If challenge is a big factor in the popularity of video games, then Japanese puzzle boxes, aka Secret Boxes and Trick boxes should ride a huge wave of popularity in the near future.
But without waiting for these brain teasers to peak in popularity, many older kids (and adults as well) have already discovered the fun that awaits them in trying to solve these sometimes complex puzzles. They are a great alternative to electronic games for today’s video-oriented kids.
The Japanese puzzle trick box is a six-sided wooden box with a hidden lid that that can only be opened by solving a puzzle
Some require only a simple move and others require solving a series of unique, sequential movements in order to get inside the box. Most Japanese puzzle boxes or trick boxes, have a variety of different steps ranging from 4 to 66 moves. These boxes have been around since Renaissance time and were popular during the 19th century Victorian era in England. They became popular again in the 1980s when revived by Akio Kamel of Japan, Trevor Wood of England and Frank Chambers of Ireland.
Money Trick Box
If you want to take this secret box teaser fun ever farther, here is a cool idea-- give a money gift in a trick box to anyone who loves challenges. When you enclose the gift in a trick box, no doubt the recipient will become obsessed with trying to open it.
3 D Puzzles
Another type of puzzle that brings hours of fun to a wider age range, are 3D puzzles. These brain teasers can be enjoyed by the whole family working together. My favorite puzzles of this type are the Ravensburger 3 D Puzzles. They are a great learning experience for kids and a good stress reliever for adults. They come in a variety of prices.
Ravensburger Eiffel Tower Night Edition
A beautiful way for kids and adults to visualize the amazing Eiffel Tower. With two different LED lightning effects, you can experience the tower in a warm white glow or in alternating colors or green, orange and white. The puzzle itself is made of 216 plastic pieces that are sturdy and click easily into place interlocking with each other. In addition, there are seven accessory pieces to create an authentic Eiffel Tower look. The completed tower measures 18’ x 7” x 7” and requires 3 triple A batteries.
Ravensburg Earth Globe 3D Puzzle
I have personally witnessed the creation of this Ravensburg Earth puzzle and it is a great learning and fun experience combined in one. My grandson, Jayden, and his grandfather worked together on this puzzle when Jayden was about 8 or 9 years old. The globe turned out to be much sturdier than I thought it would be. About four years later it is still strong even after having been used during homework assignments. The earth globe has 540 pieces and they are easy to lock into place. If you get stuck trying to figure out which pieces go together, there is a “cheat” system which actually has the puzzle number on the inside. I would highly recommend this puzzle. It makes a good gift for a girl or boy of about 8 years or older.
The globe is 10.5” x 10.5” x 3.2” and comes with a stand to hold it
Do you want more puzzle ideas? Click the search tool below to see a variety of brain teasers for all ages.