Puzzle Organization

Hey there! I am still here. You can always assume that if I am not blogging it is because I am super busy with real life stuff. I tend to take on too much and end up getting really burned out. That usually results in getting sick, too. It is like my body is forcing me to slow down and take care of myself. Unfortunately, moms don't get sick days. Even though my 4yo was struggling with a nasty cold herself, she still had way more energy than I could handle. I have written before about utilizing busy bags, quiet books, or stashes of special toys/activities to keep little ones occupied. The past few days we have gone through quite a few of them.

At the beginning of the year I was on a major decluttering and organizing spree. One of the things I tackled was the puzzles. I decided to throw away any puzzles that did not have all of their pieces. Most of them are from the Dollar Tree so it was not a great loss. It made it easier to clean the rest of the house because I tossed any pieces I found instead of saving them and trying to put them in the right box later. Here is the before picture...

Puzzle boxes take up a lot of space for the tiny pieces that they hold. They also come in all shapes and sizes, so the boxes do not stack neatly anywhere. I decided that it was easier to put them all in bags instead. All of the bags fit in one bin from the Dollar Tree. (Honestly, I don't shop there very often!) I cut the pictures off of the boxes so that they know what it is supposed to look like.

I can fit dozens of puzzles in that little bin!

It was a simple storage solution for us. Although, the puzzle my daughter chose to do was actually missing one piece. Figures!

Other posts that you may find helpful…

8 Tips that Help Me Declutter

Kitchen Decluttering and Organizing

Kitchen Organization for Lunchbox Stuff

Kitchen Drawer Organizing

Mod Podge Toy Doghouse

My parents have a great tradition with the grandchildren. When they reach a certain age, they are treated to a birthday dinner out/shopping spree/sleepover. My kids really enjoy it. They love having some one on one time with them and getting a break from their siblings! Last year, my dad helped my 9yo build a toy doghouse for some stuffed animals she chose on her shopping spree. She brought it home to have me help her decorate it. We finally got around to it a year later. I am going to let her tell you about it!

mod-podge-toy-doghouse

Scalloped Mod Podge roof made from scrapbook paper circles

Cut out flowers from scrapbook paper to use in mod podge crafts!

Cute kids craft using paint, scrapbook paper, and mod podge!

Wood play doghouse with removable side

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Hi! I'm Lydia. I have 2 stuffed dogs named Sky and Rose. My Pappy and I built a doghouse for my dogs.

Wooden Toy Doghouse
 

Then, my mom helped me decorate the doghouse and it was looking pretty good! First, I decorated the roof. We punched circles out of scrapbook paper. Then, we used Mod Podge to glue them on the roof.

paper-punch-scrapbook-roof
 

Some of them stuck out over the edge so we had to sand them off.

Sand paper edges when using Mod Podge!

how-to-make-a-scalloped-pap
 

Next, I painted the outside of the house red and the inside aqua. Then, we cut out windows, flowers, and butterflies from the leftover paper. We used Mod Podge to put them on, too.

brush-mod-podge-on-wood

lydia-mod-podge-flowers

how-to-make-a-paper-window
 

Last, Mom painted grass, stems, and leaves on the sides of the house.

Use floral scrapbook paper to create flowers with Mod Podge!

My doghouse turned out beautiful!

lydia-with-doghouse

circle-punch-mod-podge-roof

mod-podge-window

Kids craft toy doghouse makeover

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Thank you, Lydia! The before and after is pretty impressive. I was glad that we could work together on this. It is sometimes hard for me to let go of my perfectionism and let the kids have control of the craft projects. She did a great job!

If you want to pin it for later...

Wow! Look at this toy doghouse makeover!

You may also like...

hippo

no-sew-felt-play-mat

scrapbook-paper-frame

Stuffed Bunny Ear Transplant

Summer vacation is rough!!! I (laughably) thought it might be easier this year because I actually downsized from being with 20 kids all day to just 5. Hahahahaha! Dealing with 5 of my own kids is entirely different. They aren't used to being with each other all day so they need to reestablish the pecking order. It is taking longer than usual with the hormones raging in this house these days (oh, just a sample of what is to come, I know!) Now we have a heat wave and my car is in the garage. It has been quite the week! So, if you are wondering where I have been, I am probably hiding- locked in my bedroom and curled up in the fetal position with a bag of chocolate chips.

OK. Not really.

I have ice cream.

Every now and then I get ambitious/drink extra coffee and try do something fun. Last week we went on our planned shopping excursion, but it took until 2pm or so to get them to clean their rooms so we could leave. Our first stop was the thrift store for a very specific purpose- bunny ears. The kids are waking up right now so I am going to let my 9yo do a little guest posting and tell you about it!

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I have a stuffed bunny named Twinkle Toes. It is a Beanie Boo that has the same birthday as me. My aunts' dog chewed off my bunnies' ears. They don't make these bunnies anymore so we couldn't get a new one. My mom and I decided to go to the thrift store to find new ears. I found the perfect bunny. It's ears were backwards! We all went home and mom washed the bunny. A few days later, my mom seam ripped what was left of the ears on Twinkle Toes. She also cut the ears off of the 2nd bunny. She sewed the ears on Twinkle Toes. We even added a pink flower! AGAIN, MOM SAVES THE DAY!!!!!!!!!

beanie-boo-missing-earsbunny-ear-transplanttwinkle-toes-after

Thank you for posting for me today, Lydia! I am happy that I could fix your bunny for you!

Felt Penguin Dress-Up Busy Bag

A few weeks ago I was talking to my sister about how to keep the kids occupied when you are trying to get something accomplished that requires a little more concentration and brain power- like taxes. One thing that I like to do is to keep certain toys and activities out of reach so that they have that novelty factor when I do pull them out. It can be puzzles, play-doh, or a box of toys with tiny pieces that I do not like cleaning up. Sometimes I also look for busy bag ideas on Pinterest. I found a cute felt penguin idea HERE so I decided to make my own. Of course, I over-achieved a little bit and made the accessories more detailed. All it took was some felt scraps, hot glue, and a few googly eyes.

DIY felt penguin dress up game

felt dress up penguin busy bag

felt penguin dress up game

Try this easy toddler felt penguin busy bag!

It is fun to mix and match, but it can also be used for color sorting.

Toddler activity- play dress-up with felt penguins.

Everything fit inside a regular sandwich bag, so I just keep it in a drawer to pull out on special occasions when I need a few minutes.

felt penguin busy bag

felt penguin dress-up busy bag

If you want to pin this one to save it for later...

Make this penguin dress-up toddler busy bag.

If you are super ambitious, I have lots of quiet books I have made that you can see HERE.

If you are looking for some easier ideas, try these...

DIY I Spy Bottles MOPS Craft

No-Sew Felt Play Mat ~ Great kids craft!

Easy Ribbon Wands Tutorial