Before you throw empty food boxes away, save them and make an upcycled food box puzzle! They’re free, fun, and the perfect way to turn trash into treasure.
What does “upcycled” mean in “upcycled food box puzzle?”
Upcycling is one of my favorite words and things to do!
It is the act of taking something normally headed to the garbage and instead using it for something new.
It is not the same as recycling, where items are broken down and recreated (e.g., glass jars melted down to make different glass jars).
Instead, something trash-bound is reimagined and used creatively for a new purpose.
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot coloring banners can be upcycled into (the cutest) wrapping paper once they’re colored in
Making an upcycled food box puzzle is easier than you might think
They are THE EASIEST things to make.
These have been preschool classics for years because they are so easy and inexpensive to make.
Are you looking for more fun math activities for kids? Check these out!
- Preschool Apple Math Measurement Activity
- Sugar Cube Tower Math for Preschoolers
- Subitizing Dinosaurs
- Ten Frame Preschool Math Activity
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- Empty food boxes
Gather empty food boxes of different sizes and with other images.
Use scissors to cut the front of the box off, discarding the other parts of the box and saving only the front.
Take your piece and cut it into pieces.
The smaller the pieces, the more pieces you’ll have and the harder the puzzle will be.
The bigger the pieces, the fewer pieces you’ll have and the easier the puzzle will be.
Choose the difficulty that best suits the needs of your child.
Once cut up, invite your child to put the pieces back together again!
These would make for a fun activity to bring to a restaurant since they store virtually flat.
What do you do with the other parts of the box?
You could make smaller puzzles, but usually, the front of the box has the most inviting images (and is the most interesting to kids).
You could throw the rest of the box, ooor you could save the pieces for some upcycled collage art!
What are kids learning with this activity?
Even though the activity is simple, the learning is deep and meaningful.
When kids are doing this activity, they’re practicing:
- Spatial awareness skills when piecing their puzzles back together
- Fine motor skills by manipulating the pieces
- Scissor skills if your child cuts their own puzzle pieces out
- Geometry skills by identifying and naming the shapes of their puzzle pieces
All of that learning from a simple empty food box – wow!
What do you do with upcycled food box puzzles when done?
When done, you can either keep them to use again or throw them away.
If keeping, you can store them in paper envelopes or small bags (they take up such little space).
But don’t feel guilty for throwing them away! These are easy to make, and it’s not hard to get more.
Have fun puzzling!
Any that can safely use the materials!
The less pieces you cut your box into, the easier the puzzle will be.
It sure is! Puzzles use lots of math including spatial awareness and naming shapes.