This post is in partnership with Puzzlets. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own.
GIFT IDEA: Puzzlets Hands-on STEAM Learning Game System
PRICE: suggested retail $99.99, selling for $84.99 on Amazon
LEARN MORE on the Puzzlets website
PURCHASE on Amazon
In recent years there has been an increased focus on STEM learning, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This is a good thing, as these topics are very important. But what about creativity, which is also important? STEM can actually be expanded to become STEAM, as it has with Puzzlets, an innovative new hands-on learning system that is also a game.
Puzzlets is designed for players aged 6+. Children aged 4-5 best experience Puzzlets while playing together an older child or adult. The game encourages a child to think like a programmer while expressing design creativity, all with the goal of solving real-world problems. Puzzlets aligns with Common Core State Standards and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, and has won awards from Parent’s Choice and the National Parenting Center. I love knowing that this game helps increase a child’s curiosity while helping teach technology concepts that will be important in the future workplace. Here’s a complete description.
Puzzlets combines hands-on play with interactive gaming to form one seamless experience, engaging the mind and teaching the player new ways of thinking. The Starter Pack comes with everything you need and setup is simple. Puzzlets connects wirelessly to a personal device like an iPad or Android tablet or to a Mac computer through the included USB cable.
50% Real, 50% Virtual
Puzzlets isn’t just a series of interactive video games, it’s a toy as well. Only half of any game for Puzzlets is played on a screen; the other half is played by arranging and rearranging the Puzzlets Tiles on the Play Tray. We call this 50/50 Play because time playing the game is evenly split between the real and digital worlds.
Because there are these two modes of play in each Puzzlets game, it makes working toward a common goal with a friend, parent, or teacher a natural way to experience the game collaboratively.
The Tangible Learning Platform
We all want the best for our children, but kids just want to have fun. This can place us at odds with our children, but there is a better way. Puzzlets puts fun and learning hand-in-hand with gameplay that leads kids to think in new ways. We all learn from the games that we play. Admit it: you’re much better at Candy Crush now than you were three years ago, and it’s not because you took a class on it.
The question isn’t if kids learn from the games that they play, but what they learn. The games designed for the Puzzlets platform focus on teaching children innovative ways of thinking.
Why Hands-on Learning is Important
Research has shown that engaging your body as well as your mind in an activity helps with attention and recall. A new learning philosophy, called embodied learning, has emerged to take advantage of this in the classroom. By simultaneously using their hands and their minds, kids are better able to stay with the activity and remember what they learned.
Puzzlets lets you bring embodied learning, also known as kinesthetic learning, into your home. Each of the games for the Puzzlets platform are designed to use embodied learning in order to maximize the player’s retention of the lesson materials.
Expanding Minds Through Play
Playing Cork the Volcano enables your child to experience thinking like a programmer. The secret is giving kids easy-to-use tools that motivate them to explore a topic. Then, add in compelling objectives to point them in the right direction and hold their interest.
Cork the Volcano is the first of numerous planned games. It is a platformer-style game designed to build coding confidence and encourage kids to think like a programmer. During a vacation gone awry, the great volcano of Pear Island erupts, breaking the ancient golden seal that has imprisoned the evil King Caldera for centuries. Now the king’s minions pour forth, throwing this once peaceful land into chaos. It’s up to Rus, Sydney and Hippo to gather the golden pieces to reseal the volcano and stop King Kaldera before it’s too late!
Future games focus on: Chemistry, Math, Music, and Engineering. Each future game integrates new themed puzzlets (atoms for chemistry, notes for music, etc.) with the Play Tray.
What’s in the box?
- 22 Programming Puzzlets
- Storage Pouch
- Bluetooth Play Tray
- Micro USB Cable
- “Cork The Volcano” Game Download
- Quick Start Guide
Puzzlets Compatibility Guide
Most wireless devices purchased from 2014 onward are compatible. Puzzlets is compatible with many devices, either wirelessly through Bluetooth 4.0 LE or USB.
- Mac Computer – USB and OSX 10.8+ and note that even if your Mac has Bluetooth, you must use USB for Mac computers
- iOS Devices – iPad 3+, iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPhone 4s+
- Android Device – Android version 4.3 or newer and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. Check full compatibility using GSMArena’s “Search” feature at top of screen. After you search, look under “COMMS” for your device and make sure it is v4.0 or newer
Who do you know that would love to receive Puzzlets this holiday season?