Gift Ideas for Inquisitive Kids: Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc.
Do you need a great gift for an inquisitive kid? Check out Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc.
I noticed the Perplexus Maze Game Puzzle Ball by PlaySmart last year just as the holidays approached. It looked really fun, but money was tight and it wasn't a priority gift. In the $20 range, it wasn't expensive, but when you shop for a bunch of kiddos, you don't splurge on things that aren't on the gift list. My 16 year old daughter, however, also took note of the interesting toy. Life as a teen with a job is fun, and she found this perfect as a joint gift for her brothers. My kids love to coordinate giving to subsets of siblings, and the 3 younger boys received the cool maze ball. It was a hit! Following is my review of the toy and some suggestions for who might enjoy receiving it. It's on Amazon's top gifts list in the toy department, and I can attest to the fact that its a great product, especially for kids who are problem solvers and question askers...all of my boys seem to have those traits.
Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc.
This is similar to those little puzzle toys with plastic mazes in which the player guides a little ball by adjusting the position of the device. This huge version of that popular kids' game is constructed of sturdy plastic with many wonderful paths for the steel ball to follow. Tilting is easy with the round shape of the ball, and the interwoven maze is fantastic. Bright colors make this a fun kid toy, and the spatial and manual skills needed make it great for both visual and tactile learners.
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Who Will Enjoy a Maze Ball Toy? - Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc. Suitability
I find that this is a great challenge toy for a variety of ages. Younger children may not be able to handle the manual skills required to get the ball to follow the track laid out for it, but they may love handling the big ball. Ages 6-8 can manipulate the ball but may get frustrated if the ball falls out of the track. It takes a bit of time to work through the entire maze, and younger attention spans may be limited. However, this is a sturdy toy and will last for years. As children improve in patience or manual skills, they will advance. This isn't a toy that is going to be ruined by the end of Christmas Day, a good measure of value in my book. It's also self-contained, meaning that you don't have to worry about lost pieces...that's another plus!
Upper elementary and middle school kids can easily work with the device. It's a great tool for the self-contained classroom or for the math class. As a math teacher, I found that a good selection of games and puzzles enabled me to give early arriving students something practical and fun to do while I finished setting up for the day of middle school classes. This is perfect as a Math Teacher gift idea!
If you have nieces or nephews and are at a loss for good Christmas gifts in the toy realm, I think this is a fun idea and an affordable one. It's great for bad weather as a distraction, and a parent can structure puzzle ball competitions to see who solves the game quickest. Set up a chart of previous solution times and challenge the kids to beat their personal best times. There are lots of ways to be creative with the Perplexus Maze.
There are several additional versions, and this allows for a different model for each sibling in a household, or for a new model in subsequent years.
Watch Perplexus in Action
If you are a fan of puzzle gifts like the Perplexus Maze Ball... - You may love these stocking stuffer sized puzzles...
Scramble squares are great for stocking stuffers and they are interesting for a variety of ages...my middle school students loved them. I never managed to solve them, but the sets of 9 squares challenge kids to get them arranged in 3x3 grids with all touching sides matching. It's a great companion gift for the visual or hands on learner, and great for putting something fun and educational in a Christmas stocking!