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 Post subject: Rubik puzzle for a 4-year-old
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:08 pm 
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My 4-year-old daughter loves to play aronud with my Rubik's 3x3 and my Pyraminx puzzles. She'll turn them a little and then return the puzzle. She loves turning hte corners of the Pyraminx and then solving it, so I was thinking of getting her a Pyramorphix until I saw the contorted shapes (I though it'd be very trivial). Is that a good puzzle for her? Are there others that are ridiculously easy?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:16 pm 
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maybe the mini cube, its fun but also quite trivial :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:20 pm 
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The Pyramorphix can be solved in the same way as a 2x2 'mini' Rubik's cube. Which is nice.
The Braintwist looks daunting but is actually not too hard. It's also very durable (and colorful).
Thinkfun ( http://www.thinkfun.com ) do some great kids games and puzzles. When I was little I loved those sliding puzzles (like the Fifteen) :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:25 pm 
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expo25kr wrote:
maybe the mini cube, its fun but also quite trivial :)

See, the 2x2 is much too tough I'm sure. I was really just thinking of the Pyraminx where just the tips twist. I could always bandage one..

I could always teach her the bent nails puzzle..

Thanks for the responses. When I first saw the Pyramorphix I was shocked they'd make something so easy. Little did I know. From seeing the funky shapes it can make, I want one of those now!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:28 pm 
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aphid_greene wrote:
The Pyramorphix can be solved in the same way as a 2x2 'mini' Rubik's cube. Which is nice.
The Braintwist looks daunting but is actually not too hard. It's also very durable (and colorful).
Thinkfun ( http://www.thinkfun.com ) do some great kids games and puzzles. When I was little I loved those sliding puzzles (like the Fifteen) :)

Woah. That BrainTwist looks cool! And maybe I'll take up the sliding puzzle for her. This one seems easy enough: http://www.thinkfun.com/PRODUCT.ASPX?Pa ... uctId=5851


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:31 pm 
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Aww, kitty! KAWAII!

>^.,.^<

=^.,.^=

>^.,.^<

=^.,.^=

I love cats, me :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:51 pm 
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shmebula wrote:
I was really just thinking of the Pyraminx where just the tips twist.


Didn't you say she's 4 years? That's a puzzle for a 4 *months* old. Seriously, have a little more faith in your kid. Let her solve the white face of the 3x3 cube as a start.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:23 pm 
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StefanPochmann wrote:
shmebula wrote:
I was really just thinking of the Pyraminx where just the tips twist.


Didn't you say she's 4 years? That's a puzzle for a 4 *months* old. Seriously, have a little more faith in your kid. Let her solve the white face of the 3x3 cube as a start.

I realize the tips twisting is very simple for her to do, but I'm interested in giving her something she can do. I'm not certain that any 4-year-old could complete one face of a cube. Are you speaking from experience? Do you know/have 4-year-olds that could complete a face?

If she could complete a face, that'd be awesome and I'd get her a cube to play with today, but I can't see it happening...

Anyone else have experience with this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:23 pm 
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She *just* turned 4, btw.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:33 pm 
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i suggest stating with any cube and let her understand how it moves and what she is looking for. After some practice, she will be able to solve one side...hey who knows? your daughter might be the youngest kid to solve a 3x3 :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:24 pm 
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If you're interested in any of the ThinkFun products, I carry some of them at my site (http://www.edsthinkshop.com). I don't have one, but the Morph puzzle head or another 2x2x1 puzzle should be easy enough for a 4 year old. You could bandage a 2x2x2 to make one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:26 pm 
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shmebula wrote:
I'm not certain that any 4-year-old could complete one face of a cube. Are you speaking from experience? Do you know/have 4-year-olds that could complete a face?


I don't have much experience with kids but I do have quite some experience with the cube. Solving these puzzles isn't as hard as you maybe still think. And I'm 100% convinced a 4-year-old will be capable to do this. Surely not right away, but give her a few days and just look how far she gets (and also let *us* know, I'm interested in this now :D).

Btw, 2x2, Pyramorphix and even Pyraminx are all much harder than a face of a 3x3. Nothing to hold on to and confusing. The 3x3 has the centers she can hold on to and it has three orthogonal dimensions making thinking easier. Also, it's easier to move pieces somewhat separately, with 2x2 and Pyramorphix every turn moves half of the puzzle.

I'd also recommend to *not* show her how to do things. It's better she gets a feeling for it herself and finds her own ways. Not only will she understand things better but she'll also become more self-confident, it's a great feeling having achieved something like that on your own.

Oh, that sliding puzzle with the cat could be a nice intermediate puzzle I think between pyraminx tips and 3x3 face...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:09 am 
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I suggest starting with rubiks snake

it´s easy and fun for 4 y.o.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:07 pm 
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StefanPochmann wrote:
Surely not right away, but give her a few days

None of my 3 daughters completed one face of the 3x3x3 at the age of 4. But that is a small sample.

Probably the Rainbow Cube would be easiest (there are no orientations to think about), but I don't know where you could get it cheaply. [The Braintwist is fun, but it could be quite hard for a small child to manipulate -- and they might forget that you shouldn't force the puzzle to flip inside-out.]

But the Pyraminx or Tetraminx would probably be OK. The vertices are trivial, of course. But if you can then get three edge-pieces placed and oriented there is a 1 in 12 chance that the rest of the puzzle will be solved. And even solving it by chance would give a sense of achievement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Mike G wrote:
Probably the Rainbow Cube would be easiest (there are no orientations to think about), but I don't know where you could get it cheaply.

Just saw that and it looks great. Tried the links in the puzzle database, but they're all in Japanese. Noticed someone here has one for sale on eBay (I suspect I'm not supposed to reference active auctions or names of people with active auctions here?)... I suspect it'll run for more than I'm willing to pay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:10 pm 
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Pyramorphix, Pyraminx, Pocket Cube, ....

Wow!!! Please don't torture a 4 year old!!!

My neighbour's teenager kids couldn't solve those!!!

My boss is a Cornel Ph.D. and he couldn't solve those!!!

Why not start with the "Morph":
http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pid=1220

Then advance to "SpongeBob":
http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pid=1459

Those are very simple and much cuter for a little girl.

Be realistic puzzle guys... how many of you did figure out the algorithms by yourself???!!! Most of people simply memorize the formula and apply them...

Let the kid have fun -- actually "playing" with the puzzle without having to "memorize" anything. For sure she is going to have fun with the Morph & the SpongeBob.

p.s.1. It's really dificult NOT to solve the Morph. LOL!!!

p.s.2. I did develope my own algorithms to solve the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cubes. It took me the whole summer of 1980 to figure out how to solve that "damn" thing... although my algorithms are slow & dumb, but they work... the important thing is "I Did It Myway!!!"

p.s.3. Back in 1980, when Rubik's Cubes just came out, no solutions could be found (no internet!!!, no google!!!) ... and we had to figure things out the good old way -- use the brain without google.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:13 pm 
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My younger sister figured out how to solve the first two levels of the 3x3x3 by herself, when she was seven. I then taught here the corner and center orientation/solve algorithms after about a week of her becoming increasingly frustrated. Sometimes it is better to release the preassure regardless of the potential reward at figuring it out by yourself. I wouldn't want her to hate it just because she didn't figure out the last coupla algs for herself. Give the young ones credit, they can handle it, as long as you take it slow.

Human minds are most creative when they are young, and it is a good time to start them on cubing and other puzzles.

Apok


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:47 pm 
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My vote would be for Spin-out, personally. The new ones have a release tab so the whole puzzle can be reset when frustration is too high, and it's pretty tough (physically) - it'd be challenging to break it.

Also, it's easy enough, and repetitive enough, that there's a good chance she can figure it out herself. After all, each piece has a very limited number of positions, and it's pretty easy to make progress right away. It's also pretty easy to give hints on the puzzle without just telling how to solve it, so it still feels like she solved it herself.

Hope this helps,
Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:35 pm 
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What about these sliding puzzles?

http://www.educatorsoutlet1.com/products/105640DD.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:49 pm 
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Hi, blogan,

Yes, that would be a good one for a little kid.

Where can I get those sliding puzzles? I want one for myself.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:49 pm 
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PuzzleManiac wrote:
Where can I get those sliding puzzles? I want one for myself.


http://www.educatorsoutlet.com/2006/web ... owletter=J

I saw them in a catalog from someone who was hosting a "toy party" (like a Pampered Chef, Tupperware, or other type) and there were in there. So you can probably find them in more places if you look, but I'm thinking it was probably around $11 or $12 in the thing I saw, so this website might be a good bet.

EDIT: OK. Even cheaper

http://www.schylling.com/mm5/merchant.m ... Code=SCP-P

Just google for "twist n slide puzzle"

Here's one that's more "challenging"

http://www.billandbud.com/Products/Games/SlideTwist.htm

Now, do you have kids, or are you getting it just for yourself?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:52 am 
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shmebula wrote:
I realize the tips twisting is very simple for her to do, but I'm interested in giving her something she can do.


What's the point in giving her something she can do? She'll gain nothing. How about giving her something she'll learn to do?

Like stefan suggested, a face of the 3x3x3.

Seriously, if she just did what she can already do, she'd get nowhere.

~Thom


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:04 am 
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Kirjava wrote:
shmebula wrote:
I realize the tips twisting is very simple for her to do, but I'm interested in giving her something she can do.


What's the point in giving her something she can do? She'll gain nothing. How about giving her something she'll learn to do?

Like stefan suggested, a face of the 3x3x3.

Seriously, if she just did what she can already do, she'd get nowhere.

~Thom

Ok, poor choice of words - I want to give her something she can (at least learn) to do.

I love the morph suggestion, pmaniac. That looks perfect. I'll also check out those sliding puzzles blogan. Good stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:13 am 
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Does anyone have any recommendations for finding a Morph puzzle? It was a UK McDonald's kid prize, so I have to imagine their tough to locate. ebay doesn't appear to have any listed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:24 am 
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Just won the Sponge Bob puzzle on ebay. Good start.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:48 pm 
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The mini fifteen from thinkfun is a great start. When my daughter was younger she'd make patterns with the two colors. She figured out how to solve the whole thing at age 6.

Morph head, spongebob, and spin-out are also great puzzles for a kid to start with (my daughter liked playing with the morph head before it broke, although it was more of a fake puzzle than a real puzzle even when she was 5). A whip-it would be good as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:04 pm 
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What about making a three-colour cube?

Image

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:53 pm 
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Hi, shmebula,

PM your address to me and I can mail your daughter both Morph and SpongeBob as her gift.

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 Post subject: New Rubik's line for 2006 includes kids' cube
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:35 pm 
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It's called Rubik Jr. Read about it here:

http://www.winning-moves.com/news/release06.htm

Basically it only has two colors, plus a monkey face. They also have some other new products coming out.

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:39 pm 
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http://boardgames.about.com/od/nyctoyfa ... ube-Jr.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:15 am 
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blogan wrote:
http://boardgames.about.com/od/nyctoyfair2006/ig/Toy-Fair-2006-Preview/Rubik-s-Cube-Jr.htm


Have I become color-blind or are those colors plain ugly?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:18 am 
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I was going to suggest the pyraminx, think its a bit easier than the cube. I remember solving it as a kid without a method.

It has centers as point of referece and you (she) can start with one face.

I would avoid the 2*2*2 and funny shaped variations, they don't have centers as a point of reference and it's harder to see which piece belongs where without colors.

The pyramorphix is tough because the shape misleads you. I solve it by ignoring its shape and treating it like a 2*2*2.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:29 am 
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I wonder if the Rubik's Jr. has any sort of different mechanism. My regular 2x2x2 is kind of difficult to make some turns, and my daughter has problems playing with it. Basically, she can discover which face can turn easily and turns that.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:58 am 
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Might be worth getting an Eastsheen 2x2x2 and restickering it with Cubesmith stickers. Then you could choose something other than pink and green. I wonder if the green faces are opposite each other when the monkey is solved?

Chris


blogan wrote:
I wonder if the Rubik's Jr. has any sort of different mechanism. My regular 2x2x2 is kind of difficult to make some turns, and my daughter has problems playing with it. Basically, she can discover which face can turn easily and turns that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:39 pm 
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PuzzleManiac sent me a Morph puzzle for my daughter and she LOVES it. It's the perfect puzzle for her. Easy enough that she can do it and eventually figure it out (only played with it for a short time tonight and didn't quite understand lining up the 2nd axis yet) but she loves it. The color's perfect too.

Thanks again PuzzleManiac!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:51 pm 
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this may be a bit too hard, but well it's a great learning puzzle on many levels. and with a child so young, they'll learn association rather quickly.

http://shoppingcart.mefferts.com/home.htm

---click on the NGP (New Generation Puzzles, aka platypus)

there's a few levels of solving it. colors, letters (A, K, Q, J) and then the sides - they have a color that you match up.

there's an ultimate version (that i got signed :) ) that lights up when you solved a particular side, or set.

it's rewarding in that way, and really easy to handle (twist and rotate). and you can pretty much solve this without complex algo's. yes there are algos that you can apply - and when you learn them that's another level of learning picked up with this puzzle.

and it's made by Meffert's so you know it is a quality puzzle....


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:01 pm 
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shmebula,

You are welcome! I knew Morph is perfect for her.

Many people on the forum did not realize that even Pyraminx, 2x2x2, ... are too difficult for the "normal" adults!!!

Guys, just asking one of your adult neighbour or college to solve a pyraminx or a 2x2x2 ... most of people do not know how to solve them and they are NOT interested in solving those!!! Not many people like to "torture" their brain!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:34 pm 
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I have made a puzzle that your 4 year old WILL be able to solve. i call it Mini pyraminx. you said she likes to play with the corners of your pyraminx so here you are a pyraminx with only corners


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:36 pm 
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i for got the pictures here they are


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Mini Pyraminx 005.jpg
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Mini Pyraminx 002.jpg
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Mini Pyraminx 003.jpg
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:51 pm 
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That was what I was looking for initially. How'd you make that?


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