11/10/11

Tangoes Jr - MindWare - Review

I remember being totally fascinated and totally frustrated by tangram puzzles when I was young. The origin of the tangram is Chinese and includes seven flat shapes that fit together to form a picture. It's a simple concept but the puzzles can be very challenging. There are also endless possibilities of the pictures that be created, so it's also an excellent toy for encouraging imagination. I was so thrilled to see Tangoes Jr on the MindWare website. This set is specifically made for young children!
As Tangoes Jr was removed from the box, I immediately had children clamoring around me to see the new toy. I love that this is a self-contained toy. It includes the desk, seven puzzle pieces and 12 puzzle cards. To me, that says "not a huge mess." (Ever walk into your child's room and see twenty thousand pieces of something all over the floor? Either you have to pick them all up, or you have to stand there for an hour to make sure the child picks them all up.)
The top of the Tangoes Jr desk is magnetic and the seven puzzle pieces are also magnetic. That makes it a perfect toy to take along in the car. The desktop also has a handle so your child can easily carry it. The desktop flips open to store the twelve puzzle cards inside. It also closes securely so no danger of everything spilling out while being carried around.
The puzzles cards are sturdy and laminated to hold up against the many years of use your children will get from this educational toy. Each puzzle card has two sides - side one is level one of difficulty, showing the outline of each shape; side two is level two of difficulty, the shape shadows fused together on the card to make the puzzle more challenging. There are also additional card sets you can add to the toy for even more learning and fun.
The desk has a little side drawer where all seven puzzle pieces fit and store. I love this toy! There is so much learning going on....fitting shapes, putting things away where they belong, and looking creatively at pictures to discern what smaller shapes create it. At the same time, he physical fine motor skills developed by manipulating the desk, the cards, the magnetic pieces, and even the little puzzle piece drawer. Plus there is a creative element because the child will soon figure out they can make pictures on their own from the seven pieces.
Puzzles are an excellent way to build early math skills and critical thinking skills. Tangoes Jr has won several awards - Best Toy Award by Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Dr. Toy Smart Play Smart Toy Product of Excellence. In the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season, this is the perfect toy to get your child to sit down and focus quietly on something for a good long time. I personally give this toy five stars!
FTC Disclosure: I received this toy at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

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