You see a lot of those little popsicle stick puzzles that you can make by laying a bunch of popsicle sticks (craft sticks) down side by side and gluing a picture down to the top. After you dry you cut it apart and you number 1-10 along one end of the popsicles sticks. When the child puts the numbers in order they will have the puzzle picture put together. That one is great, but I wanted to do it slightly different and without the popsicle sticks even though I have those on hand.
First, I dug around in my paper recycling trash can and found a couple of things that had large pictures that I liked. I thought a little kid my like a sandwich picture and the picture from a Lucky Charms box.
When Sahara saw her completed puzzles she said, "A hambugger!" And, of course, she liked the cereal one. I gasp at the thought that my kids eat that toxic stuff, but my husband likes to buy them "fun" cereal. We kind of meet in the middle on that little issue. I don't buy it on a regular basis, but will buy it on sale or as a special treat. I am totally not keeping the cabinets stocked with it. But it makes a fun puzzle picture!
In the pic above you can see that I used a glue stick to glue the sandwich picture to a piece of cardstock paper and left a small edge along the bottom to write the numbers.
For the Lucky Charms one it was already cardboard so I did not back it with anything. I simply cut it in the size square that I wanted, added little stickers across the bottom, numbered those, and cut it in different patterns. Look closely at the numbers 8 and 9 that I cut straight. I actually recommend not doing that. They could easily mix those two numbers up and the picture still looks mostly "right" to them. So, zig zag them and do the curveys.
For the sub sandwich one ... or "hambugger" as Sahara calls it... you will cut the picture down to the size you want, use a marker to write numbers along the bottom, and again cut in random patterns to make your puzzle pieces.
The idea is to focus not on putting the picture together, but to focus on putting the numbers in order and then, seeing what the picture reveals. Have fun turning a little trash into a little learning treasure.