Thursday, February 9, 2012

Puzzle Organization

Since it's hard to stack puzzles with their pieces in place, and since I'm a freak about not losing pieces, I set about to figure out a way to keep the pieces contained whilst keeping them accessible to the Puzzle Master (aka James). At first I stored each puzzle's pieces in Ziploc baggies and I wrote a description on the bags. That was fine, but the bags became worn out, the writing rubbed off, and the appearance of dozens of ziploc bags heaped together just wasn't appealing to me.

One day, while laying down for a much needed nap, my mind continued to race and wander (typical - just when I have the clearance to rest, I can't!). For some reason, the puzzles came to mind and 10 minutes later I was at the dollar store buying up disposable containers.

I decided to put each puzzle's pieces into a container, and then label both the puzzle and the container with the same sticker. I'm not a fan of writing on containers (never know when you may want reuse them!), and even though James can read, I wanted something with quick and easy recognition (I'm thinking ahead to Juliet's puzzle days!).

I used stickers from this set. Thanks to my sister-in-law, I happened to have two of the same tablet, which I was pleased about because I really wanted the stickers on the puzzle and the container to be identical. I chose letters because they are small, and there are a lot of them (of course numbers would work well, too, I just didn't have them on hand), and when I ran out of letters, I simple double them up (e.g. AB).

This method has been working out SO well! James enjoys finding the letter matches, and I enjoy the easy clean up and contained mess. Another benefit is that the containers are stackable!

~Thank you for your comments!~

21 comments:

Family and Co said...

Excellent idea! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

I like this method. Right now all of our puzzles are in one medium sized plastic tote, but we only have 6 or 7. I like that all of ours are contained, but I don't like that the puzzles have to be placed in the bin completed and in a certain order so that they'll all fit.

My friend, Kristin, also posted about her puzzle organization today.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

This is a great idea, and looks so nice and neat. I remember searching high and low for a puzzle tray for all our wooden puzzles, but they are SO expensive, and never had enough room for all of our puzzles. This is the perfect solution!

life:styled said...

well that's just smart!! great puzzle solving ;)

stampingirl said...

Great tip! I never thought of that. We are always losing pieces. TFS!

Ms. Mo'mina said...

Hi Mari-Ann,

Let me first say congratulations on your new baby : ). Second, you are one of my favorite blogs. I am over the moon about this idea, and can't wait to implement it here. Its perfect!

-Ms. Momina

Kristi said...

what a great idea! I have a huge stack to reorganized after my almost 2 year old tornado go a hold of them. What a mess! This should work really well! I think I'll get the screw top ones just to make it more difficult on the ones too hard for him.

Niki said...

Funny you should post this the same day I have been pulling my hair out about all the puzzle pieces my kids have dumped on the floor! Not sure if the containers would help that or not, but it might be worth a try. :)

Jen said...

Wonderful job organizing! I have issues with that as well and was thinking that I needed to change the way I was storing them.

Jessica said...

Excellent idea! My 20 month old is also a puzzle lover and I, the neat freak.

I was just thinking about a better storage method because he kept tipping them over..

This is really a good idea...thanks!

Lindsey said...

Love this idea! I was just trying to brainstorm a good puzzle organization idea, now I don't have to! :) Thanks for sharing!

jill said...

You are a genius! Thank you for sharing.

English said...

Thanks for the idea! My ziplocs were becoming to much! We did the masking tape on the ziplocks with the writing on there which helped but this is even better and it looks great!

Laura said...

Such a wonderful idea! I work in a preschool and have been thinking for ages that I need to sort out all our puzzles but couldn't work out how best to do it! Now I have no excuse!!! lol x

Constance said...

Love this idea! Can't wait to do this!!

April said...

Great idea! I did something similar but I also labeled the back of each puzzle piece. With mobile little ones, it's not uncommon for several puzzles to get dumped. This makes clean up and re-sorting very easy for us! :)

Kia said...

LOVE this storage idea! My daughter is into dumping her puzzles all over the place...great way to keep them contained!

Marnie Craycroft said...

Wow, I am once again so impressed...thank you for sharing. I pinned this one! - Marnie from Carrots are Orange

bwolfe said...

I've washed and reused the plastic containers from pre-packaged deli meat to store puzzles whose boxes get torn. (I can't stand to throw them out, and knew there HAD to be another good use for them!) I love your idea of putting the matching stickers on the containers and the corresponding puzzle board! I am expecting my 3rd child and I also teach kindergarten, so that tip is perfect! Thanks! :)

laurensmommy said...

Oh my goodness. I cannot tell you how awesome this idea is!! Between my teaching days and my 3 year old who LOVES puzzles, we have TONS and I get so frustrated stacking them up and worrying about the pieces falling out. I even left a message on an organizing website asking how they store puzzles!! :)

I will be headed to Dollar Tree bright and early tomorrow- thank you, thank you!!!!

Roz Karp said...

I did this in the early 70's when I taught kindergarten. I just wrote a letter on the back of each of my wooden puzzle pieces and wrote it on the frame. I never lost a piece and when a bunch got dumped, I would have the children put all the same letters into the containers. Win Win!!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails