This summer I came across Tegu Travel Pals, and I was excited to get one for Jack-- it's a wooden, magnetic tangram puzzle that one can take anywhere! Well, we finally got around to trying ours out last night, and you can see Jack and mine's review below. STEM Spark is also raffling of the exact same Tegu Travel Pals Spaceship; see directions below! Happy STEM-i-days!
Will your kid(s) like it, or will you (the adult) hate it (that it don't matter if they like it)?
Jack loves tangram puzzles, so he was excited to open this STEM toy. He had a little trouble getting the shapes out of the box, and I have to add that I'm not a big fan of the packaging. The shapes don't stay in place inside the box, so I wasn't even sure we had all the pieces until Jack pulled them all out. I'm sure the company will improve their packaging as they grow and mature, so I'm giving this relatively new company a break with the packaging.
Jack enjoyed putting the shapes into different configurations but did struggle a little with the magnetic part-- if both sides of the shapes he was connecting were the same pole, they repelled. He seemed frustrated at times, but he kept building. The magnets are a plus if you and your kids take the Tegu Travel Pals somewhere (harder to lose just one piece if they're all stuck together magnetically, right?). I asked Jack what he thought about his new toy, and he said, "I like it." I asked was it fun, and he said, "yeah, it fun!" So Jackie likes it, he really, really likes it (all you 90s folks will get that reference, and to everyone else, um, Google Life Cereal, Mikey Likes It; okay tangent over).
How long will it keep them entertained?
Jack spent 15 minutes playing with the Tegu Travel Pals Spaceship shapes, and I spent another 15 showing him some of the different configurations (spaceship, sky scrapper, rocket, and cat). Since these tangram shapes are meant for on the go play, I think they'll be great for occupying a child's time for a decent amount time at a restaurant, airport, in the car, and so on.
Was it a good value?
So I got mine on sale for $10, and I think it was worth the cost. Right now I'm seeing online that the Tegu Travel Pals sell for $15-ish, and I'm not really convinced that's a good value for a toy that we'll occasionally play with. I think if you want a set, then keep a look out for another sale or a coupon to reduce the price. It is cool that the company has different configurations for purchase, like spaceship, whale or tugboat.
And (since this is a STEM blog) what are the ninja-secret STEM skills added through play?
For sure there are ninja-secret STEM skills. I mean the tangram puzzle/shapes part isn't really secretive, but children will benefit from using this toy, as tangrams teach spatial reasoning skills and all that. I think a ninja-secret STEM skill here is that children will also learn about magnets and how frustrating same poles repelling each other is, but it's a good STEM skill to have under your 4 year old built.
So overall, I give this product a 3.5 stars out of 5 stars rating. I'm not 100% how I'll do a half star on Amazon (can you?), but the minor frustrations Jack had and the cost is what keeps this product from getting a 4 star review (from me). But I'll let you decide what you think. Hopefully you get to decide by winning a Tegu Travel Pals Spaceship-- just follow the Rafflecopter instrcutions below!
And if you are maybe thinking about purchasing this STEM product (outside of trying to win it in the raffle), I do think it would be a good stocking stuffer or small gift for the holidays. And please stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways for the month of December! And Happy STEM-i-days!
Raffle is open to all US residents over the age of 18. Use the Rafflecopter below to receive entries. If there's issues with the Rafflecopter that's below, use this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5094d1c912/