For this homemade puzzle activity, you'll need to gather two identical plastic placemats (heavy ones work best). One will serve as a base and should remain whole. Cut the second one into puzzle pieces appropriate for the age and abilities of the children.
With one placemat cut into pieces and the other mat whole, have the children put the puzzle pieces together using the first placemat as a guide.
When the children are ready, repeat the activity. This time, have them put the puzzle pieces together without using the other placemat as a guide.
Repeat this activity using the children's own work. First, have each child draw a picture. Then, make copies of the children's artworks using a copy machine or scanner.
Cut the copied artwork into puzzle pieces and have the children recreate the picture using the puzzle pieces. Children may wish to use their original picture as a guide.