Something’s Puzzling Me

By , January 11, 2008 11:40 am

(So sorry for the pun, but I just couldn’t help it!)

Dear Readers,

Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles….Unplugged Kids do a lot of puzzles, and we are “Puzzle Central” here at the moment. Puzzles are my 2 year-old’s latest obsession, but they have always presented a bit of a problem for me.

Those simple wooden puzzles with the tiny knobs just fascinate my little one! The problem is, that I have never figured out how to store them. They always seem to end up in a pile on the floor of mixed up pieces and debris.

You are all probably laughing kindly as you read this, shaking your head sadly and saying to yourself: “I can’t believe she doesn’t know.”

Is there some great Mom-Club puzzle organizing secret out there that I am not privy to?

I have tried the following:

- Stacking them on a shelf: Looks nice until someone wants a puzzle from the bottom and all, or at least, some of them end up tumbling to the floor.

- Stacking them in a large plastic storage box with lid: This is worse than stacking them on a shelf since they all spill inside the box creating a giant, hour long sorting exercise for me.

- Puzzle racks: Nice idea but expensive and take up a lot of room. When you have a lot of puzzles, then this is not a viable option. (Does anyone have a method of making these at home? It can’t be hard, but not being terrible handy, I haven’t really thought of an easy way.)

- Keep them on a high shelf out of reach: This is no fun, plus that means that kids must bug Mom anytime they want a puzzle. Definitely NOT a good idea.

- Baggies: Instead of keeping puzzles on a shelf with the pieces in them, take the pieces out for storage and put them in a labeled baggie that attaches to the puzzle board. This is probably my most successful storage method, but I am not using it at the moment because I don’t like fiddling with baggies and I am DETERMINED to find a better way to store the puzzles in an assembled manner.

Usually I am the one offering unasked-for advice to the whole world via this blog. Today however, I turn the tables. I am unleashing the power of the blogosphere to help me solve my puzzle-dilemma.

The challenge is this: We can send humans to the moon. But can we find an easy, affordable and tidy solution for those boxless knob puzzles? I leave it to you dear readers, to come up with a solution to my problem!

Or, do you all use that easy Mom-Club solution that I know must be out there. If so, am I worthy enough to be allowed in on the secret? Pleeese! Pretty pleeese???

Thank you.

Signed,
Puzzled in Arizona

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7 Responses to “Something’s Puzzling Me”

  1. Matt Pregont says:

    I put each puzzle in a big ziploc bag. The pieces fall out into the bag, but at least they’re all together.
    ~angel

    [Reply]

  2. Kate in NJ says:

    We have our wooden puzzles in a side table with nice deep drawers.
    Maybe some of those closet organizer shelves would work?
    I clicked on comments thinking you would have many great ideas for me to steal..not because I had one.lol

    [Reply]

  3. Marsha says:

    Sometimes we put all of the completed puzzles in a pile under the coffee table.

    Often, we put all of the puzzle pieces in a big plastic Halloween pumpkin, and leave the empty puzzle boards stacked up somewhere. My daughter likes to spread out all the puzzle boards, dump out the pieces, and work on all of her puzzles at once!

    [Reply]

  4. Christine says:

    I’m a stacker, too, and not in that easy-Mom-Club solution group either. LOL

    [Reply]

  5. Mom and Kiddo says:

    We put the puzzles in clear, shallow plastic bins, so if they spill, there are fewer pieces per box. Plus Ikea sells bins that are exactly the right size for the puzzles we have, that way the pieces don’t (normally) fall out. But it probably helps that we don’t have very many.

    [Reply]

  6. Sara Shalom says:

    Hi! First of all, I want to say that I like the new look of your site, and enjoy reading your posts very regularly. Thanks for “putting it out there”!

    We have 2 puzzle solutions: For the wooden kind, we keep a stack of the empty boards beside a crate full of zip locked baggies, each one holding the pieces of one puzzle. You just have to find the right baggie and the right board. I know you don’t like baggies, but my boys are 3, 5 and 6 and it works well for them.

    For cardboard puzzles with more pieces, I don’t like those cardboard boxes. So, I take all the pieces and put them into disposable plastic storage containers (like tupperware), with the cut-out photo of the puzzle taped to the lid. They stack nicely and are easy to keep track of.

    [Reply]

  7. Arlene says:

    Why not wrap each puzzle with plastic wrap before putting it away.
    The wrap will keep the pieces in place, and it is inexpensive!

    [Reply]

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