Organizing Your Toddlers Puzzles and GamesEmily McClements
I don’t know if this is true of your toddler, but mine loves to make a mess. He is forever dumping, throwing, spilling, dropping something all over the floor. It’s seriously enough to make a mama crazy.
With both of my kiddos home all day, everyday now that school is out, I have to figure out ways to keep the chaos contained, at least somewhat.
One of the things I was really struggling with keeping organized and contained were my kids’ puzzles and games. You know, puzzles with lots of little pieces in cardboard boxes that little kids like to step on, and sit on, and generally render useless for actually containing anything. And games with their many cards and player pieces that if missing make them not-so-fun to play.
Finally, I got the idea from a friend to store puzzle and game pieces in basic Ziploc storage bags to keep them organized and keep all the pieces together in one place.
So I headed to the store and bought some gallon size and quart size Ziploc bags and then spent an hour or so one afternoon organizing all my kids’ puzzles and games.
I cut off the picture of the puzzle from the front of the box, so my kids would be able to remember what the picture looks like when they’re making the puzzle, and slid that into the bag along with all the puzzle pieces. For the puzzles that didn’t have a picture, I used the label space on the bag and wrote what puzzle the bag was holding, and how many pieces it should contain — so I can count the pieces and know they are all there, without having to make the whole puzzle. I also gathered together the many different card games that my kids have, and put all the cards, and the directions for the game, together into a bag.
This makes all the puzzles and games much easier to store because the bags take up a lot less room than all those boxes did. We store the bags all together in a storage box, and my kids can easily find what they want to play with, and get it out themselves.
I will admit that a year ago, or so, when I first implemented this plan, it was brilliant because my son couldn’t open up the zip-top bags. But it’s no longer fool-proof. Now that he is older, and can open up the bags, he is not above opening all of the puzzle bags and dumping all the pieces out and mixing them up together. Sigh.
I guess he just really wanted to have an afternoon puzzle making marathon. Well, with the heat wave we’re having here, I guess that’s not such a bad idea after all.
I’m off to make, and sort, and organize, all of our puzzles. Again.
How do you keep your kid’s puzzle and game pieces organized and easily accessible for them?