My 1st grade son is having a Valentine’s Day party at school and I offered to plan a game or craft for the party. I wanted something that was not a Valentine card, and something that could be used again and again (or at least more than once!). While searching the internet, nothing new popped out at me, except for a piece of art made out of wooden shims. See the art here.

I thought, hey, I can do this on a smaller scale by using Popsicle sticks and use Sharpies to draw hearts on them. No glue or adhesive is necessary, since the sticks will be used as a puzzle. After making each heart puzzle I put a small rubber band around the sticks. Now at the party the kids can put them together like a puzzle, and then each child can take one home.

Making 25 of these didn’t take me long at all — maybe an hour or so. If this was for older children, I’d have them design their own hearts on the sticks, but for these younger children, making them ready to go was the better idea.

I’m happy with how these came out (I made each puzzle unique), and best of all they were easy and cheap to make. And fun!

heart puzzle (1)

heart puzzle (2)

heart puzzle (6)

heart puzzle (7)

heart puzzle (4)

heart puzzle (5)

heart puzzle (3)

heart puzzle (9)

heart puzzle (10)

heart puzzle (11)

Edited to add these pictures of my 7 year old making his own heart puzzle. He did a great job! I think his first grade class might just be able to make their own at the party — but I’ll have them use magic markers rather than Sharpies!

7 year old making heart

7 year old heart


Updated again: We made a few more of these using magic markers and they worked great!