Puzzles are so much fun. But they are not very portable for the kids when we are out running errands. So I was very excited to hear about a new kind of puzzle. We were privileged to get the opportunity to try out the FlipStir Rainbow Pencils puzzle from Enlivenze LLC.
The FlipStir Rainbow Pencils puzzle ($24.95) contains 10 puzzle pieces that are self-contained. It is a beginner level puzzle, that is made for ages 7 and up. Each puzzle container contains the pieces, and also a special flip-stir wand device to help move the pieces.
I will admit, I just sat staring at the Rainbow Pencils puzzle for several minutes. I mean....HOW?!?!
It took me a little while to get used to using the FlipStir wand. Everything is sealed up, so there are no lost pieces. You must move the pieces using the wand. I have found the FlipStir Rainbow Pencils puzzle to be a great critical thinking skills challenge.
You shake up the puzzle. Then get started. It's not a quick fix. Caty got very frustrated quickly, since she couldn't move the pieces around with her fingers. She also couldn't lay them out on the table to look at. That is where the critical thinking skills come into play.
It does take a little bit of time to get used to using the puzzle wand. I took a video of myself using the wand, but unfortunately Blogger would not allow me to upload it. So I got a few pictures.
The wand is designed with a "hook" style end that allows you to pick up and move the pieces around inside the tube.
Each puzzle piece is designed to allow the wand to move it freely.
A friend of ours really enjoyed playing with this puzzle. She played with it several times. And each instance the puzzle was put together a bit differently. I was wondering if this puzzle would get old. The girls do not always enjoy putting together the same puzzles over and over again. So would the FlipStir puzzles be worth the expense. Considering the pieces fall differently every time that you shake it up, the combinations that you need to figure out keeps the puzzle new each time.
I definitely would recommend the FlipStir puzzles for families. The Rainbow Pencils puzzle has been great for using in the van and even just sitting and killing time at home. I wouldn't recommend using it during story time or when listening to audiobooks. I sometimes pull out puzzles when listening to our textbooks on audio. Not a good idea in this case. There is noise involved with no only the shaking, but also the plastic pieces flip and hit against the plastic container. So it does get a little loud then.
We will be adding more FlipStir puzzles to our travel bags for road trips. They will be a great addition and take up very little space.
The FlipStir Puzzles have received many awards including:
Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out the various FlipStir Puzzles from Enlivenze LLC. Take some time to check out how these unique puzzles worked in their homes.