Get this great product here: FlipStir Puzzle – Level 1 – Rainbow Pencils
I’ve always loved doing puzzles, from basic jigsaws to more unusual styles that require extra dexterity and logic, so when I saw this FlipStir puzzle I was quite intrigued. I’ve never seen any puzzle or game designed anything like this. There is basically a sealed plastic canister with clear sides. Through a hole in the top is secured a metal rod with a plastic lever or “foot” at the bottom and inside the canister are the pieces to the puzzle. I chose to try the Rainbow Pencil design both because it looked visually interesting and since it was a “Level 1”, so I figured it would have the best chance of my kids (ages 5 and 7) being able to give it a try.
Now that I’ve tried this out, I’m really impressed with the clever design. I would say that it took me about a half hour to fully solve the rainbow puzzle design. It was a bit frustrating at first, but the same can be said of any new type of dexterity puzzle, as it naturally took me a few minutes to figure out how to best use the metal rod and plastic “foot” to manipulate the pieces. Each of the pieces is a plastic semicircle with a lip on the underside, which is useful to help grab at them with the end of the rod. A number of times I found that I thought I was placing a piece correctly, but it was actually upside down or backwards. After a few tries I figured out how to flip a piece around if I needed to.
The FlipStir is recommended for ages 7 and up. My 7 year old daughter tends to get frustrated very easily with physical tasks that she finds difficult, so I decided after trying out the FlipStir on my own that I’m going to wait a while before having her give this a try. While I think she would be capable of doing it, I think she’d just get too worked up in learning the mechanism. Probably within the next year or less I could take it out to do together with her and I think she’ll really enjoy it. The rainbow pencil image is nice for beginners because it’s easy to tell from the order of colors which piece comes next, so I think it will be a good one for her to start out with. I also like that everything is fully enclosed in the plastic container, so it’s easy to take on the go with no fear of losing pieces.
I’m very glad that I was able to receive this as a free promotional sample in order to evaluate and provide my honest review.