How to Organize Puzzles

You want to know what’s been absolutely maddening for me lately? Nope not data sheets. Not training paras. Not even restraining 14 year olds. Puzzles. Yes, puzzles. Those tiny little pieces seem to be popping up like fireflies on hot summer night. And every freaked puzzle in my room is missing a piece. How do you think that goes with my rigid little guys? Yea right. We needed some organization stat.

A few simple moves that whipped my puzzle mess into shape:

  • Put each puzzle into a baggie. Cut out the cover of the box and tape on the baggie. Those little cheap boxes never make it past a few months of school.

The Autism Helper - Puzzle Organization

  • Pick a number for each puzzle and label each puzzle piece. A piece of roaming on the floor – bam – you know which puzzle it goes in!

The Autism Helper - Puzzle Organization

 

  • Do some puzzle spring cleaning. Spend some time going through all the puzzles and pitching the ones missing a bunch of pieces.

The Autism Helper - Puzzle Organization

Simple problem, simple fix 🙂

14 Comments

  1. I always enjoy your truths about your class. We are not alone.
    I teach little ones and one of them like to get more puzzles out than he should …..

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  2. What a fabulous plan. . . I have a bucket in my room where we keep the lost pieces. When a kid puts together a puzzle and a piece is missing, they grab the bucket and get to digging! It’s actually become quite a good skill! However, I would totally prefer not to have to worry about this skill development, so I WILL be labeling my puzzle pieces tomorrow! 🙂

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  3. Save pieces, color the backs and create autism awareness pins and magnets.

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  4. Awesome idea, Dara!

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  5. We do this every few years, but I have the kids paint the puzzle pieces and we put magnet on the back and give them out to school employees during autism awareness month. I didn’t have enough puzzles the right size that we weren’t using so this year I just went to dollar tree and bought new puzzles.

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  6. My OCD is asking….once they are all in bags, how do you store the bags…I hate having bins of baggies of stuff sitting around…..

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  7. It’s the worst! Haha! 🙂

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  8. I agree – this made out lives SO much easier! Such a little thing can make a big difference! 🙂

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  9. Great idea! We did that a few years ago but should do it again!

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  10. Cute! I saw an adorable Mothers Day Craft on pinterest too that could work also!

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  11. We put all the baggies in plastic drawers and I organize the puzzles by academic, easy (less than 30 pieces), and hard. I understand on the baggie issue! The drawers work well!

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  12. I use the little stack-able drawers and just cut out the picture and tape on the top of the lid. Like the idea of numbers on the back to find the missing ones on the floor!

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  13. We did this earlier in the year too – I have a student who used to trash the classroom when in crisis and we would have 30+ puzzles all over the floors to re-sort.. nightmare! After that first incident, my Teaching Assistants and I stayed after school one evening to put together every puzzle, label the pieces and label the boxes.. at the time they thought I was crazy, but the second time we had crisis trashing behaviour it took only minutes to tidy up the puzzle pieces AND my students were able to help collect and sort by the number too 😀 My OCD tendancies LOVE this organisation strategy!! 🙂 Sabrina

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  14. Love this! So true! Also – could be a very aversive consequence for the student if they have to clean it up!

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