Fun and Function Glittery Tangram Puzzle review
Glittery tangram puzzles are great for sensory and mental stimulation
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Fun and Function’s Busy Fingers Tangram Gel Puzzle for kids teaches children about matching, colors, texture, and creativity.
When my 4-year-old starts to get distracted during occupational therapy, we noticed that a puzzle game with large pieces often draws her back to her learning table. So, I got a Busy Fingers Tangram Gel Puzzle, (available at Amazon) and spread out the seven gel-filled plastic pieces to gauge her reaction.
My kiddo loves water, shapes, using her fingers, and anything squishy, so even though its design may seem basic to onlookers, to her, this fidget toy served as an amazing brain teaser.
The Busy Fingers Tangram Puzzle comes with seven tangram pieces that can be enjoyed alone or with a separately purchased companion card set.
She loved the seven colorful gel pieces so much she hid them in her schoolbag the next day so her big sister wouldn’t steal them. Here’s what you need to know about this cool toy for kids on the autism spectrum or children with active hands.
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How does the Busy Fingers Tangram puzzle for kids work?
The Busy Fingers Tangram Puzzle comes with seven tangram pieces that can be enjoyed alone or with a separately purchased companion card set. We reviewed both formats for our testing.
The cards encourage problem solving skills through matching, and if you follow the pattern on each card, you can turn your tangram pieces into a square, a boat, a dog, or several other interesting shapes.
What I like about the Fun and Function Tangram Gel Puzzle
It’s fun with or without the puzzle cards
To be transparent, my daughter wasn’t that interested in following the puzzle's companion cards. Instead, she created her own tangram patterns with the shapes, using two or three of them to construct a “smile,” a number “seven,” or a “tree.”
In that sense, it may be fine to avoid purchasing the cards to fully let your child’s imagination run wild. Although she opted to not match the cards, the liquid-filled shapes did keep her occupied, and she even traced a few of the shapes on construction paper using crayons.
It’s both a brain teaser and a calming sensory toy
The liquid pieces of the Tangram Gel Puzzle remind me of those oily stickers I collected in my youth that I couldn’t get enough of. My daughter finds pushing the colorful liquid around each plastic shape very calming—and I can’t complain about that. Plus, there’s floating glitter inside each tangram, so it’s fun for my kiddo to watch the shiny specks swish around the bean bag-like gel pouches—another popular sensory toy.
My daughter also liked holding each shape up to her eyes and telling me I looked “red” or “blue” through the material. She also stacked the shapes up high a few times, counting as she went.
The Fun and Function puzzle is so easy to transport that it’s in my clutch purse right now in a baggie. The tangrams aren’t too big but are still sizable and smooth to touch. I’ve handed them to my child in waiting rooms, so she has something small and squishy to stimulate and center her mood. I’m a big fan of sensory items that serve more than one purpose, and this toy delivers.
What I don’t like about the Fun and Function Tangram Gel Puzzle
The puzzle pieces are a bit flimsy
I’m so glad she enjoys playing with the tangram puzzle pieces, but I wish the plastic shapes were a little sturdier. These feel a tad flimsy, but they’re still a solid upgrade over the previous iteration of this tangrams game. That version was marred by customer complaints suggesting the poor quality of the plastic may lead to potential leakage.
Should you buy the Fun and Function Tangram Gel Puzzle?
If the pieces in this kid-friendly puzzle weren’t plastic pouches filled with glitter and colorful gel, my daughter would probably match the pieces to the card designs. Traditional tangram sets are often made of wood, but these shapes are too much fun to resist squeezing and squishing. They’re perfect for a child in need of sensory stimulation, but the cards offer a mental exercise for those who might prefer wooden jigsaw puzzles or other brain-centric tasks.
If your kid needs one of those two things (what kid doesn’t?), this puzzle is for you. After seeing how much she loves this Fun and Function Puzzle, I’m eager to see what other liquid-touch toys will captivate her fidget tendencies as she preps for kindergarten this fall.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.