I just learned that January 29 is National Puzzle Day. I have had this post kickin’ around in my drafts for quite some time and I thought it would be appropriate to share today. If you are a puzzle lovin’ family like us, and if your puzzle collection looks anything like ours before I wrote this post, you need to know that puzzles are the Deal of the Day on Amazon today.
Did you love puzzles as a child? Do you love them still, now, as an adult? Do your children share your love?
I don’t know about you guys, but I think there’s something very special about that moment when you fit that very last piece in a puzzle that you’ve been working on for a while.
Unless, of course, that piece is missing.
Am I right??
Well, today I’m sharing a simple puzzle hack. It’s not anything revolutionary, but it is helpful.
And I like to share helpful.
When Leo was 2 and 3-years-old, he would come downstairs every morning and complete a series of puzzles before eating his breakfast. I needed my coffee, and Leo needed his puzzles. I’d sit on the couch, sipping my coffee, and watch him complete his morning puzzles. Once complete, he’d cheerfully inform me that he was ready for his breakfast and bolt to the kitchen. Fueled with two cups of strong coffee, I felt prepared for the day.
It was our morning routine.
Isn’t it funny, how family members can be so different and yet so similar? My youngest is now 4-years-old and for the past couple of years we have often referred to him as The Puzzle Boy.
Just like his older brother, he has a puzzle routine. The only difference is, his puzzle routine happens during the evening hours.
Basically, we think the child is sleeping and he’s actually having a puzzle-palooza. Often without his britches.
My husband and I will put our little poppies to bed and then head downstairs to read or watch television. At the end of the night, we will climb the steps and head to each child’s room to turn off the lights they have left on. When we enter my youngest’s room, his floor is filled with completed puzzles. And, all-too-often, we find him still awake in the midst of a puzzle.
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but nothing bugs me more than missing puzzle and game pieces.
I strive to keep our puzzle pieces in the appropriate boxes so that our children can feel that sense of accomplishment when that very last piece is placed.
One of the cruddy things about being the youngest child is that you have to deal with hand-me-downs. And, I bet you can imagine what our puzzle collection looks like after two puzzle-obsessed children.
Recently, when cleaning the kids’ rooms, I suddenly realized that our puzzles were in pretty atrocious condition. It’s as if I saw those puzzles for the very first time.
It’s as if I saw those puzzles for the very first time.
My youngest is not just The Puzzle Boy. He’s also known as The Ambassador of Joy. He might be the world’s happiest kid. In fact, I have a friend who calls him The Anti-Depressant.
He’s awesome, and being the awesome Anti-Depressant-Ambassador-of-Joy-Puzzle-Boy that he is, he has not ever complained about his pathetic, dirty, broken, and incomplete puzzle collection.
He never asks for anything, folks, and so I decided to buy some brand-new puzzles for my little Anti-Depressant-Ambassador-of-Joy-Puzzle-Boy just because.
Well, today I’m here to show you a very simple puzzle piece hack. Just in case you loathe missing puzzles pieces as strongly as I do!
Puzzle Piece Hack
Here is a super-easy parenting puzzle piece hack that will help your children to keep their puzzle collections organized and complete.
- Grab a sharpie.
- Open the puzzle box.
- Dump the pieces out.
- Write the first letter of the name of the puzzle (for example J for Ravensburger’s Jungle puzzle).
- Write a J on the back of each piece (I know, a bit annoying but I’m telling you that it works).
- If your puzzle box is ruined (it happens!), simply put the puzzle pieces in zip lock bags and label the bag as you would the box cover.
You can also put those kiddos to work, folks. Simply give your kids different colored Dab a Dots and have them put those on the back of each puzzle piece.
Now, all your children need to do is to look at the inside of the box cover to know which pieces go in which box. Let me tell you, when you find a rogue puzzle piece under your couch and turn it over to see that big fat J, you’ll be thankful!
Tell me, folks… Do you love puzzles? Do you have any storage and organization tips’n’tricks? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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