Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mama loves wooden puzzles

This may be really sad to admit but I think I love some of the kids' toys even more than they do.

I'm very old-fashioned in that I like the kids to actually use their brains to play so I love wooden toys. Seriously. I don't even look at the price if I see something wooden - I just toss it in the basket :) and justify it later.

Wood just feels so solid, substantial and... satisfying to play with.

Anyway, I'm really not a fan of puzzles (I lack patience) but because these were wooden, I got a lot of them. For the kids.

We got ours at Westpack and besides the puzzles, I also got dominoes, counting ones, big, medium, small, etc. Tons.

But they really won my little organisational heart over when I opened this box to do what I always do with kids' puzzles (make identical marks on the back of each piece for easy packing away) and I saw they already have them pre-printed.

Be still my beating heart!

these people didn't pay me; they don't even know me!
can't you just smell the wood? mmm

How cute are they?!

I store my our puzzles either in the box if it's nice and sturdy like these, or otherwise in individual ziplock bags, labelled of course, and then all the puzzles go in a big clear plastic container.

Do you like puzzles? How do you store yours?

PS On another note, I keep hearing about all these young kids (younger than mine) doing much bigger puzzles but they all say no 0 - 3! What's up with that? Am I too rule-following?

PPS I'm linking up with Julia today for the Mama loves linky party :)

Manic Mother


  1. We love puzzles. Olivia has a cupboard full and never tires of doing them. I have to admit to keeping them in their boxes (yes i know it is a space waster) but it definately entices her to do them when she can *see* what she is going to end up with.

    I love wood too .... sigh :)

  2. I love puzzles, and so do our girls. And you know I'm all about using our brains, too! And I do love me some wood!

    Our girls really picked up with puzzles just after they turned three. I had a light bulb moment when I let them work on puzzles individually. Previously the rule had been, one puzzle down at a time, and we all three worked together. When I let them play by themselves (with me kind of supervising to spur them on), something just happened. It wasn't long before they were so easily doing 25-piece puzzles.

    Now we mostly play with 48-60 piece puzzles. I buy many of them at the dollar store, and the boxes aren't very sturdy. I bought plastic sandwich containers, also at the dollar store, that hold the pieces. That won't work forever, those containers won't fit much more than 60 pieces, but it's great for now.

    (Our girls are nuts for plastic bags...I try to avoid using them! They want to play with the bag way more than the toy. Ack!) ;)

  3. To the previous comment, I've seen people take a picture of the completed puzzle (or box, I guess) and include it in the bag / taped on the storage box.

  4. Oh I adore wood too and the boys in general love their wooden cars and trucks. My FIL has made quite a few for the too. I keep puzzels in their boxes if possible in a book shelf.

    Do not stress about how many pieces - C does about 50 with help and 35 without, L is on about 12 only on his own. Our OT says that althpugh puzzles are important notall kid are "into" them and several other shape and visual toys she has fills the same role.BTW a lot of the stuff she uses has similar one at Early learning centre in some Woollies branches

  5. Oh and you know my favorite toys are blocks of all types. They are ageless and timeless.

  6. I am not a puzzle person - like you I have zero patience. Joshua is not too fond of them. I only recently discovered how much Joel LOVES them. He's on 50 pieces already. Must blog about this and our OT's response which annoyed me somewhat.
    We keep them in the box on a shelf. It's bulky but it just stores easier than plastic packets. I am currently loving this wooden OT thingy that I ordered a few weeks ago when I was in Jhb. It's one of those things where you practice how to cross your midline. Comes with a wooden pencil (attached to the thing) with no nib. I managed to get him to sit with it while he goes potty (otherwise he wants to play with my phone) and he's loving that and a shapes one that I also bought. You know, I think I will take pics and blog about them tomorrow.
    I wouldn't stress about the pieces either. Really, some kids are just not into them. I was definitely not a puzzle person and thinking back, Joshua wasn't either. Even now, he won't do one unless I tell him to.

  7. Hi Marcia! Thanks so much for linking up! Can I just say that I love that nail polish color you're sporting ?! :)

    It's funny you mentioned that you don't have the patience for puzzles. I have one daughter who does, and one that doesn't, as much. It's interesting to see their personalities that way.

    We do love wooden puzzles around here. Wooden everything, really. Wood just = sturdy in my mind. I really like how the puzzles you feature have markings on the back, so you can keep them strait, that's fantastic, and I'm sure comes in super-handy, if your kids, like mine, love to mix all the puzzle pieces together. Argh!!! At least they'll acknowledge it's a big mess by coming to tell me, "Big mess, Mama!!

    I haven't gotten beyond the puzzles that are on the boards yet. Though, I think the girls could handle bigger puzzles like the ones you've shown here. It's time to find some more challenging ones, I think.

  8. I love the shapes on the back to mark the puzzles. I've done that with stuff in my classroom before. I'm pretty laid back but mixed up puzzles make me kind of batty!

    We have five Melissa and Gregg wooden puzzles. Two are animal themed, simple matching. They can kind of do those, but still have trouble getting them exactly in the space. They probably just need more practice.

    Two (were gifts) are dress up dolls and we also have an awesome clock with movable hands that has numbers on 3D shapes. That one makes me almost giddy, it's so smart! Clearly they are not quite developmentally ready for these yet.

    I just take one out at a time right now, but I'd love to have one of those metal puzzle stands when they are older and can handle having more out. We had one when I taught PreK, and it was great.

  9. Those puzzles look really nice. Caitlyn loves puzzles and is pretty good with them, except right now they are not very organised (sadly!)

  10. We have quite a few puzzles too. I store them in freezer bags all inside of a plastic carrier bag. Every Monday morning I put out a different one and stash the last week's one back in with the rest. You know, I never thought about the 3+ thing before you just mentioned it. Before, when Nicola was still jamming everything in her mouth we didn't keep puzzles but now it's fine even though she's only 2 and a half at the moment. At school they reckon she should already be able to do a 10 piece puzzle by now but she can get up to 5 on a puzzle she's not familiar with and much more with ones that she knows well. That's why I keep getting them and changing them around. I want her to learn the skill and not the puzzle if that makes sense?

  11. As your child grows, you can introduce him/her to the more traditional and sometimes, complicated puzzles. Learning can be made easier with puzzles.


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