One of the main reasons we moved back to Idaho this past spring was so that I could homeschool again. Officially, our girls have graduated. However, we decided that Rebecca would benefit from some “continuing education” type classes. To facilitate that I needed to change jobs and work part-time rather than full-time. So far it’s working out great.
We aren’t following a formal curriculum, rather we are spending time on activities to help build life skills and critical thinking. To that end, I was happy to be asked to review some products for Timberdoodle as I’ve always been impressed with their “crazy-smart” games and materials, and I knew Rebecca would enjoy helping me try them out.
One item they sent me was the Puzzleball Globe. I received it free in exchange for my honest review.As you can see, it is an actual globe and yet an actual jigsaw puzzle. Rebecca enjoys jigsaw puzzles so I knew she would be interested in it, but I wasn’t sure if it would be something she could do on her own. My experience with 3-D puzzles has been that they can be somewhat complicated, so I was afraid she might be a little overwhelmed. I was prepared to help her with it.It turned out that I didn’t need to. The pieces are numbered on the back with arrows showing the direction they go, which made it easy for her to figure out on her own. The first time she assembled it, she did it from the inside out, just following the numbers and the arrows.
The next time she decided to challenge herself by not looking at the numbers, but that turned out to be a little more complicated than she thought it would be. So she flipped them over to find the numbers for the row she needed, then turned them back over to see if she could assemble one row at a time without looking at the numbers. That proved to be doable.
I was impressed that the pieces are plastic, not cardboard like puzzles usually are. They are about the thickness and stiffness of a credit card but, of course, curved to form the globe. With the curvature and being plastic, I wondered how well the pieces would stay together. The answer is: very well. They snap together securely so the globe doesn’t fall apart when you’re working on those last few pieces in a tight space.It comes with a stand so you can display it when you’re done, or it can be taken apart and returned to the box to be reassembled any number of times. It’s a fun little globe to look at. Not as detailed geographically as larger globes, but it features animals of the world in appropriate locales.
For now, it’s part of my back-to-school window display in the print shop. It’s just the right size for that! When I change the window display in a few weeks I’ll have Rebecca take it apart and put it with her other puzzles. I love having things like this on-hand for when she needs something to do on her own that’s not electronic.