March 18, 2010

Review of Soma cube and Tangram from Monkey Pod Games

The Soma cube is a dissection puzzle. It has seven pieces that have to be assembled into a 3x3x3 cube. So, that is the main challenge, but you can also arrange the pieces into all kinds of other interesting 3-D shapes.


The seven pieces of the Soma cube


I received a wooden Soma cube from Monkey Pod games. The cube comes in a neat, good-looking wooden box that can be showcased in your bookcase as a decorative item. But, it's certainly not meant for decoration only! It is quite a fun challenge! The Soma cube from Monkey Pod games comes with a little booklet that shows you the solution so you can get the pieces back to the box, but it also shows you several dozen other 3-d shapes to make with the pieces.

I enjoyed trying to put together some of those. And the kids enjoyed just playing with the pieces, trying to come up with something interesting, and of course they did! It was great fun for them.

I let a neighbor family borrow the cube, and the results were similar: adults enjoyed the challenges, and kids enjoyed the fun of building something. One adult visitor spent over an hour trying to recreate several different shapes given in the booklet. It's really easy to get totally absorbed in doing these!

The other item I received from Monkey Pod games was a tangram. Again, the pieces and the box were of quality good-looking wood (made from monkeypod wood, in fact!).

You probably know what a tangram is - it is a puzzle of seven flat pieces that can be arranged into lots of different 2-dimensional shapes.

The little booklet that came with the tangram showed dozens and dozens of shapes to try to make with the tangram pieces. My kids immediately took to it, and had fun trying to make the shapes, especially the animal ones. I did some too. It is certainly fun, but not necessarily evident what pieces to use at first.

Overall, the games (or puzzles) from Monkey Pod games can provide hours and hours of educational fun that stretches your brain. They come with little instructional guides, which you can also download from the website.

Also, these puzzles are great gifts since they look so good (not plastic or cheapy looking). They are also great items to showcase at parties. Don't be surprised if your guests get totally immersed in them!

Monkey Pod games has dozens of different kinds of wooden puzzles and other items to choose from.

Take a look at for example the disentanglement puzzles and the interlocking wooden puzzles at Monkey Pods website. Two examples are below.



It's like being in a candy store! And the prices are not bad either, a lot of the puzzles are around $10. Amazon sells them as well.




Disclaimer: I was given the Soma cube and the wooden Tangram by Monkey Pod Games. Other than that, I have received no other compensation. The opinions are mine. Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links so if you click to Amazon through them and then buy something, I will earn a few cents.
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