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Temple Connection

Lower Age: 7+
Website: http://www.smartgamesusa.com/temple-connection
Price: $21.99
Year Added: 2017

Temple Connection is an ancient-ruins-themed puzzle game for children seven years and up. The player is tasked with building roads and bridges from plastic pieces in order to connect temples together. There are 80 different challenges with 5 difficulty levels to accommodate a variety of skills. Temple Connection promotes many different engineering thinking and design practices, including spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving. The user must go through an iterative design process as they map out a potential solution, and then refine their solution as they place puzzle pieces on the game board. The game also includes design constraints, such as matching up bridges with bridges and roads with roads. A limitation on the  number of pieces to choose from further constrains which paths the player can take. Each challenge has one unique solution that can be found in the manual upon completion of the challenge. By providing players with limited resources and giving them the ability to refine their solutions, children are challenged to use creative thinking and logical thinking to successfully solve the puzzles!

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, make observations, plan a solution, try the solution, create a prototype or process, test the solution, analyze a solution, recognize patterns

 

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A problem to be solved by developing a new or improved object, tool, or process, criteria, constraints

 

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Spatial reasoning skills, creative thinking, design, problem solving, perseverance, logical thinking

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews

    • Rating: 3.33 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “This game was challenging like a brainteaser, but it was also fun!” M, 11

      • “ This board game will be fun for the whole family. This game is fun because there are many different pieces that look like they might work, but only one will fit.” M, 11

  • Parents Reviews

    • Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “I liked that there were lots of puzzles to keep him challenged.” parent of a 7-year-old

  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews

    • Rating: 4.43 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “This toy makes the user analyze the problem and decide how to connect the most towers together. Because the instructions do not explicitly say how many towers to connect, it makes the user think critically about the best option for each problem.”

      • “I liked that it was fun and educational! Children are given limited tools to solve a specific problem, and each challenge requires critical and spatial thinking.”

      • “I like that this toy has many different puzzles, so that a wide range of ages can play!”