Storing puzzles in the classroom has always been such a challenge. I can't stand the wire puzzle racks as all puzzles aren't created equal. Some are just too big or too small to fit the rack. This leaves the puzzles falling and scattering pieces all about. I don't like to store things away form the kids- out of sight means out of mind. After searching for better puzzle storage I came across a few different options. I decided to go with the containers. Shocking I know given my recent confession in regards to my plastic container obsession. After several trips to the Dollar Store I found enough different sized containers to fit my puzzle pieces.
Large Floor Puzzles
The large blue containers are a much needed improvement over the cardboard boxes as you can see from my photos below. I salvaged the picture from the box and taped it to the inside of the lid, so students will have it to refer to. I labeled the front of the box with a number and did the same for the back of each puzzle piece. This way when I do find a random puzzle piece I will know exactly which container to put it in.
I really debated over what to do with these. As I said earlier I was using the wire rack, but the rack didn't work, puzzles always fell. Originally I bought smaller plastic containers to put them in and my intention was to label the puzzle pieces with numbers and write the corresponding number on the puzzle board. I would really like to use this system. However,the containers do take up more space,and I just don't have the room. Instead I stacked all the tray puzzles in one large plastic container that is kept on the shelf next to the big floor puzzles. I will rotate these puzzles for the kids to use.
Someday I may get super creative and take a photo of each puzzle and put it in a photo album with the puzzle number, for the kids to flip through and select their puzzle. Until then, they will just have to use the method I'v put into place.