Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Keeping the Pieces Together

Having three kids means having lots of puzzles which also means lots of puzzle pieces. One of my three year olds LOVES jig-saw puzzles.   In fact he can put together a fifty piece jig-saw puzzle all by himself.   However, my other two are still playing with their peg board puzzles. While there are not as many pieces as a jig-saw, I still found myself constantly looking for pieces.   We have an alphabet puzzle with twenty-six pieces, a numbers puzzle with ten pieces and a colors puzzles with another ten pieces, just to name a few.  A missing puzzle piece can be very disconcerting for the two to three year old set and I was finding myself (far too often) ransacking the house to find the letter R so that my boys could move on with their lives.

I didn't want to have to buy one of those wire racks for three reasons:
(1) they take up too much room
(2) they are not cheap and
(3) we had more puzzles than a wire rack could handle.

For a while I had all the puzzles in a bin and the respective pieces in ziploc bags. This was done at the suggestion of my son Jake's occupational therapist so he could work on strengthening his fingers by pulling open the individual bags to remove the puzzle pieces. However I still found myself searching through bags and bags looking for pieces to accompany the chosen puzzle of the moment.   Finally I had an epiphany.   I placed a Velcro strip on the bag of the puzzle board and a Velcro strip on the ziploc bag and eureka...each puzzle had the coordinating pieces without going on a scavenger hunt each time.

 Now when one of my sons wants to do a puzzle he simply removes the ziploc bag from the back of the puzzle and opens it up to access the multitude of pieces that were once scattered around my house!!