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Old 02-07-2016, 12:50 AM
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Default Best Puzzle Rack? Or Better Methods for Storing Puzzles?

My class currently has the cheap, basic wire puzzle rack from Discount School Supply, but it's just not working very well. The kids keep accidentally pulling the whole rack off the shelf when trying to get a puzzle, causing all the puzzles to fall all over the floor. It ends up getting bent on a somewhat regular basis and then I'm stuck bending it back to puzzle size/shape, which I don't think I'm doing quite perfectly and I suspect that's causing issue number one.

This puzzle rack is the specific one I'm talking about:
http://www6.discountschoolsupply.com...?product=02900

It also doesn't hold peg puzzles, but fortunately I only have a couple and those just go on a different spot on the shelf.

I know there has to be a better storage method.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:10 AM
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I struggle with this too. I found a wooden puzzle shelf at thrift store but it only holds the smaller ones. Then I keep it put away because the babies dump and suck on them.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:53 AM
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Pinterest has a lot of solutions.

I saw a picture once, where it was a shelf dedicated to puzzles, where the actual shelves were angled. Puzzles were displayed and children could choose and return puzzles to the correct spot. Sort of like those angled storage shelves with buckets but full wooden shelves instead of buckets. Does that make sense? It looked really nice and easy for using/replacing but I am thinking it would take up a lot of room.

I hate the wire racks. Right now my puzzles are dumped into bins, mixed and hardly ever used.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:57 AM
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I bought this one
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/pro...FZOCaQod2F0Bcg

But had to have my DH take the metal slides out and add wood ones because the metal wasn't very sturdy.

I have more puzzles that this one holds and have considered a second box but have just been storing puzzles stacked empty with the pieces to each stored in a small plastic storage box along side each puzzle.

The kids can grab an empty puzzle board and find the plastic box with the coordinating pieces easily so it works for now.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:02 PM
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I keep all puzzles in Ikea cabinets.
015.jpg 014.jpg

It is how my classroom looks every evening

200.jpg
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:10 PM
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I never clean up puzzles. Children MUST set puzzle's pieces together before to put the puzzle back on a shelf.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:25 PM
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it is how I marked pieces of all small puzzles to avoid mixing them up

016.jpg
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:37 PM
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I saw somewhere the idea of using stacking letter trays. Similar to this..http://www.containerstore.com/s/offi...uctId=10018794
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:40 PM
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I don't *really* have room for another shelf right now, unfortunately.

How do the children get a puzzle out without knocking others off the shelf, ColorfulSunburst? Or do you do it?

I don't clean up puzzles either. Or any other toys for that matter. Most of my group is pretty good about cleaning up. There's a few that I have to remind, but as long as I stay on them, there's no issue.

I'm wondering if it might not work better if I tried to build a wooden rack?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Febby View Post
How do the children get a puzzle out without knocking others off the shelf, ColorfulSunburst? Or do you do it?
I do not do it. I show them a couple of times how to do it carefully. That's it.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:37 PM
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I tried just taking away the rack and stacking them on top of each other (I only had five puzzles out) and I've come to conclusion that I simply have too many children to stay on top of it. There's 22 in my class (with one other staff member with me) and there's too much going on for us to make sure they're being careful enough.

Which leaves me debating buying one from Lakeshore or trying to make one. And then debating whether or not I want it to be mine or my center's. Ugh, decisions.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Febby View Post
I tried just taking away the rack and stacking them on top of each other (I only had five puzzles out) and I've come to conclusion that I simply have too many children to stay on top of it. There's 22 in my class (with one other staff member with me) and there's too much going on for us to make sure they're being careful enough.

Which leaves me debating buying one from Lakeshore or trying to make one. And then debating whether or not I want it to be mine or my center's. Ugh, decisions.
I would just limit the number of children allowed to be in one area/center at a time.

It would probably be cheaper and easier than replacing the storage rack.
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:37 AM
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I have the wire rack, too, plus a stack of puzzles that could fill another rack. I assist with taking them out. When they have finished a puzzle, they bring it to me, and I help them choose another. My group loves puzzles, but couldn't handle free reign of them.
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I would just limit the number of children allowed to be in one area/center at a time.

It would probably be cheaper and easier than replacing the storage rack.
I already do that. I allow three in my puzzle/math center. The back of the shelf is up against one of the science shelves. I wonder if bumping into either shelf could cause the puzzles to fall off? I'll experiment with that today.

I *could* purchase one with center money easily enough. We get a relatively generous budget thanks to all the grants we keep getting. There are other things we could use, but the puzzle issue has driven me half insane, I swear.
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