Thursday, August 7, 2008

Zen Benders

Undoubtedly, there are several times during my day when I need my kids to be entertained, without me being the sole source of entertainment. Because of this, I love kids games that are easy to play, entertaining, and educational all wrapped in one (hopefully good quality) package. It is an extra perk if the game can be played solo.
These are all reasons why I like Zen Benders. This game series comes in little, almost pocket-sized plastic disk container. Each disk contains 8 cubes that have portions of a picture printed on them. Also contained within the disk is a stack of cards. To play this game, you must choose a challenge card from the deck and see how quickly you can create the picture (on the card) with your cubes.

If you are playing the "traditional" rules, you do not allow yourself to pick up the cube, and remove it from the disk. You must slide it around and flip it over (while still within the disk) to try to create the desired picture. The game is recommended for player ages 8+, but by a simple adjustment to the rules, my 4 and 6 year old can play with ease. My children play with all of the basic rules intact, with exception to the rule about not picking up the cubes. I let them pick up all the cubes and then reposition them within the disk, to create the challenge card. This makes the game much easier, and more on their level.

For older children or adults, you can turn this into a group game by timing players as they try to complete the challenge card image. The game comes with 36 puzzles, which are divided into 3 color-coded difficulty levels.

I like Zen Benders because it is a quick game. Tailor made to a child's attention span. My girls can usually get through a challenge card in less then 2 minutes, and then it is on to the next configuration. There is enough movement in the game that it keeps them fully entertained for about 15-20 minutes (about 8-10 cards), which is just long enough for me to make drs. appointments, clean a bathroom, mop a floor, or just regroup :). Much better diversion for them then the television, which can be used a little all-to-often in the summer months.

I also really like this game because it is portable. This could be a great travel (airplane/car) game for the kids. I have brought this along to drs. appointments, dentist appointments, and even church- to keep my kids entertained.

You can purchase Zen Benders at Amazon,,, Prices range from $7.99-9.99.

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