I have a love/hate relationship with games.  I've always loved playing games (well, the ones I'm able to win), and I love it when my children play games.  Even games that are just for fun teach so many lessons:  good sportsmanship, taking turns, counting, strategy, and how to stack the deck to make the game of Candy Land finally end.  What I don't love is that they often have so many different little parts to them.  Parts that are evidently very difficult to put back into the box and put away.  At least that is my assumption since so often I walk into a room only to discover half empty game boxes with their contents strewn about the floor.  I then commit the grave parenting error of making threats that my children are well-aware that I have no intention of carrying out.  You know the type:  "If you people can't keep the games organized and all the pieces put away I'm going to throw them all away since we won't be able to play them because they are all missing pieces!"  (I have a tendency toward run-on sentences when I've worked up a steam.)  I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I just can't help myself.  And really, I don't want to throw away the games.  I want to have my children play them.  I just want them to put them away when they are done.

This is one of those areas of parenting that I just can't quite get a hold of.  I need suggestions!  How do all of you keep your games organized and kept together?  Or do you?  I need help or my head may perhaps explode and then I'll have to clean that up, too.


Angie said…
Make sure each game has a ziploc or slider bag associated with it. The kids learn to put the pieces back in the baggie. That way even if they leave it out, the pieces are still together.

They may need some direction for a while though.

good luck!
Melissia said…
When my kids were young we had a closet that was designated the puzzle, game closet and they were checked out. 4 kids at our house, and upon return, intact, with all pieces and in ziplock, a sticker was given to each child for their chart. So many stickers equaled a small toy or reward. Another thing that I used to do was reinforce the boxes with extra wide tape to strengthen them, they seem to last longer that way. And we used a cookie sheet with edges or a later a table with trim added on which to do our puzzles, that way we did not lose many pieces.
I know it sounds a bit like a day care but we did the same with our craft supplies as well and it worked for us, everyone liked knowing where all the supplies would be and the kids got practice by signing out for the supplies that they used. That way we knew what we had, what we had used and what we needed to replace and the kids got experience with all kinds of skills. Of course we modified it according to age and ability, starting with pictures first and then moving up to sigh out sheets.
It worked very well when we could not find the pinking shears, we could just see who had them last!
sandwichinwi said…
A slider ziploc, yes! I also glue the directions into the lid of the box. There is almost always a back side with nothing important on it, (or use the Spanish side!) that you can glue onto the lid. If there really is no unessential page, I just glue down one of the margins. I've also read about people putting all the pieces into a ziploc and stacking all the boards on a shelf and just throwing away the boxes. I can't bring myself to do that, though! What if it's worth thousands of dollars some day, and I threw away the box!!!? (I have finally come to peace with throwing away dust jackets, however)

I have to say, I am blessed with kids who are good game-putter-awayers.

Now if only they could put away their laundry!


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