My 3 year old absolutely LOVES puzzles and we have tons of them. When he was not even three yet, he was putting together 40-50 piece puzzles...which completely baffled everyone. Not long after his 3rd birthday he was putting together 100+ piece puzzles. Naturally, the more puzzle pieces a puzzle has, the smaller they are. So you can understand my frustration when he manages to dump five or more puzzles into a pile mixing them up together. I usually spend 30 minutes at least trying to figure out what pieces go with which puzzle. This takes up a lot of time that we could be doing something else, so I started doing something that I remember seeing when I was a child.
Although, I am sure this is nothing new and that many of you moms out there already had this idea. I just wanted to share because it has really saved me a lot of time in the afternoon. Not only when my son manages to dump all his puzzles into one large pile, but also when he actually puts them together they end up spread out all over our floor and putting them away is much faster and easier now. Especially when I find a stray piece laying on the floor somewhere.
This is so simple, I just assign each puzzle a number and write that number somewhere on the outer box or tin. Then with a sharpie, I write that number on the back of each puzzle piece, so it's easy to see which piece goes with which puzzle. Love it!