Tuesday, November 13, 2012

IQ Blocks - Another Homemade Game for Visual Spatial Reasoning

If you liked my Find the Different Figure game, and my Homemade Tangram Design Cards, you'll probably enjoy this homemade IQ Blocks game as well.  I made it yesterday using second-hand building blocks we had around the house, some paint, and my photocopier-printer...

I found a website selling pattern tiles that are modeled after the ones used in child IQ testing (WPPSI®-III ERB, WISC®-IV, Stanford-Binet® 4, Slosson Intelligence Test – Primary SIT-P).  Don't know what those IQ test acronyms mean?  Neither do I!  I just thought these pattern tiles looked like a lot of fun and a neat visual-spatial exercise for my twins (3 years old), but I didn't want to spend the $20 when I figured I could make the same game at home.

We had a couple square building blocks that we got 2nd hand a while ago, so I thought they'd be perfect for this activity.  I used painter's tape to tape up the patterns that I wanted and then painted them with blue paint.  After 2 coats of paint and one of glue (for additional durability), I flipped them over, made different patterns on the other side and repeated the process.  I only found 6 blocks in our set (although I'm sure we had more, I have no idea where the kids put them), so that's a total of 12 sides to paint (if you have blocks that are cubes, you can paint all 6 sides for an added challenge).  I'm thinking that when I have a chance to go to the craft store I can get some plain wooden tiles or blocks and make this activity with more blocks (and nicer blocks that retain the paint better and don't have scratches on them), but for my 3-year-olds, what I made was enough of a challenge for now.


I used my photocopier-printer to print out some pattern cards, which I laminated.  You could also scan the patterns on a flatbed scanner and then print them out, or just draw your own using some graph paper.

My 3-year-olds were really challenged by this activity and I had to work with them closely to help guide them toward looking at one tile at a time to figure out the orientation..

They really wanted to place the blocks on top of the pattern cards, so I'm going to do some more mapping activities with them to help them translate from a blueprint to the real thing.  A lot of the activities we have are on the easy side for my kids, so I'm really glad that I came up with something that is difficult enough that I continue to bring it out and they can be challenged.

The design cards and blocks fit nicely into a small ziplock bag, so I can store this along with our other busy-bag activities to put into rotation.

I love adding brain puzzles to our Homeschool Preschool routine, and my kids really enjoy playing with these types of manipulatives.  They're terrific for developing math and logic skills!

UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed playing "IQ games" that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!

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  1. These are great teaching tools. You are so creative. Pinning this on my Recycle board.

  2. I love this idea! We have tangrams, but this will be a fun idea to change up the shapes three dimentionally!! I'm here from Enchanted Homeschooling!

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! Here's my take: http://pinterest.com/pin/354165958166348335/

  4. These cookign flash games at http://papasgames.us/, papas games are really good for kids


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