Crafts | Kids Activities | Parties

Throwing an Amazing Puzzle Theme Party

When deciding what kind of birthday party to have for our toddler, I was stumped. He wasn’t really into too many cartoon characters. He did enjoy tools, dinosaurs, and building – but none were a huge interest right now.

I started to think about how he spent most of his playtime and realized how often he gravitated toward puzzles. He enjoyed putting things together, he relished in accomplishment when completing a puzzle, and he loved staring at the pictures he put together.

So, a puzzle party it was! πŸ™‚

How to Throw an Amazing Puzzle Party - Games, Activities, Ideas, and FREE printables

There weren’t too many ideas on Pinterest or google for puzzle parties, which was great because I got to start with a blank canvas. Sometimes there are too many ideas out there, and it gets so overwhelming.

Now usually I’m a super crazy organizer and planner, but I have to be completely honest and say that I didn’t start planning this party months or even weeks ahead of time. I was super behind and quite a bit pregnant, so the entire party came together in just a week and a half. However, I took my own party planning advice and kept everything extremely simple.

I also created printables each step of the way, so I can easily share them with you!

Making Puzzle Decorations

My favorite part of every party is working on the decorations because you can take one little idea and run with it. To your guests, it will look like you went overboard when really you are using the same item over and over.


Puzzle Piece Cut-Outs

Used for Goody Bags, Food Labels, Banners, and Balloons

Since the theme of the party was puzzles, I just cut a bazillion puzzle pieces out – and used them everywhere. (I have puzzle piece cut-outs in our free resource library in two different sizes, so you can efficiently use your paper).

I used large puzzle pieces for the birthday banners. Then, I cut medium-sized ones out of card stock (I love using bright color colored card stock.) With the medium-sized pieces, I decorated the goody bags, labeled the food, made puzzle banners, and decorated the balloons.

I found the cute striped paper bags at Michaels and used my 40% coupon – then I simply taped a puzzle piece on. Simple and pretty, right!?

How to Throw an Amazing Puzzle PartyWhat’s inside the goody bags?

Inside the goody bags, I included blank puzzles (gotta love Amazon!) with crayons or markers, depending upon the age of the party guest. I also put in small wooden puzzles that I found at the dollar store for the younger kids. For the older kids, I included puzzle pair puzzles that I found in the dollar section of Target.

I also threw in some other things – bubbles are always a thrifty yet fun summer choice, and I found a few puzzles-in-a-bag at the craft store too.

To save money, I definitely recommend going to the dollar store, dollar section of Target, and the craft stores to find items that work. πŸ™‚

Puzzle Piece Banners

For the puzzle banners, I simply glued a bunch of puzzle pieces to fishing line and then strung them on our shade sail outside.

I had my son work with me on counting and patterns as I put the banners together.

Balloons and More

You can use the puzzle pieces that you cut out for pretty much anything – decorating entrances to the party, taping a few to the balloons or pom-poms. Just cut out a whole bunch when you’re watching some mindless TV, and you’ll be surprised at how much you have to decorate with πŸ™‚

Decorating with puzzle pieces for a puzzle theme party

If I had a little extra time, I would have done pom-poms too, but when you are short on time and super pregnant, something gets cut from the list πŸ™‚

Download the Puzzle Party Pack

To make your puzzle party or puzzle activity planning simple, I created this party pack for you! It includes puzzle piece cut-outs in two sizes, all of the below game signs and activity descriptions, blank puzzle piece signs, and more. Get your free printables for the puzzle party in our DIY resource library.

Painted Puzzle Pieces

Used for banners, party hats, and party crowns

For other decorations, I wanted to use smaller puzzle pieces, but didn’t want to spend the time cutting out such tiny pieces. So, I bought a bunch of dollar store puzzles (24 or 30 pieces seem to provide the best size pieces). I flipped them over and painted the back of the pieces. It helps if the back of the puzzle piece is white and not brown cardboard.

I then used these puzzle pieces to glue to party hats and to our little guy’s “Puzzle Prince” crown, and I even made a few fishing line strings of puzzle pieces to decorate the DIY photo booth.

How to Make Thrifty Party Hats with Puzzle Pieces
Decorating Parties with Puzzle Piece Strings

This is a great pre-party activity that kids can help with too!

Making Puzzle Party Games

For the little ones, I love having party games that are more like activities or centers. Kids can freely move around and play at the stations – it’s perfect for toddlers and little kids.

Here’s a list of puzzle party games that I put together, and I have the signs and descriptions available to you in our free resource library.

Almost every game was super, super simple, but altogether the array of activities was perfect.

Puzzle Activities and Games for Puzzle Theme Parties - Free Printables

1.) Puzzle Dig

This puzzle party game was simply a “sandbox” with puzzle pieces. I just took an under-bed storage container (with a lid) and filled it up with rice.

Then, I hid puzzle pieces from the dollar section at Target in the rice and tossed in some scoopers and sand toys from the Dollar Store.

The Simplest Puzzle Party Ideas You Can Imagine!

This entertained my son for DAYS before the party, and the kids loved it!

2.) Puzzle Pitch

This party activity was simply a ball toss with a puzzle spin on it. I bought two foam boards from the dollar store and drew a huge puzzle piece on them.

Making a Ball Toss for a Puzzle Party - Budget-Friendly!

Then, I did a little taping and then painted it with acrylic paints that I had laying around the house. After that, I cut a few holes for the bean bags or balls to go through. Last, I taped it to wooden dowels, so it would stand firm on the ground.

How to Make a $2 Ball Toss - Easy Party Ideas for Puzzle Parties

I tossed a few balls and bean bags in a bucket, and voila! The puzzle pitch was ready to go πŸ™‚

3.) Puzzling Obstacle Course

This was another super simple party activity. I grabbed six pool noodles (another Dollar store find you can reuse) along with a few cones and threw together an obstacle course suited for little ones.

Then, I used duct tape to shape each pool noodle into a circle and then taped the circles together.

Making a Pool Noodle Obstacle Course - Easy Backyard Party Activity

I spread the cones out to elongate the obstacle course. Also, I put out a few soccer balls, so kids could kick around the cones.

4.) Puzzle Island

This was by far the easiest of the puzzle party games. I just filled the water table up and threw in some foam puzzle pieces (yet another dollar store find!). If you are having a backyard toddler or kid party in the warm weather, a water table is a perfect thing to keep kids occupied and entertained.

Using a Water Table for an Easy Party Activity

Every year, I’m impressed at how much time the kids spend playing at the water table at our summer parties. It’s definitely a must-have for easiness and entertainment!

5.) Giant Jigsaws

This was by far my favorite of the games, and it made our little guy the happiest! With his love for puzzles, he couldn’t have been more excited that instead of building shelves and painting walls that Mommy and Daddy were building and painting a puzzle for him!

How to Make a Giant Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle - Easy Puzzle Party Ideas

We shaped it into a dog and painted it with acrylic paints. We used…. but more details will be forthcoming on a future post πŸ™‚

How to Make a Giant Wooden Puzzle - Fun Backyard Activity6.) Puzzle Palace

I also placed a Puzzle Palace sign on the little playhouse we have in the yard and tossed some more foam puzzles in the little kitchen area.

I was going to add a craft station, where kids could decorate their own puzzle crown, but I figured this age group was a little young for that.

How to Throw an Amazing Puzzle Party with Easy Backyard Activities and Stations

This was the perfect example of how something so simple (hanging a sign and tossing in some puzzle pieces) makes for another cute touch at a child’s birthday party. See, you don’t need to go crazy to throw a great party. Simple ideas and activities can tie everything together nicely.

And for the grown-ups…

With Ash and our large immediate families, we always have a decent amount of adults at our little kid parties. I thought it would be fun to throw a bunch of puzzle pieces in a container and have party attendees guess how many pieces were in the container. And, of course, the prize was…. a puzzle!

It was super cute, and I had my son stand on a chair and announce the winner. He was really excited – and it gave him the opportunity to give someone else a gift on his birthday. πŸ™‚

Awesome Puzzle Party Ideas - Guess the Number of Puzzle Pieces in the Jar

Making a DIY Puzzle Banner

For every party or small celebration we have, my go-to banner is this simple one that I made – which is available in our free resource library. I love it because it’s easily customizable (no printing extra letters) and you can easily glue the letters to any kind of background.

For this banner, I used card stock that I cut into puzzle pieces. I simply taped the Happy Birthday letters to the puzzle pieces. Then, I used fishing line and hot glue to attach the pieces.

How to Make Easy, Free DIY Banners for Any Occasion

It was quick and worked like a charm!

Puzzle-Themed Food?

As far as food, I love a good theme party, so I can label all of the food after the theme of the party. However, I simply just used the puzzle pieces this time!

Puzzle Theme Party Food Labels

So, I guess you are probably wondering about the cake. We did have a cake of some sorts – it was chocolate coconut fudge that I last-minutely shaped into a puzzle piece. Perfect for a puzzle party! Check out the recipe here πŸ™‚

Chocolate Coconut Fudge Cake in the Shape of a Puzzle - Easy & Healthy Puzzle Party Ideas

So, why did my super pregnant self still throw a party this year?! Because there’s nothing more special than seeing that smile on your child’s face when they see the decorations and games you made for them πŸ™‚

And, by keeping the DIY party decorations, games, and preparation easy, it was completely manageable. If you were wondering if you can pull off a DIY party, the answer is yes!

Just keep it simple and reuse the same decorations again and again.

Games, activities, and ideas for throwing an amazing puzzle party


  1. I am so much in love with your theme. Puzzle party?! Isn’t this brilliant! The decor and gift bags are classic. And the dessert looks yum! That shape is just perfect for this party. I am sure your son must have been elated!

    1. Thank you so much!! It was super fun and really easy to keep using puzzle pieces for everything!!:)

    1. Thanks Jess – it was a blast:)

  2. What a fantastic theme for a kid’s party! I have a toddler and a preschooler and they would both love this. I am going to keep it in mind because it is a refreshing change from anything I’ve seen recently.

    1. Thanks so much, Shannon! It was fun to do something that wasn’t a cartoon theme! And it was super easy:)

  3. I love puzzle parties, they’re always super fun! Thank you for sharing these ideas with us!

    1. Thanks Kelly! We had a blast:)

  4. I have never seen a party like this before and love this idea. Wow you went all out and just love everything you made.Found you on Bloggers Pit Stop

    1. Thanks so much Candy! Aside from cutting out a bunch of puzzle pieces, it was a piece of cake:)

  5. Jann Olson says:

    Such a fun and creative idea. I’ve never thought of throwing a puzzle themed party. Love it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thanks so much Jann! Our son loved it:6

  6. What an adorable party! I love party themes that are truly unique to each child. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Thanks Leslie! Me too – so much more fun that way:) Have a lovely week!

  7. You come up with some of the greatest themes and the chocolate covered puzzle piece is so much fun. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks so much Sandra!! We loved throwing this party and our son just adored the puzzles and puzzle pieces everywhere. Have a great week!

  8. Awwww Eileen, that’s such a wonderful idea. Your son and his friends must have had an absolute blast. I remember my daughter being a puzzle lover too when she was little. I could spend hours watching her build them.

    1. Thanks Michelle! They did love it – it was a blast overall! The grown ups also loved the guess the puzzle piece part:) it is fun to watch the little ones put the puzzles together:)

  9. I’m a big puzzle person, so I absolutely love this puzzle theme. It’s unique, and a great idea. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.

    1. Thanks Rhonda! We had a lot of fun with the them:)

  10. I love your Puzzle party and so many clever puzzle ideas too

    1. Thanks Amber! We had fun with it:)

  11. Kathleen - says:

    That is such a cool idea. I bet the kids loved it.

    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  12. I love unconventional, creative party themes! This is really cute!

  13. I like puzzle party game, During playing kids are always super fun! Thank you for sharing this amazing ideas with us.

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked them:)

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