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Keeping Puzzles Organized November 28, 2010

Filed under: Tips — Lizz @ 11:02 am
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My daughter had recently rekindled her love of puzzles.  Every Thursday she is picked up from school by her grandpa.  Before they head back home, they tend to stop at a variety of places.  One of these is, as Skylar has named it, “the place with the old guy with the beard”.  That’s KFC.  One of their other favorite stops is the dollar store.  Here they stock up on items for the house, coloring books, small toys, and puzzles.  I can’t tell you how many times I have come to pick her up, and the two of them are concentrating over a puzzles with princesses on them.  It really warms my heart to tell you the truth.


Since all this puzzle play has started, I have seen a dramatic increase in Skylar’s puzzle abilities.  She was doing 24ish piece puzzles completely on her own.  She’s now doing 50 piece puzzles on her own, and can do 100 piece puzzles with help.  While I am thrilled with her ability to do larger puzzles, it also means that we have approximately eleventythousand puzzle pieces around here.


The other night Skylar and I put together these two puzzles:


(before anyone asks, we have had these for a while, and I don’t remember where we got them.  Sorry!)


After we were done, we broke them up and put them away.  Later I found a piece on the floor.  The problem is that I didn’t have a clue which puzzle it was supposed to go to, since they were so similar.  Ugh.  We did the puzzles again and found the piece’s home.  Before putting them away again, I used a little technique I came up with while teaching.


I assigned each puzzle a number, and wrote that number on the back of each piece.




Yes, each piece.



It is a pain to write a number on 50 or more tiny puzzle pieces?  Yes.  But the first time you find a stranded piece on the floor with a number 2 on it (or worse, several puzzle that have been dumped out together, gah!), you will see that it’s worth it.


Have a puzzle that is missing pieces?  I have a few great art ideas that you can use those for.  I will try to get something posted on that soon.  Until then,  Happy organizing!




11 Responses to “Keeping Puzzles Organized”

  1. Jodi Says:

    Great idea! To conserve space we cut the front of the box out ( the picture part) and put it in a ziplock bag with it’s coordinating pieces. Then we put them all in a box.

    • Lizz Says:

      I have tried to keep boxes, but they only seem to last a few times before getting squashed, so I too use bags at that point. I love using the ziplock bags with the slider at the top. So much easier for the kids to open and close themselves.

  2. Remind me of this in about 7 years when i need it, k? 🙂

  3. Thats a really great idea! When we went through a puzzle craze, I used to put the puzzle on a cutting board, flip it over, and paint the back with a stampad roller. I’d then paint the back of the box the same color! ITotally saved my sanity! 🙂

    I’m stopping by from No Time For Flash Card’s “Show Us your Best”. I hope you’ll do the same! You can see read my “best” @ http://sofiasideas.com/2010/11/27/shrink-that-growing-giant-2/

    Sofia’s Ideas

  4. allison m Says:

    I did this very same thing with 3 different Clifford puzzles we have. It made putting the pieces back in the right box so much easier.

  5. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kim Says:

    Such a great idea!! I am doing this tonight with our puzzles 🙂

  7. Jessica Says:

    oooo. me likey! In my classroom puzzle boxes are destroyed the first time they are used. I now have my puzzles in plastic chinese/pasta containers with the little picture of the puzzle taped to the top. They have lasted 3 years. Hmmm.. now I have to find someone to write numbers on the backs of all the pieces. 🙂

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