Blog

  • Nine Men’s Morris

     Nine Men’s Morris

    Nine Men’s Morris is an ancient game, popular in Ancient Rome. This game is known by many names, such as Mill or Windmill, most probably, because the shape of the board looks like a windmill, and Merrels, from the Latin word merellus, which means “gaming piece”. The name Nine Men’s Morris seems to have been originated by Shakespeare in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act II, Scene I), in which Titania refers to such a board by saying, “The nine men’s morris is filled up with mud”.

    Nine Men’s Morris is a strategy game, which has been described by some who have played it as a complex tic tac toe for adults. That’s because, much like tic tac toe, one theme of the game is forming rows of three on the board. However, unlike tic tac toe, it doesn’t have a single “winning” strategy. Instead, it’s a complex game where winning depends on the ability of the player to truly strategize and adjust to the other player’s moves. 

    Each row of three in Nine Men’s Morris

  • The History of the Japanese Puzzle Box

    The History of the Japanese Puzzle Box

    Himitsu-bako, or Japanese puzzle boxes, have a long and storied history. These beautifully crafted boxes are a delight to look at, but their appeal goes beyond their aesthetic appearance or even their functional purpose. What makes himitsu-bako so special is their unique puzzle mechanism. For over two hundred years, these intricate cases have entertained young and old.

    The Beginnings of the Puzzle Box

    The first himitsu-bako were designed for personal use and were small and relatively simple. But as their popularity grew, they became much more elaborate, and larger in size. Soon, they were being called “sikake-bako” and “tei-bako,” which mean trick box and clever box, respectively. Their popularity also spread beyond the town of Hakone, where they were invented. Tourists to the area were soon buying their own himitsu-bako as souvenirs, expanding their popularity even more. Soon, himitsu-bako would make their ways to all of the corners of the globe.

    Thes

  • Tangrams for kids

    Tangrams for kids

    Tangrams: An Ancient Chinese Puzzle and Modern Learning Tool

    This traditional Chinese puzzle has been around for a very long time, and it gained popularity in the West in the 1800s. Despite being ancient, this deceptively simple-seeming puzzle has retained its appeal.  This famed dissection puzzle continues to entertain generation after generation of puzzlers around the world. Yet, there is more to the tangram than meets the eye. It’s not simply an entertaining game. Researchers have learned that tangram puzzles are also powerful tools for education.  

    What is a Tangram Puzzle?

    Tangram puzzles are a type of puzzle known as a “rearrangement puzzle,” or a “dissection puzzle.” The puzzle consists of seven pieces (one parallelogram, one square, and five variously sized triangles). The goal of tangram puzzling i

  • Mechanical Puzzle Classification

    Mechanical Puzzle Classification

    Mechanical Puzzles

    Mechanical puzzles are usually self-contained objects, consisting of one or more parts. These puzzles present the player with a problem that can be solved by manipulating the pieces and using logic, insight, luck, dexterity, or reasoning. There are numerous types of mechanical puzzles, including two-dimensional assembly puzzles, complex modern three-dimensional interlocking puzzles, ancient tangrams, simple wire puzzles, and mysterious secret boxes. There are secret puzzle pitchers dating back to the 19th century, and even more ancient sequential movement puzzles, too.

    Put Together Puzzles

    One of the most common types of mechanical puzzles are assembly puzzles or put together puzzles. Usually, the player needs to find the right way to assemble or fit all the pieces correctly in

  • The Benefits of Puzzles as an Educational Toy for Children

    The Benefits of Puzzles as an Educational Toy for Children

    People of all ages love puzzles. Whether it’s a “fit the right block into the right hole” puzzle or a complex level in a video game, there’s something immensely satisfying about solving them. What you may not know is that puzzles aren’t just fun—they’re very beneficial for childhood development. And they aren’t just beneficial in one or two ways. Puzzles provide children with important mental, emotional, and physical challenges that can truly enhance their overall development. Here are some of their benefits.

    Physical Benefits

    Hand-eye coordination and motor skills require practice to develop, and puzzling can provide children with an entertaining way to practice.

    Hand-Eye Coordination

    Effectively using our brains to direct our hands to do what we want was a vita