Monday, 4 April 2011

Logic Puzzles and Memory Games

We recently added a new spice to the mix by letting Emily try her hand at a Taiwanese puzzle kit called "Logical Genius" which contains materials for four-colour, 16-piece logic puzzles and memory games. 

The logic puzzles are good fun and the fast pace of play keeps Emily engaged.  The materials are well-made and hardy, and the fact that the child is able to touch and feel the puzzle pieces (more manipulatives!) makes for effective learning.

We just have to place some of the pieces in place (using the book which comes with the set as a reference guide) and hand the puzzle over to her.  She then completes the puzzle and we check her answers.

For example, this is the starting point:

And Emily fills in the other squares, until she completes the puzzle:

We got through about ten different puzzles in 25 minutes.  It was interesting to chart Emily's progress as the session went on.  At first, she only grouped the pieces according to colour and neglected to further sort the pieces into different shapes; however, once she realised that she had to sort by colour and shape, she breezed through a number of puzzles. 

The next challenge came when Emily realised she had to stop automatically dividing the 16-square grid into horizontal and vertical lines.  She started splitting the board up into quadrants (as per the puzzle above) and that was a new concept to grasp as well.

An example of a puzzle where the colours are sorted along horizontal lines while shapes are grouped vertically
The kit is also useful for playing memory games.  We placed two or three pieces on one of the boards provided and flashed this board to her for three seconds.  She then tried to replicate the board using her own board.  We'll need more practice with this.  By the end of the session, she was reasonably accurate with about two pieces, but we'll have to work on introducing more pieces slowly. 

All in all, at a retail price of about $20, this kit is a worthy buy and I reckon we will turn to it every now and then when we take a break from our other homeschooling activities.  It has a fun "game-feel" to it and Emily kept asking to try the next puzzle....and the next....and one more after that.  The materials provided in the kit are very well-made and look like they will withstand rough handling. 

That said, you could easily replicate the kit using home-made materials - cardboard, coloured pens and magnetic strips (for the memory game - but only if you really wanted to get fancy!).

In terms of difficulty-level, the first ten logic puzzles (all of which were at Level 1) were probably not sufficiently difficult for Emily and to be frank, I do wonder if the Level 2 puzzles will prove much of a challenge.  But I haven't been able to figure out Level 3 (and will be consulting my sister, the family's resident puzzle-maven, for help with this), so maybe the real test will lie there!  


  1. oooo looks challenging! thanks for sharing. Where did you get it from?

    By the way, i've been roped into some blog award thing and i've pulled you in! hahaha

  2. Popular Bras Basah in the kiddy book section. About $20 after the usual discounts. I don't think the puzzles are particularly challenging especially if the child is used to pattern-recognition work, so they might be too easy for S. Haha, what's this blog award? Will check it out!

  3. Congrats for Emily's speedy progress in the session! I'm sure she will crack level 3 too with ease.