I recently wrote about our experience of the fabulous SmartMax magnetic construction toys for young children. We were lucky enough to be asked to review the SmartGames toys too – puzzles for both children and adults that make you think!
SmartGames are one-player games that are designed to play alone, but they can also be enjoyed together. Each game has either four or five difficultly levels, so you can start from the easiest and work your way to the most difficult as you get the hang of it.
Each game is built to last with good quality pieces. They are also easy to store. They can be enjoyed by both children and adults, with a challenge for everyone. We have been playing them both individually and as a family and I have to admit the more difficult levels are quite taxing on the old grey matter!
SmartGames Three Little Piggies
The Three Little Piggies game from SmartGames is aimed at children aged 3 to 6 years old. Both of my girls have enjoyed playing with it although Lia is a bit younger than the suggested age. Lia is incredibly stubborn and refused to try any of the easy games, insisting on using all three pigs every time so she has been finding it quite difficult but is persevering!
The game has 48 challenges – 24 with the wolf and 24 without. When the wolf is in play, the pigs used in the game have to be placed inside their houses. When the wolf is nowhere to be seen, the pigs can be placed in a position where they’re playing outside. The game has three pigs, one wolf and three pieces. Each piece contains a green area and a house. Inside the box is a booklet containing details of each challenge, along with the answers on the next page. There is also a picture story book all about the three little pigs.
My girls have never been great at jigsaw puzzles. They’ve found the Three Little Piggies game difficult and it has really made them think. However the game is so much fun that they’ve persevered with it. Libby has got the hang of it now and can manage the basic challenges. I have no doubt that when Lia tries the basic games instead of insisting on playing the difficult ones, she’ll manage it too.
SmartGames Smart Car
The Smart Car from SmartGames is a really fun little game that allows children to build a car that they can push along. The base of the car is plastic, with four wheels on the bottom and a spare on the back. Along with the car base, there are several wooden blocks in different shapes and a booklet containing the challenges.
The easy challenges show you a picture of the finished puzzle, so all children have to do is put the pieces in the places where they are on the puzzle. The more difficult challenges show less of the finished puzzle.
For each challenge, the answer is on the following page. Lia has been using this just as a puzzle, trying to put the pieces together any way she can to create a car shape. Libby has been doing the easy puzzles and my husband and I tried the difficult ones. And they are TOUGH! The age range on the box is 4 years plus, and the hardest challenges are difficult even for adults.
SmartGames – The Verdict
SmartGames are some of the best educational games I’ve played in a long time. They have helped my girls with the spacial awareness needed to do jigsaw puzzles and have challenged myself and my husband as well. These are great for playing alone, but we’ll also be playing them with family at Christmas, challenging each other to do the puzzles as quickly as possible.Please note that I was given two SmartGames in order to allow me to write a review. Views, opinions, images and children deep in concentration are all my own.