My boys are both really in to doing puzzles, so today I’m sharing some tips with you on how I organise our jigsaw puzzles.
My biggest bugbear is these kinds of puzzles (see above) that just come on a sheet of cardboard and not in a box. However, they are popular and cheap, often available at the supermarket in the bargain aisle, and don’t break the budget while still satisfying their cravings for new puzzles. But, since they don’t come in boxes, the pieces inevitably end up scattered around the playroom and the pieces from different puzzles get mixed together. One solution – which I have seen other mums do – would be to put them in some kind of bag or pocket, but we just stack them on the boys’ bookshelf.
So, what I do to easily be able to sort out which pieces belong to the same puzzle, is to mark the back of the pieces. Especially for puzzles that look very similar, like these two Pixar Cars puzzles. I started with symbols, as you can see in the photo above, and moved on to numbers and letters as they grew older and started being able to recognise those. This also works for puzzles that do come in a box, by the way, as kids will be kids and at some point they are going to empty out the boxes too and mix them altogether, don’t we know it. Luckily, so far we only have puzzles with no more than 30 pieces, as I can’t see myself keeping this up as the pieces get smaller and the puzzles bigger. I’ll be keeping Oskar-Bear’s big boy puzzles our of the little ones reach, for sure!
The other thing that really bugs me with these board puzzles – especially considering they are aimed at younger kids who could use the visual guidance – is that as soon as you take the pieces out, you don’t have a picture any more to guide you, unlike puzzles that come in a box. So what I do, is I photograph them in their completed state, then print them out. We keep all the print outs stacked together with the puzzles. To make them last longer, I laminate them too, but you could also put them in a poly pocket, or print them out on card, to make them more durable.
Voila! The boys can now piece their puzzles back together whilst still having a picture to look at.
Do you have any other good puzzle organising tips to share? Please feel free to share them in the Comments.