Here's an easy to make project, that will give your little ones a nice, quiet activity.
Step 1: Preparing the graphic
This gave us a 4.25" square to work with.
We made two puzzles this day, so the photos and graphics are 'mix and match'
Using your graphics program, create a graphic/document, the size of your puzzle, and add any graphic, clip art, or text you wish. In the case of our Einstein puzzle, we sized it to the appropriate width, and just let the height exceed the boundary of the document. This is not a problem, as the laser will not etch outside the boundary.
Step 2: Etch the graphic
Using the recommended settings for wood, etch the graphic.
Tip: Popsicle sticks are made from soft wood. It is a good idea to test etch a few sticks to be sure not to etch too deep. Adjust the laser settings accordingly.
Step 3: Solve the puzzle
Since the pieces don't have to fit together, it is easy for kids with under developed motor skills to work with.
For a more challenging puzzle, try mixing up the sticks, and etch a second image on the back side!