If you want to help your child to make their thinking visible, then Penguins on Ice is the perfect brain game for this. It’s outstanding for real world spatial planning and problems solving which is vastly different to playing games of logic on the screen of a device.

This unique 3D game consists of five puzzle pieces in the form of pentominos. This means that each piece is made up of five squares but in a different configuration, and the pieces can change shape by sliding the two parts of the puzzle pieces up and down to create 13 different shapes to help you find a solution to the problem.

Penguins on Ice contains 80 challenges and is suitable for 6 years olds to adults, gradually moving from easy to difficult. Each challenge requires a different board set up. See video at the end of this blog.

How to play

  • The full colour instruction booklet shows the player how to set up the board for each challenge by placing specific pieces in specific places. This on its own is a fantastic exercise in spatial planning and following visual instructions by copying. Once the set up is complete the player can then continue with the challenge.
  • When setting up a challenge, you will be given the form and position of one or more but not all of the pieces.
  • Them add the rest of the pieces to fill the board and to get the penguins in the right position.
  • The solutions can be found at the back of the booklet. There is only one correct solution per challenge.

Tip for getting started and learning how to think

Don’t let games of logic put you or your child off because they might seem to difficult to try. They are teaching your child how to really think. To get the hang of it, you can do the board set up following the instruction card and then immediately flip to the solution and get your child to complete the puzzle. This gives them an aha experience resulting in the feeling, “Oh, I know how this works!” Build up confidence slowly and then they will move onto just working off the instruction card.

Perfect for travelling

It is also very well packaged for travelling and is great for taking with you in the car when travelling, or to places where you have to wait such as in restaurants or doctors waiting rooms. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to play together with your child and to praise them for their endeavours.

Smart Games provides a wide range of expertly designed brain games in plastic and wood for you to choose from. They are suitable for both children and adults. Solving a spatial problem is such a satisfying, ‘I can’ experience at any age. I always pack a Smart Game to play on a 13-hour journey in the car to our holiday destination. It helps me to get out of my busy work head and into a different brain space, and my kids love it too.

Penguins in Ice from Smart Games was reviewed by Nikki Bush for Toy Talk. It was selected for Nikki’s hot list of highly recommended games and toys for Toy Talk 2013.

Age category:              6 – 10 years

Price:                             Approx.  R349.00

Brand:                           Smart Games

Distributor:                  Ideal Toy Wholesalers

Retail outlets:             ToyZone, Toy Kingdom and online at www.takealot.com

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