Monday, January 12, 2009

5 Toys To Jiggle Your Brain

I am obviously on a toy trip. Over the years I have purchased plenty of toys for my children. For some (obvious?) reason, I seem to play with these more than them. I prefer the puzzle toys more. I like to think of these as my brain aids. Guaranteed to keep Parkinson's away - I hope.

Here's my list of favorites from the ones I my sons have ...

1) Tangram - If you need to go for only one puzzle, then this is it. this is an ancient Chinese puzzle made of 7 blocks of regular size. The trick is to make a shape using all the 7 blocks. These are available in various material, such as cardboard cutouts, thick plastic sheet, etc. I prefer Tangram made of wooden blocks.

2) Rubik's Cube - Read my take on Rubik's cube in the previous post. But good quality one. Cheaper quality cubes come apart pretty soon. So unless you want to study the internal details of the Cube (which, by the way is quite interesting), go for the more expensive ones.

3) Kaleidoscope - This consists of small plastic cuboids - shaped like Tetris pieces, black or red on one side, various colours on the other. It comes with a booklet that has many patterns. Beware of cheese holes in the patterns you make.

4) Gordians Knot - Interlocked pieces of plastic blocks. They pieces slide in an out. I am still working on it. The solution is given in the box that came with it. I do not wish to check the solution yet. At times it is extremely frustrating ... feel like using Alexander's method of solving it - break / cut it open.

5) Bent Nail Puzzles - These consist of two sets of bent nails (in various shape) that are interlocked. At first glance you would think that the only way to take them apart is to force them open. But there is a way. This one is the easiest to solve.

Have you tried any of these?
What do you think? Fun aren't they?
Do you have a list of your own?

1) The picture of Tangram used belongs to Julia R. (visit the photographer's gallery)
2) The picture of Rubik's Cube used belongs to Maxime Perron Caissy (Visit the photographer's gallery)

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