change this as per your child's needs. 

These no holes beads will take your Homemade puzzle to the next level:

I hope you find these ideas interesting and will give them a try. Comment below which one is your favorite. The maze puzzle was interesting for us and was easy to solve. I would say that the most challenging one was the Beads and the circle puzzle. As of today, I could only two beads in two circles and this one keeps me occupied for many minutes as you wish. 

When I first made the maze puzzle my little one was hooked for 15 minutes straight trying to solve. After making the other ones, he wanted to try all the puzzles and wouldn't play just one.#reallifeproblems of a crafty mom :P So, learn from my experience. I would suggest showing only one puzzle at a time for them to play without distraction. 

Share your favorite puzzle in the comments below and let me know if you have any empty chocolate boxes at home that you will try these ideas. 

Other ideas to try with empty chocolate boxes:


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