Magnetic Movie Puzzle

   I love to travel.  It feeds my soul like no other.  I tend to revolve my entire life around road-trips and beach excursions.  Of course, when I became a mom, traveling became much more difficult.  My packing skills, patience, creativity, efficiency, and endurance are all tested each and every trip.  I'm no expert on traveling with babies, especially since we always fly or drive for pleasure, but I made these Magnetic Movie Puzzles for the plane rides to and from Disney World and they were a huge hit with my kids!  Now they are a permanent fixture on vacations, long days in the car, and even while we wait for my daughter to get out of dance.

   With a love for Disney movies, we are never in short supply of DVD jackets/sleeves.  I'm sure they have some purpose, such as catching dust or hypnotizing consumers to snatch up the newest edition.  Unfortunately for people like me with leanings towards OCD, it's just another step to have to match the sleeve with its movie while I alphabetize and re-organize after yet another day of the DVD collection being ransacked by my two-year-old. 

Click here for the "Stay Put Puzzle"
   When my husband planned a vacation to Disney World, I used the upcoming trip as another excuse to make things for the girls.  (Scissors and Elmer's glue are therapeutic to me.)  While my daughters were steamrolling the Chore Chart and racking up an exorbitant amount of Disney Dollars, I was looking on Pinterest for general travel tips.  As most of my readers know, I have a deep passion for children's books.  So when I ran across this book jacket puzzle (pictured left), it looked like an easy way to keep the girls entertained and quiet. 

   I love this idea because it reinforces a love for books, is a great example of reuse, and it challenges their little minds. However, most of our book jackets when made into puzzles would be too big to fit in our tried-and-true diaper bag/backpack that still goes everywhere with us- even though we are officially potty-trained and diaper-free (read potty-training tips in "Everyone Poops").  That's when I got the idea to use movie sleeves.  I was so excited when I found a baking pan big enough to fit a DVD, yet small enough to fit in any of our usual bags.  I still want to make the book puzzles for home use but the cardboard movie jackets are smaller and thicker than the paper book jackets.  And what better way to get them even more excited about Disney World than to use Disney movies?

   So, for several nights in a row while I caught up on my Real Housewives drama, here is what I was doing:

  • Things you'll need: two (especially if you have at least two children) 8 x 12 x 2 cake pans, magnetic tape, a pencil, scissors, storage/ziploc bags, an existing puzzle (if you want to trace the pieces) and movie sleeves

  1. Carefully trim the back and sides/title off the movie sleeves, do not discard
  2. Flip the cardboard upside down, place existing puzzle on top
  3. Trace one piece of the puzzle at a time with the pencil, removing each after you trace all edges

  • Cut out all the puzzle pieces and add a small strip of magnetic tape to the backs
  • If you don't want to spend time cutting all the curves, follow the directions here
  • Locate the trimmings from earlier, cut the title strips off the side and use them as labels for the storage bags
  • To use, first stick pieces to the side of the pan and then assemble puzzle in the bottom- this is really helpful when you don't want to be fishing pieces out of car seat cracks or airplane crevices.

  • Tip: use the extra baking pan to hold the other bags of puzzles (and the empty bag for the puzzle in use), then stack the pan with puzzle in progress on top of the storage pan for super compact use in small spots!

   My two girls love these puzzles and use them all the time!  The only problems I've experienced are sometimes the magnetic tape falls off the pieces (which I then reinforce with glue instead of depending on the stickiness of the tape) and the girls did express a slight initial disappointment that the pieces don't "click" together like a real puzzle.  In fact, the pieces are a bit wiggly and it's a little more difficult to do than a regular puzzle.  But we like the challenge.  They were angels on the plane last fall and still use them at home, in the car, and while we wait at doctor's appointments or dance classes!




  1. I think you might have missed your calling as a Walt Disney Imagineer.
    What I liked the best was the zip lock bags labeled with the puzzle box artwork.

    1. Haha! Possibly... :] I'm really glad I made these. The girls still play with them frequently! Thanks for stopping by!