Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Many Varieties Of Wooden Puzzle Game

By Eula Nichols

Many children's toys beep and talk and emit flashing lights, but sometimes old-fashioned toys which stimulate the brain without overloading the senses are best. A toy made of natural wood will not be full of toxic colorants. There are various wooden puzzle game designs available for children of differing ages. A description of several of the most popular kinds follows.

A classic puzzle, in which a person has to fit pieces together to complete a complex picture, might take hours to complete. Puzzles for children are a little less complicated, and might consist of a plain board with shapes cut out. Completing the puzzle is a matter of working out which shape fits in which impression in the wood. This simple kind of toy is ideal for toddlers, as it helps in developing hand-eye coordination while providing mental stimulation.

Although a standard puzzle is 2D, creative toy manufacturers also produce sculptural 3D designs that are not only fun but beautiful to look at as well. A toy shaped to resemble an animal might be pieced together to create a whole-looking object. Since these toys are more complicated, they are best given to older boys and girls.

Plain wood is a wise material to choose for children's toys, not only because it withstands wear and tear well but also because it makes less of a negative impact on the environment. Many parents who are concerned about what the production of plastic does to the environment choose toys made of wood because of environmental qualms about plastics.

While the simplest puzzles are suited to young children and toddlers who are not yet able to solve more complex tasks, older kids are able to enjoy more advanced toys. A game in which pieces have to be removed one by one from a tower of blocks, and stacked on top without the structure crashing down, provides an adrenalin rush. Games like this are good for improving patience as well as strategic focus. The suitability of these toys for group play is an added plus.

Some wooden puzzles borrow the format of classic games that have long provided entertainment for young people. The famous toy, 'Jacob's ladder', is one classic. This consists of a chain of blocks that are connected together by pieces of ribbon in such a way that turning one block over appears to make the next block in line tumble down the chain to the bottom of the row. The puzzling aspect of this is that the movement of the block is an optical illusion, created through the way the blocks are connected.

Another favorite that is often made of wood is The Tower of Hanoi. The person who attempts to solve the puzzle needs to move eight discs (which are stacked on a pole in the order of largest to smallest, ascending) to a pole two spaces away. The same tower must be reproduced, with the same sequence of disc sizes. There are two catches - discs may only be moved one at a time and small discs may be stacked atop of larger discs, but not the other way round.

Outlined are just a few of the many choices for the ideal wooden puzzle game. If you order a wood toy gift online, be sure that the item you obtain is suitable for the age of the recipient.

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