What is it
Solve-It-Blocks is a fantastic challenge for children to develop their logical thinking skills, and also offers a great opportunity for them to learn how to work as a team.
Children start with 9 giant soft play cubes (about 1 foot cubed), with different colours, shapes, flags, numbers and letters on each side. The aim is to build a wall with these blocks, which matches a 3×3 grid pattern they are given. But it’s not easy – there are 3,656,994,324,480 possible combinations!
The pattern grids offer different levels of difficulty, and the game is also very adaptable – for example, 5 year olds can use their imaginations to build whatever they want, while 8 year olds can practice instructing their group on how to build the wall to match the pattern. However they’re used, Solve-It-Blocks help children build loads of useful skills, and they enjoy doing it too!
Have a look at the app version of the puzzle as well.
What our team of testers said
"It's harder than a normal lesson..." - "...but it's funner." - Girl and Boy, Year 3
“The year groups I’ve tried these with have got really heavily involved, and got really engaged with problem solving” - Teacher
“The way the teachers actually used the blocks has allowed them to think for themselves as an individual but then also to have to think as part of a team, which has got to be a benefit to lifelong learning” - Headteacher
- Provides a grounding in mathematical concepts and computing
- Exercises logical thinking skills and pattern recognition
- Develops problem solving skills
- Promotes team work and communication
- Easily adaptable to suit learning goals
What our experts think
Solve-it-Blocks is an excellent idea; the children loved playing it, and it was easy to see that they were developing loads of skills at the same time. They became fully immersed in the game (we saw a group of 4-5 year olds play for over half an hour, forgetting about their break-time!), and really enjoyed moving about and thinking hard. We saw children as young as 5 practicing leadership, communication and team working skills while building the wall together. The children were really good at thinking about and discussing ideas, to achieve their goals and solve the problems they came across. As the blocks can have similar sides (e.g. there may be one with a circle inside a triangle, and one with a square inside a triangle) the children must pay close attention to the pattern or the verbal instructions they are following, and give specific instructions for the rest of the group to follow.
It would be even better if...
The teachers loved how easily the game could be adapted to focus on different skills and topics – for example, only allowing one child to speak allowed her to practice being in a leadership role. It would be good to have instructions for different game methods such as this available for all teachers to use.
- RRP: £495
- Brands: Solve-it-blocks
- Dimensions: 9 x 1 foot cubed blocks
- Material: Waterproof, wipe clean plastic cover with fire retardant foam.
- No batteries required
- Toy Types: Construction toys
Puzzles & games
- Types of skills developed: Categorisation & comparison
Colour, shape and pattern recognition
Gross motor skills
Logic, strategy & problem solving
Personal, social & emotional development
Physical & motor skills
Teamwork, turn taking & sharing