How to Organize and Store Children's Puzzles

by SusanM

Easy and tidy ideas for organizing and storing children's puzzles

Puzzles are an awkward toy to keep neat and tidy. This is especially so for knob or chunky puzzles for younger children that don't stack easily. But even puzzles for preschool and school age children get messy quickly.

There is always the risk of loosing the pieces too. If a piece is lost the puzzles becomes frustrating for your child because they can't finish it.

So to help stop these problems I'll take a look at how to organize and store children's puzzles.

Keeping Puzzles Tidy with a Puzzle Rack

Puzzle racks are a nice looking way to keep things tidy. The puzzles slide into place so they can't be knocked off a table or shelf (giving someone the fun of picking up all the pieces). The nice clean lines of a puzzle rack also makes things look more organized in a room. 

But puzzle racks are only suitable for wooden or hard cardboard puzzles: The ones that have the hard backing board. Other types of puzzles will sag in the rack making it hard to get the puzzles out. They also won't make things look more organized. 

So puzzle racks are perfect for smaller puzzles (up to about 48 pieces) that have the firm puzzle backing board. 

If you need to organize your toddler's puzzles you will need to look for something like the Half-Size Wire Puzzle Rack. This type of puzzle rack has more space between each puzzle making it better for chunky puzzles.

Standard puzzle racks might not work for toddler puzzles. This is because the space between each puzzle in the rack is usually not enough to fit the chunky pieces. But if you want a standard puzzle rack you can try putting a puzzle in every other slot to give more room to each puzzle.

Wire Puzzle Racks

Wire Puzzle Storage Case

Melissa & Doug

View on Amazon

Half-Size Wire Puzzle Rack

Constructive Playthings

View on Amazon

Boxed Puzzle Racks

Boxed puzzle racks are also a good looking choice. These work well with most children's decor and  they look good in a child's bedroom. They even look nice enough to store puzzles in a main room like a living area.

These puzzle organizers work in the same way as the wire puzzle racks. So the tips I gave about the wire racks apply to these boxes racks too.

Boxed Puzzle Racks

Tabletop Puzzle Rack

Wood Designs

View on Amazon

Puzzle Storage Case

Melissa & Doug

View on Amazon

Puzzle Racks on Ebay


Puzzle Carrying Case

This is a puzzle organizer with three functions.

1. It lets you take puzzles out and about to keep your child busy without losing pieces.


2. It can also be used as a puzzle storage bag that you can tuck away under a bed or in a cupboard at home. 

3. The bag can also double as a book or art supply bag

Plastic and Mesh Bags for Puzzles

An easy way to keep puzzle pieces together is to put them in a plastic or mesh bag you can seal.

You can get small plastic or mesh bags that are made for craft supplies that are perfect for puzzles.

This type of puzzle organizer works well for puzzles if your child is older.

Puzzles with more than 48 pieces usually don't have a backing board. So you can't slide them into a puzzle rack. This means puzzle racks can't be used for standard puzzles which just have the pieces.

If you decide to use a bag to organize your child's puzzles remember to cut out the puzzle picture and pop it into the bag too. This will not only show your child which puzzle is in the bag, the picture will help show them how the puzzle needs to be put together. (It's hard to do a puzzle when you don't know what the finished puzzle should look like.)

You can buy bags like the two shown in different sizes at Amazon. It's a good idea to buy bags in different sizes to suit different sized puzzles. It's also best to buy clear bags so you can see what puzzle is inside without having to open the bag.

Picture: In the Galaxy 60 Piece Puzzle (available at Amazon). 

Book bags, like this Book Buddy Bag make a great alternative to a puzzle rack. The bags are big enough to fit the puzzle backing board as well as all the pieces. If you want to keep the pieces extra tidy you can put them in a plastic or mesh bag first and then pop them into the book bag with the puzzle backing. 

The good thing about book bags for puzzle storage too is they have snap-shut handles which can also be used for carrying the puzzle about or hanging them in a cupboard. 

Safety Warning: Plastic Bags and Young Kids

If you are thinking of using a plastic book bag don't forget about safety. Book bags that are plastic should never be used with younger children because of the risk of suffocation. If you really want to keep a younger child's puzzles in these type of bags make sure you are the one to get the puzzle out of the bag. Never leave the  bag in their reach or let them get their own puzzles in and out of it. 

Book Buddy Bags

Book Buddy Bags
Creative Teaching Press

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Updated: 09/04/2012, SusanM
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