52 Weeks: #5 Puzzle Love

52 Weeks of Stroller Runner Games with Stencil Label52 Weeks of Stroller Runner Games: #5 Puzzle Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this week’s game is a puzzle that focuses on love and kindness. I appreciate that my children are very patient and endure long runs in the stroller, so I wanted to do a game that was personalized for both my children.

My soon-to-be 4 year old and my now 1 year old loves puzzles, so after research and spending some time on Pinterest – probably too much time – I decided to make my own puzzle with Popsicle sticks and a picture of my kids and me. If your kids are anything like mine, they love personalized things.

This is not an original idea; however, in order to ensure this is a game can be played while a child is bouncing around in a stroller, I did some modifications.

Target Age Group: 3-5 years old

How to Play Puzzle Love:

In order to play the game, your child will need the following:

  • 1 old, small, metal cookie sheet or 1, small metal lunch box that can lie flat on their laps while in the stroller.
  • Bag(s) with the Popsicle Puzzle(s) in it.

I prefer the metal lunch box. You can keep the puzzle(s) in the deep part of the lunch box and put the Popsicle Puzzle together on the metal lid.  We always have to bring other toys with us on our adventures, and the lunch box is a great way to store those items as well. 

Have them put the puzzle together while you run in the stroller.

Depending on your child’s age and concentration level, you might have to bring more than one puzzle to keep them occupied while running.

Preparation Time: (1 -2 hours)

To actually create Puzzle Love it takes about 30 minutes; however, allowing the Mod Podge and the glue to dry fulling, it could take up to two hours total.


  • Popsicle Sticks – depending on your child’s age, it might determine the size of your Popsicle sticks. The narrower the Popsicle sticks, the harder the puzzle will be.
  • Magnets Tape with an Adhesive Back
  • Mod Podge
  • A Paint Brush
  • Craft and/or Xacto Knife
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue (optional)
  • Metal Lunch Box and/or a small cookie sheet


Week 5 - Different Popsicle Sticks

Cost: $26.76 (These items can be used for other Stroller Games)

Personalized Puzzle Love Instructions

1. For the puzzle – print out a favorite photo or two onto regular paper and line up Popsicle sticks over the top to see how many you’ll need.  With the jumbo Popsicle sticks, I needed about 11-12 sticks to complete the puzzle.

Chosen Photos- Toy Story

2. Paint the back of the photo with a thin coat of the Mod Podge.

painting Mog Podge

3. Line up the Popsicle sticks over the back of the photo (you can re-apply if needed).

Popsicle Sticks

4. Turnover and apply a coat of the Mod Podge over the top of the photo.

Photo after Mog Podge

5. After the Mod Podge drys, turn over the Popsicle sticks so the picture is facing down and use a Permanent marker to label each Popsicle stick with a shape, letter and or number. I used a diamond, star and square because I created three puzzles at once.  The shapes is a labeling system in order for your little one to be able to identify which Popsicle stick goes with what puzzle.  Inevitably, all our puzzles get mixed up together and it is difficult to sort the pieces.

Shapes Labeling

6. Next, you’ll need to separate the Popsicle sticks. Using a craft knife carefully cut the photo in between each stick (make sure your knife is sharp)

7.Then apply one or two piece of magnet tape to each Popsicle stick.  With the magnets on the back of the Popsicle sticks the puzzle pieces will stay flat and still on the metal tray and/or metal lunch box, while your child is putting the puzzle together on the run. Please note, even though the magnet tape is adhesive on one side, I still had to use glue to ensure the magnet stayed on.


8. Separate the puzzles into baggies and place them in the metal lunch box.

Plastic bags

Disclaimer:  Before incorporating any of these Stroller Runner Games, please ensure you warm up properly and stretch to avoid any injuries.

For more Stroller Runner Games, please see the posts below.

  1. Introduction to 52 Weeks of Stroller Runner Games
  2. Week 1: Red Light Green Light
  3. Week 2: I Spy
  4. Week 3: Find the Cars
  5. Week 4: Scavenger Hunt
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