Painted Cardboard Name Puzzle

Here’s a fun way to help your child  learn to spell his name?  It’s an easy, colourful homemade name puzzle made with painted cardboard cut-outs!

I’ve made a variety of homemade name puzzles over the years for the children in my home daycare.  A name puzzle is a great way to help your child with letter recognition and to help him learn to spell his name.


cardboard cut-out name puzzle


I especially love cutting the letters for a name puzzle out of colourful,l textured paper.  Children learn best when their senses are engaged, so puzzle pieces that are bright and colourful and lovely to the touch not only add interest, they actually enhance the learning process.


toddlers doing homemade name puzzle


In the past, I’ve used wall paper samples and scrap-book paper to make our name puzzles, but today we’re re-using some simple materials that were headed for the recycling bin:  a liner from a box of chocolates, and a thin piece of corrugated cardboard.

To make a Cardboard Cut-Out Name Puzzle, I used:


painted letters cut out of corrugated cardboard

  • a crinkly, slightly puffy liner from a box  of chocolates.
  • thin, white piece of  corrugated cardboard
  • acrylic paints
  • paintbrush
  • scissors

How to make your name puzzle:

First off, put a quick coat of paint on your textured cardboard.

Then you’ll need some upper and lower case letter templates.

Print those off, and cut them out.

Trace the letters on to your textured material, and cut those out as well.

Once you’ve cut your letters our, you can chop each one into two or three pieces.


cardboard letters chopped up


That’s all there is to it!

Now just hand those puzzle pieces over to your child!


scissors and letters cut out for name puzzle


Explain to your child that each letter is in pieces, and he or she can piece the letters back together, and put them in order to spell his or her name.

toddlers doing homemade name puzzle


For toddlers just learning their letters, you may not cut the letters up at all.  You may just let them play with the letters while learning to put them in the correct order.

For preschoolers, you may want to write their name out for them so they can use it to refer to as a guide until they become familiar with the shapes of their puzzle pieces.

What a fun way to explore letters and learn to spell your name!

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  1. Wynne Smith says

    Hey Jackie! Your ideas are fantastic!!! My two children (and spouses) and four grandchildren live in China so I only see them for about six weeks a year. My grandkids are going to Nana Camp this year at my house. Your ideas will be used every day so my grandkids will have fun, make memories and learn so many new skills. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to teaching and children. I was an aide for autistic children in a public school setting and after several years I became very disillusioned and depressed about the situation. Non-caring parents drove me nutty. Lazy, uninspired teachers angered me. Kids I love. There are so many great ideas to work with kids on your site that any teacher would have a years worth of lessons to teach their kiddos. Thank you, thank you for your love of children, your dedication to teaching, your sense of humor and your ability to share those skills with others. You are a blessing to your children, their parents and all those you touch with your site. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have shared with me and others. My grandkids are going to have a very fun six weeks together due to you. Thanks!!!! Nana`

    • happyhooligans says

      Thank you so much for your kind, heart-felt words, Wynn! I have a full-blown case of goosebumps after reading your comment. I’m so glad that you appreciate and enjoy my activities. It’s so wonderful to hear that you are so passionate about making a difference in the lives of the children around them. Your grandkids are blessed to have you for their Nana. What a wonderful time they’ll have with you this summer! Have fun & enjoy! (I know you will!) x

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