ThinkFun provided me with product to test in the hopes I would share with my readers. All opinions are my own.
Ellie has been asking for some “just the two of us time” lately. She understands when we’re at home most days we can’t leave her little sister out of our activities. So, I have been trying my best to find some activities we can do together in the few moments we do have “alone”. Ellie’s favorite thing to do with me right now? Board games!
We had a pretty busy weekend, and Aubrey must have decided she needed a little bit of extra catch up sleep today because she took a nap for the first time in forever. I immediately took advantage of that nap and pulled out a new game I have been dying to introduce to Ellie.
I’m a huge fan of ThinkFun games. I try to work STEAM play and creative thinking into most of our activities, and that is so easy to do with the huge assortment of fun and educational games from ThinkFun. Actually, over half the games in our games cabinet are ThinkFun games that stimulate brain development and promote logical thinking.
And guess what? Ellie absolutely loves them! 90% of the time if she wants to play a board game she’s going to choose one of our ThinkFun games.
Today I introduced her to Back Spin, a classic game from 1992 that has been re-released from the ThinkFun Game Chamber.
This Oppenheim Award winning puzzle is shaped like a flying saucer with two halves that you twist to pass balls from one side to the other. The object of the game is to scramble the balls by twisting the two sides of the saucer. Then put all the colors back together again in the correct colored slots. With 35 balls and 9 colors, it seems like this would be super easy to do, but it’s actually a very challenging game! I’m considering Back Spin an updated sphere type version of a Rubik’s cube.
Your job is to scramble the colored balls, then figure out how to get them back into their matching slots — on both sides. Back Spin might look simple at first, but this cleverly addictive puzzle could leave your head spinning!
The recommended age level is 8+, but I figured it couldn’t be too difficult for my 6 year old if we worked together. First, we scrambled the colors up a bit. I didn’t want to make it too difficult for her at first, so we scrambled about half of the balls.
Then Ellie set to work twisting and aligning balls to move them back into their correct slots. We ended up spending 45 minutes on the game working together and having a blast. And I loved watching the looks she would make as her little mind set to work trying to figure out her next move!
Once we finally got all the balls back into the correct slots she was ready to mix them up and start again. Only this time she wanted to do it by herself. When we headed out for dinner and some shopping, Ellie decided to take Back Spin with her to play in the car. In fact, she didn’t put it down for most of the evening, and because everything is contained inside the one unit I didn’t have to worry about Aubrey taking it away from her and getting any of the small balls in her mouth.
If you are looking for a great game that promotes critical thinking and problem solving that is also portable, Back Spin is my new favorite choice. With a price tag of $14.99 I will be adding this to game to my list of great birthday presents for all the kids we know.
Want to pick one up for yourself? You can find Back Spin and all the other great games from ThinkFun on Amazon.com.
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