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Main Categories: Picture Books, Nonfiction, Puzzles, Games, Math

This is a combination of manual dexterity and problem solving. Manual dexterity is necessary to keep the marble on the track. But problem solving is also required to figure out the proper way to turn and rotate the globe to move from one obstacle to another.

The Perplexus comes in three flavors: Rookie Perplexus, Original Perplexus, and Perplexus Epic, which is featured here.

We have the "Original Perplexus" and have found it to be a great conversation piece; when we have visitors in our home, often the Perplexus ends up getting passed around the room repeatedly, as people take turns trying to get through the three dimensional labyrinth.

Origami comes from the Japanese words for "folding" and "paper." It is the art of folding paper to create beautiful, elegant designs - three dimensional paper sculptures! This book provides origami paper, plus instructions for making 32 different origami projects, including animals and other shapes.

While you're buying this book, you might want to look under "recommended items" for additional origami paper, so the fun can keep on going!

Back in the eighties, the Rubik's Cube was quite a craze - everyone had one of these puzzles. The popularity of the cube has significantly waned since then, but occasionally variations will crop up.

This cube has 7 squares per edge (that makes 49 per face, right?) and it is described as having "19.5 duoquinquagintillion permutations."

Hurts my brain just thinking about it!

Board games typically pit players against each other (and why not? children will spend their lives competing in a variety of circumstances!) but sometimes it's nice to have a board game that teaches cooperation instead of competition.

In Stone Soup (based on the familiar story), children are working against a common obstacle, and winning means that all the children win, because they've defeated the obstacle together.

Chess is perhaps the most respected of all strategy games around the world. As a teen, I remember being fascinated by chess puzzles and problems. Questions like, "What one move leads to checkmate in three turns?" stimulated my brain an improved my problem solving skills.

This book by Pandolfini is 272 pages, with over 300 chess puzzles for new players. It would be a great companion gift to go along with a chess set for a young person (or adult!)

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