SmartGames Puzzle Games {Review}

Before Candy Crush and other popular games you can play on cell phones and tablets, kids played regular old board games. When I was little, Monopoly Junior, Shoots and Ladders, and Candyland were some of my favorites (Monopoly is still my favorite as an adult). And now that my daughter is old enough to understand the concept of gameIMG_6538s, I am so excited to show her how fun games can be and introduce her to different games. I love that games can be competitive (a little competition is good) and she can learn so much. Little ones learn hand-eye coordination, dexterity, recognizing letters, numbers and colors, but most of all, they get to spend one-on-one time with you, their favorite person in the world.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review two games from an amazing company called SmartGames, and let me tell you, these games are smart! These aren’t your ordinary board games, they’re puzzles that challenge you mentally but they’re fun. Kids utilize skills from spatial insight to pattern recognition, while they improve their problem solving skills and their memory. IMG_6539SmartGames are made with the best quality of materials and they’re made to last; seriously, they’re fantastically crafted. The fun part is absolutely anyone can play!

The first game is my daughter’s favorite, Smart Car. Smart Car is a wooden puzzle game that challenges little ones to assemble the car with the included wooden pieces. They’ll learn concepts like “top view” and “side view” while also having fun. Included with the 3D puzzle is a booklet containing 48 challenges that range from easy to difficult. Ages 3-8 years old will have a blast, but it’s also fun for mom and dad. We have a lot of fun “playing” with this puzzle and I love that my daughter can look at thgamee challenges and actually put the car together like the picture shown. She loves looking at the solution to compare and she gets excited when she sees she’s done it right.

The second games is my favorite, Little Red Riding Hood Deluxe. The concept of the games is you’re given a “map” of how to set up the board. You put Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Grandma’s House and the included trees where the challenge says to put them. Once the board it set up, you have to solve the puzzle by making two paths, one for the Wolf and one for Little Red Riding Hood, to get to Grandma’s house. This puzzle game is a lot of fun, my husband and I have been playing it when the kids go to sleep (don’t judge us). We timed each other to see who can figure out the paths faster. The puzzle includes a booklet with 48 IMG_6541challenges (24 with the Wolf and 24 without) that range from beginner to expert, 2 figurines, 5 path pieces, 3 trees and 1 house. A picture book of Little Red Riding Hood with a modern twist is also included which my daughter loves!

I give SmartGames a 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to order more games for my girls! The quality is amazing and they can be passed down for generations because they’ll last. If you’re looking for fun but different games, not just the normal kid’s games, definitely check out SmartGames! They’re a lot of fun and they have so many different kinds of puzzles for ages 3+. SmartGamesLive is a website where you can play games online and you can also download game apps in the AppStore and GooglePlay! There are several ways to play these awesome games!smartgames_logo

Be sure to follow SmartGames on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for new releases and sales!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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DIY Puzzle Organization

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Puzzle hell. It’s one step below Lego hell. One very tiny step. It’s when your LO decides to get out every. single. puzzle you never even knew existed under your roof, mixes them all together and then bails for the next shiny object that catches their eye. Awesome.

I’m here to share with you a little trick I picked up from my hard labor time working at a daycare that will help you control the chaos and teach your LOs how to enjoy puzzles individually and make clean up a breeze.

Step 1: Take pictures or Grab Scissors. Ok this step is for my fellow Super OCDers. But if you’re like me and you want to go the extra mile when it comes to keeping your kid’s puzzle madness at bay, take pics. This is really going to be crucial for older children’s puzzles that consist of more than just a lion, a bear and an elephant as pieces. If you can’t easily tell what the pieces should come together as when they are apart, take my advice and take a pic of the completed puzzle. Even easier (if you don’t care about chopping up the box), grab some scissors and cut out the picture frome the top of the box. Boom. Easy.

Step 2: Get bags. You’re going to need something larger than a typical freezer sized imagebag. Go for a two gallon or slightly larger depending on the shape of your LO’s puzzle (a typical Melissa & Doug puzzle should fit in a 2 gallon)

Step 3: Label. Print your picture or grab your box top and tape it to the inside of the bag. If it’s a smaller puzzle that didn’t require a picture, label it something simple like “Jungle Animals.”image

Step 4: Store. Get your bags together and put them in a space that may require your assistance in order for a child to get ahold of them (think large storage bin on the closet shelf)

Step 5: Educate. Explain to your LO that they can have one bag at a time and that each puzzle should be put back in the bag before the next puzzle comes out. If they are too little to understand, even easier. When they want to play with puzzles or you plan it in their day, get out one or two bags for them to enjoy. Afterwards, you have a much smaller puzzle mess to handle and they can learn to put back the pieces in the appropriate bag instead of struggling to get the pieces in the correct spots.

It’s a pretty simple process that will take you less than one nap time to complete but save you an afternoon of irritation trying to sort out a bazillion puzzle pieces. Save yourself the stress and the future argument with your kids over cleanliness of the play room and put the puzzle chaos to rest.

-Chelsea