Monday, August 8, 2016

Logic Dots from Brainwright

Today, I'm going to take a look at Logic Dots from Brainwright.  It's a single player puzzle game for ages 8 and up.

It comes with 9 colored dice,

a nifty tray,

and a deck of challenge cards.

Whenever you check out a new game or puzzle, take some time to examine all the pieces.  These dice come in four distinct styles.  Three of the dice have pink, light blue, and yellow dots.  Three of them have orange, green and dark blue dots.  Two of them have teal, grey, and purple dots.  And the last one is entirely gold.  The placement of this last cube is the focus of each challenge.

Also note, that the same color is on the flip side of each cube.  So on the opposite side of the pink dot, you'll find another pink dot, and so on.

The deck of cards contains 36 challenge cards, 12 solutions cards, 1 instructions card, and 1 color code card.  There aren't very many rules for this game, but the instructions card does give clear definitions and examples of what things like top, bottom, left, right, row, column, between, and touching mean.  Note that when a challenge says that one color is "directly left (or right/on top/under/etc)" of another color that also means that the two colors are touching.  Which is different from one color being to the "left" of another color, because in this case, there may be another color in between them!

The Color Code card is more useful than I initially thought.  After I had played a few challenges, my eyes started going bonkers!  I couldn't tell the differences between some of the colors anymore!  If you look closely at the Color Code card, you will notice that the dark blue dot really looks like dark purple.  I also had a lot of trouble with the dark blue and light blue dots.  Pink started looking like was trippy!  Anyhow, it's something to watch out for.  If you find the challenge confusing, make sure you've got the correct colors!

So here's how to play!  First, choose a challenge card, then sort out your dice.  You need to flip them to show the colors that are required at the top of the card.  You can see that for challenge #1, I needed 3 light blues, 2 green, 1 orange, and 2 teals.  The gold cube is always included and is usually the last cube that will be placed, since the goal of all the challenges is to figure out where the golden cube should be.

Each challenge card comes with some marching orders.  Read them carefully to figure out where in the grid each color needs to be placed.  For challenge 1, I found that the cubes should be arranged as you see above based on clues like "The two green cubes are on the left" and "The three light blue cubes are at the top."

The last step is to pop in the gold cube, check the solution card, and we have complete challenge #1!  Challenges 1-17 are pretty basic.  They will test your understanding of words like left, directly below, or in the middle.  These lower numbered challenges are great for younger kids practicing these types of concepts.

One note about the solutions: each solution has a series of numbers underneath it.  This is the suggested order of clues to use to solve the puzzles.  I didn't find these particularly useful, but if you get stuck on a challenge, this might help you figure it out.

Solving these challenges will require some jumping back and forth between the clues.  There are a couple challenges that require the clues to be followed exactly in order.  Just be flexible!

So what's with the tray anyway?!  I didn't think it was necessary at first.  It is a nice way to store the cubes.  But later in the challenges, you are asked to turn the tray.  And a bit further on, there will be some flipping!  So the tray is an essential part of the puzzle.  The clear plexi covers can both be removed and slid back into place.  I had a little trouble getting mine to slide at first.  My dice were stuck in the tray!  But I did manage to work the covers loose and they slid pretty well after that.

For challenge 18 and on, there will be some turning (rotating) of the tray involved.  For challenges 23 and on, there may be some flipping required.  You can see me flipping the tray above.  Both covers are required for this so that the cubes don't fall out!

For an added challenge, you could do all the flipping and turning mentally!

For me, challenges 1-24 were pretty easy.   Challenges 25-36 definitely require more concentration.   Flipping also caused me some headaches.  I wasn't sure if I should be flipping horizontally or vertically.  And sometimes, a rotate was also required with the flip.  I guess part of the challenge is figuring that out for yourself!

Jack gave this a try too.  He thought the easier challenges did not require enough logic skills to interest him.  But he did seem to enjoy the harder ones!

Logic Dots is a pretty cool little puzzle!  I like the idea behind it, and the quality of the game is nice too.  The puzzle would be a great addition for learning centers in the classroom.  Children will practice following directions and spatial relationships....while having fun!  


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day Rebuses

Don't forget that you can download some free Rebus puzzles for Father's Day here at The Puzzle Den!  This download includes an easy puzzle and a hard puzzle for a total of 13 rebuses to decode.

Have a joyous Father's Day!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Perplexing Puzzles - 6/16/16 - American Eagle Day

Eagle Label It! Puzzle - free download

American Eagle Day is on Monday the 20th of June.  I had never heard of it before, but we may as well celebrate!  It is a day to commemorate June 20, 1782 when the eagle was added to the official seal of the US.  You can read more about it here, if you like.

For this celebration, I have created some Label It! puzzles for your kids.  There are three versions.  The first one is a basic decoding and labeling type puzzle.  Nothing hard here at all!

Eagle Label It! Addition Puzzle - free download

The second version involves some addition practice.  Pretty basic facts.

Eagle Label It! Subtraction Puzzle - free download

And the third version offers some basic subtraction practice.  These are for young kids, so I kept the eagle parts very basic.  All of these come in one downloadable pdf.  Answers are included in that file.

The lovely eagle artwork is from The Painted Crow, who has some nice, realistic clip art in her store over at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Eagle Word Compass - free download puzzle

Here is another eagle puzzle that is free on my blog.  Click here to download it too!

I also have some other bird puzzles here and here, if you have some bird lovers in your family.

Enjoy and Happy American Eagle Day!

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Perplexing Puzzles - 5/5/16

The Puzzle Den: What Am I?

Another puzzle with a nature theme.  These might be a tad bit easy.  Ginny solved them with no problems.  (She's 12)  So maybe younger kids would have fun with these.  There is at least one clue in each puzzle that is easy enough and gets the ball rolling.

Click on the picture above to download your free copy.  Answers are here.


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Perplexing Puzzles - 4/28/16 - Dragonfly

The Puzzle Den:  Dragonfly Sudoku

Continuing with a nature theme, we have some dragonfly puzzles this week!  These are for older kids who can handle a 9X9 Sudoku puzzle.  It has a lot of clues, so even novices should be able to figure this one out! 

Here are the answers:

The Puzzle Den:  Dragonfly Sudoku Answers


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Perplexing Puzzles - 4/21/16 - Bird Watcher Word Search

Bird Watchers Word Search

In honor of Earth Day, I have a new puzzle!  This is a word search puzzle all about bird watching.  There are two pages to the puzzle.  One has the word search grid, as you can see above.

Bird Watchers Word Search

The other has some info about bird watching and the list of words to search for.  After all the words are found in the grid, the leftover letters will spell out the names of some "Hidden Birds."

You can download both pages by clicking on either picture above or here.  If you need an answer key, you can get that here.

Backyard Birding for Kids

If your kids are interested in birding, I recommend Backyard Birding for Kids.  It's a great introduction to bird watching.  There are different sections for different habitats, ideas for getting started, and descriptions of many common birds.

Bird Log Kids

We used this Bird Log to keep track of birds in our backyard.  Ginny enjoyed tracking them when she was younger.  We used to have tons of cardinal pairs visit our backyard in Fayetteville NC.  When we lived in Augusta GA, we had visits from beautiful gold finches and an occasional hummingbird.  And now, in northern VA, we have a ton of robins and some woodpeckers!  So much variety along the east coast!

12 Bird Calls

Ginny got a bird call from a museum visit when she was little.  She just loved it!  I've been eyeing this set of 12 Bird Calls from Moon Picnic as a potential gift for Ginny for a while now.  They are simply lovely and handmade!  You can also buy them in smaller sets.

These are just some ideas for budding birders.  (Note: I don't do affiliate links.  These are just products I've loved or would love if I owned them!)

I hope your kids have fun with this word search!
Have a wonderful Earth Day and enjoy the birds!

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

New Look for The Puzzle Den

We have a new look!  And we are totally loving it!  The old bear and den are gone.  Replaced by this mama bear and her cub.  Our banners feature a den, in case you were wondering where that had gotten to!  We figured our store needed its very own art.  Our new look was created by Jadyn Thone who is amazing and also did a fancy rotating quote thingy for our TpT store.  You can check out Jadyn's store here.  And you can check out The Puzzle Den here.  You really should see that rotating quote thing!

So I've been very busy trying to update everything with the new logo.  Jadyn also created a new cover template for our products.  It's a lot of work to change all the covers, but it's looking really nice.  Here's an example:

Counting Mazes

As I update the covers, I'm also going back through everything, checking for errors and making sure everything really shines!  Any products from TpT that you own can always be re-downloaded.  There are no time limits to download your purchases on TpT.  So check your "My Purchases" pages often and look for "Newly Revised Re-Download" underneath the products to see which products have been refreshed.  Then click "Download Now" to get updated versions.  It's probably something you check on at least twice a year.  Many sellers update their products to fix typos and generally fancy things up.  It's always nice to have the most recent versions too!

Counting Mazes and Skip Counting Mazes got quite the overhaul!  I replaced all the border graphics.  I had drawn the old ones myself, and they just weren't quite high-quality.  I also replaced most of the clip art.  Both of these sets are from my early months on TpT, and I didn't have access to the really good clip art yet.  Now all the graphics really shine!  You can download an example pair of mazes and give them a try by clicking on the picture below.

Free Counting Mazes

So over the next couple months, I will continue to update all the old products.  I don't know if I've mentioned it, but my daughter Ginny has joined me in this venture.  She helps me with ideas and error checking.  She also helps motivate me!  She is motivated by a 25% share in the profits.  All of which goes in her savings account for college.  She's been really helpful since we decided on this store sharing, and hopefully we will keep things rolling along!


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