Friday, August 19, 2016

Enlivenze LLC, Statue of Liberty FlipStir Puzzle

Being a puzzle-loving sort of mom with some semi-puzzle-loving kids, I was pleased to be included on the Enlivenze LLC FlipStir Puzzle review. Enlivenze LLC offers self-contained puzzles in a variety of levels, with a few different graphics to choose from. I received the Level 2 Statue of Liberty FlipStir Puzzle.  Level 2 puzzles have wavy edges which make them a little harder to manipulate. Level 1 puzzles are flat edged, and I imagine those pieces would slide into place more easily.

The puzzle is contained in a clear tube with a base and lid that are not removable. The knob on the top is the handle for a wand with a scoop on the end which is used to manipulate the puzzle pieces. FlipStir Puzzles are very compact in size (The tube is less than 7 inches tall, with the actual solved puzzle graphic being only about 4 inches in height). This makes it a good option to slip into a bag for entertainment purposes when traveling or going somewhere where waiting will be required.

My kids had a variety of opinions on the puzzle:

Youngest (9) is somewhat sensitive to squeaky sounds (He doesn't even like to wear new shoes because they are "too squeaky"... o.O). Unfortunately for him, if the wand is drawn across the opening while moving up and down to manipulate the pieces does create a definite squeak. Because he isn't dexterous enough to keep it in the very center of the hole while moving it, this was not a puzzle he enjoyed attempting, as it was squeaking at every move.

Middlest (15) was willing to try the puzzle, even though puzzles aren't really his thing. He expected to solve it instantaneously, and was a little frustrated that it wasn't quite that easy. It *is* a puzzle, and there *is* a challenge to it. We found that it takes close to 15-20 minutes to solve on average. He didn't seem to bothered at all by the noise of the wand, so clearly, that is something that will vary from person to person.

Eldest (19) is my puzzle-lover, but she is also somewhat sensitive to sounds, so her enjoyment of the puzzle/challenge was overshadowed by the little squeaks, and the extra work required to not let the wand slide on the plastic opening.

Mom~ Well... the squeaky-ness didn't really annoy me (And I think it *may* be getting less squeaky as it is played with more, but I'm not totally sure about that), and I enjoyed the challenge of manipulating the pieces to their proper positions.

I could see that a puzzle of this type might be very frustrating to someone with fine motor skill issues, and would be a better fit for those who enjoy working with their hands. On the flip side (see what I did there? ;), it could also be a good exercise for those who need some practice, not only with motor skills but spatial reasoning.

Other puzzles received by the TOS Review Crew included the Level 1 Rainbow Pencils and the Tyrannosaurus Rex Puzzles as well as the Solar System Puzzle (another Level 2). There is a 3rd Level 2 puzzle available (Periodic Table) that was not included on this review.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
You can visit Enlivenze on Facebook and Twitter, and 
FlipStir Puzzles on these Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.

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