The flat ones that come in a frame (for the 3-5ish set). How do you keep them? We were gifted a bunch and frankly it's driving me nuts to keep all the pieces from each puzzle together. Rules for letting the kids get them out? Today I let each of my boys "do" one. They dumped them out and we did them together then they dumped them out again and walked away. I was SOOOO not in the mood to do two puzzles before the baby could walk away with the stupid pieces.
What do you do with puzzles?
I used to love puzzles as a kid but I never really remember leavng them scattered. My 3 year olds don't much care for them - they'll play with them a bit but then lose interest and just leave the pieces scattered. I don't know how they'll feel about them when they're older, but for right now, I just decided to let puzzles be toys they play with at the library or wherever. When they outgrew the baby puzzles I just donated them and didn't get the next level difficulty puzzles. I still love them so when they get a bit older I'll bring my old puzzles out again. Maybe they'll join in on mine; I remember as a kid the whole family (cousins, everyone) used to come together over a few nights and put together a large puzzle. And of course if they show interest as kids I'll get them puzzles of their own - IF they are a little bit more focused at the time and able to put them away.
So I guess, my advice would be - if your kids are interested enough in puzzles to take good care of them, let them keep some. If they're just going to get dumped, then I'd say just nix them altogether.
(As a grown up, I hate to say this cos normally I'm all about the low tech, but some of my favorite puzzles are actually played on the computer, such as with Puzzle Bee. No pieces to lose! But that kind of takes away the fun of everyone doing it together.)
could you just keep them upright in a plastic shoebox, and let the pieces just be in the bottom of the box if a quick clean-up is needed?
when my older 2 were little, we had a metal frame that the puzzles fit into flat...i think we got it at sam's or costco or something. but that would still require the puzzle to be "done" to put it away.
We keep ours stacked in a cabinet (that the kids can't reach). If they ask to do a puzzle, they are each allowed one at a time. They can do another one once the first one is cleaned up and put away. They probably only ask for them once every three weeks or so. Our local library has lots of puzzles, and they keep them in very durable zippered clear-front bags. I would love to have some of those, but they're probably expensive!