It's been a hot minute since I did a review and a giveaway on this blog, yes? What better time than December, when you are probably making lists and shopping for plenty of kids that seem to have everything already! #LearningResources has something that might fit your criteria.
When offered to review the Mental Blox 360 3D Building Game, I immediately said yes because it looked like something clever and different that we don't already have in his house. Sure, we have standard blocks and Legos, but this is geared more towards ages 5+ and is a real brain exercise. A 'smart toy' that has nothing to do with technology for once. Score!
I had all three of my kids open the box from Learning Resources when it arrived, and I wasn't sure which child would really dig this gift the most. I sort of thought Porter would like to just stack the blocks because of pretty colors, and I figured Cecelia would like organizing all of the guide cards. But Truman? He takes the cake with this game and is totally obsessed.
This is a game where you pick a guide card and it tells you which blocks to use. Then it shows you a configuration from a certain angle---either looking down on the blocks from above, or from the side. It's all about point of view and spatial relations, so it's more than just stacking the blocks however you please. Truman started with the easiest card and moved to the medium cards quickly. Then he pulled out the hardest cards, which are edged in red and I got a little panicky. Spatial relations are HARD man, my brain isn't great with all of those abstract angles and such. But Truman takes after his dad and completely nails it.
We had some trouble with card #37 and even looking at the answer on the back was tricky. We saved the hardest card, #40, for Nate when he got home from work. I should have continued to take pictures of his debut with this game because he was absolutely focused and got it assembled right away. Truman was in awe!
The little kids liked their own version of this game, too, and Cecelia could accurately assemble the first card configuration which made me super proud. Mostly she just likes to stack the blocks in fun ways, as does Porter. But I'd say for first graders and above this game really packs a punch. Truman told me before school one day that he wanted to try the hardest cards as soon as he returned from school, so I shouldn't put away the box because he had plans to master it in the evening. And he will just sit there and work through the cards without getting frustrated somehow. It's like this game was meant for his brain, that's for sure.
It's kind of fun to have the kids put this away, too, because inside of the box there is an outline showing how to make each of the shapes fit well. Total bonus for me, so that they don't get thrown into a big pile and shoved somewhere.
The game is sold online at Learning Resources, and today they are giving one of my readers a set of blocks. You have to be in the U.S. (sorry, international readers) and you'll need to visit the Rafflecopter link below to enter. I'll randomly draw a winner on 12/10/16. Ready, set, go!
a Rafflecopter giveaway