Probably every child ever has at some point made up a game involving laying sticks in patterns.
This educational toy works much the same, but instead of making whimsical designs, children are expected to identify a pattern connecting two squares. These are printed on a card.
Once they’ve figured this out, they race to complete the route using blocks of different lengths and colors. This requires planning ahead, spotting and correcting errors, visual perception, and logical thinking.
There’s nothing tedious about it, though: since kids are competing against each other (or some unlucky adult who’d probably prefer to take a nap), the minutes simply fly by.
Up to four people can play with the included pieces, which is probably the practical maximum when it comes to competitive, concentrating toddlers.
Along with the building blocks, you’ll find 50 circuits divided into 3 difficulty levels. This amount of variety makes it difficult to memorize the patterns, though you may find that your kid ends up creating their own algorithm for winning the game. This isn’t a bad thing: teaching this kind of systems thinking is certainly worthwhile.
Children younger than the recommended 6 years old will also get some use out of it: recreating the pattern printed on the card isn’t exactly hard. This brings us to a criticism, though some will see it as a good thing. Instead of being transparent, the pattern cards are cardboard and double-sided.
Instead of just placing the card over a completed design to see whether it’s accurate, you have to transfer it to the board piece by piece. This can get tedious, but also offers a way of building a toddler’s manual dexterity. Nothing they can do on a tablet compares.
In the way of young ones, some will love this toy and others will ignore it.
It does seem to be good at its primary job, though: many parents have noticed their kids quickly getting better at it, while a number of occupational therapists use it professionally.