I was recently asked to review the FunComet HappyCalc Elementary Maths Puzzle. This couldn’t have been better time: I was beginning to notice that a lot of Pixie’s toys had fallen out of favour, however since it was approaching her birthday, I was reluctant to buy new.

Pixie has recently turned two *sob* and she is clearly ready for some challenging games, as opposed to simple baby toys. While this product is aimed at children aged 3+, my hope was that she may get something out of it now, and grow into it – so I was excited for it to arrive!

My very first thought when we opened the box was ‘wow – there’s no way this is going to be suitable for Pixie’; which was a shame, but not entirely unexpected. However, on closer inspection I was able to adjust my thoughts: the numbers aspect is beyond a two year old – but the bright and alluring illustrations mean that Pixie is happy enough to slot the pieces together and have a play.

In that sense, the game is actually very versatile.

Being a woman, my next thought was to find the instructions (easy daddies, I’m messing). I looked inside the box; I looked on the cover of the box: instructions are not supplied with the game. I was somewhat perplexed, but between us hubby and I felt sure we could figure it out…

Allow me to save you the trouble we had: essentially, the term ‘puzzle’ is misleading.

This game is not a puzzle in the traditional sense, in that there is no picture to complete. It’s actually cleverer than that (unless, like me, you’re a bit OCD).

The concept of the game is to play freely.

The size of each piece represents its value, so a 2 is half the size of a 4, and a 4 is half the size of an 8.

FunComet HappyCalc Elementary Maths Puzzle Review

This is perfect for helping children to learn and – crucially – to understand numbers and mathematics. It is not perfect for somebody who is determined to complete a puzzle which does not exist – but luckily that’s not the object of the jigsaw. (Henceforth the FunComet HappyCalc Elementary Maths Puzzle shall be referred to as a jigsaw – because it means I can type without my OCD tendencies causing me to grit my teeth.)

I made peace with the idea of the jigsaw’s design being for free play rather than a structured ‘build this; complete this’ style game, and I began to appreciate its value: it really will grow with Pixie. For the time being, she can simply piece together the fun graphics, which will help to develop her imagination (perfect for her current age); as she develops, the numbers element can be brought in to help her learn a whole new skill.

My final thought on the puzzle jigsaw is that while the maths aspect will, in time, be perfectly within Pixie’s grasp, fitting the pieces back into the box requires a PhD in the subject: I highly recommend using a larger container in which to store the game.

FunComet HappyCalc Elementary Maths Puzzle Review

This is a great product for kids, my only caveat is that it’s description is slightly misleading. However, so long as you know what you’re getting, then it’s actually a brilliant tool and a fun way to waste a couple of hours. (Just don’t expect to finish up with a pretty picture at the end and no pieces left over.)

Fancy winning one of these for the littlies in your life? For your chance to win, simply enter below.

There’s no obligation for you to subscribe to my blog or like my facebook page to enter; but please note that your chance of winning will increase in line with the laws of karma and the good vibes I’ll be sending your way. (Plus you’ll be notified of other fab posts and giveaways!) #justsaying

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Will you and your child enjoy the free-play aspect of the game?

Before you go, check out what other giveaways I have running right now!

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Review

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

80 Comments

  1. Sharon stanley (@Shandy2008) Reply

    Free Play is a great way to teach children to be independant as well as playing alonside others. We will definitley enjoy it if lucky enough to win

  2. Tracy Nixon Reply

    yes we will! I think my two little girls will enjoy this puxxle evry much!

  3. emma walters Reply

    my youngest son would love it, he gets bored easily when following rules!

  4. Rachel Craig Reply

    Free-play new experience, as would have expected jigsaw puzzle. Interesting and encourages use of imagination.

  5. Phyllis Ellett Reply

    Free-play looks like a great idea, I think enjoyment is going to be there.

  6. Angela Treadway Reply

    yes i think its a great idea this would be something me and my boys would enjoy playing x

  7. Kim styles Reply

    yes the free play is good! my kids will enjoy playing with this !

  8. Samantha O'D Reply

    My daughter is really into jigsaws at the moment, she likes a challenge

  9. Toni Pearson Reply

    I think we would enjoy it, and anything that makes maths fun is good for my son’s.

  10. Cheryl Kemp Reply

    Yes I’m sure myself and my daughter will enjoy the puzzle ????

  11. sharma gaskill Reply

    My children love free play, it gives them a chance to be independent and individual which is great.

  12. JULIE WARD Reply

    Hopefully my grandsons mind won’t wonder off, so yes we would enjoy it,

  13. MY son will love this, he loves to make up his own rules for games

  14. Laura Pritchard Reply

    We’re both quite rigid rule-followers so I think it would be hard, but good for us to try!

  15. Martina Pichova Reply

    My son loves everything that is new and different so he should love this (as he has never seen anything like it).

  16. Leanne Lunn Reply

    Free play is great, we would have lots of fun and it really works the imagination.

  17. Ruth Harwood Reply

    yes, i think this would be a great way to spend time together xx

  18. laura stewart Reply

    yes! my daughter struggles with maths so this would help x

  19. ADEINNE TONNER Reply

    I would actually give this puzzle to my friend and her child to enjoy.

  20. Jessica woods Reply

    Yes because my son has autism so structure to a game don’t happen so this would give us the opportunity to explore with numbers

  21. Tee simpson Reply

    This game looks fab. Yes we will enjoy the free play aspect

  22. jo liddement Reply

    Yes my son love using his imagination and would enjoy the free play aspect

  23. Tracy Newton Reply

    My son loves jigsaws. He would also really appreciate the free play aspect of this game

  24. Clare Munden Reply

    My son struggles academically and I think this could really help him!

  25. Niki Wardle Reply

    I think this is brilliant! My maths-mad son would happily play this with his youngest sister, 3.

  26. Patricia Avery Reply

    Think the free play element would be great with my youngest grandson 🙂

  27. MANDY DOHERTY Reply

    My grandsons would love the free play aspect of the game

  28. Mary Duncan Reply

    Yes, this looks like a great idea! I love that it’s a puzzle with no ‘correct’ way to do it!

  29. Rebecca Howells (@PeanutHog) Reply

    This game looks fun and educational too. We always end up changing the rules (always in their favour!!!)

  30. Karen Barrett Reply

    I think we certainly would, my Grand-Daughter would love this puzzle.

  31. Hayley Todd Reply

    We definitely would! Free play is a great way for children to develop their own imagination, skills and education. This looks a really good game with lots of fun to be had.

  32. Lynsey Buchanan Reply

    Yes we Definitely would enjoy the free playing aspect of the jogsaw

  33. Sadiyya Maryam Reply

    My daughter would love this as she often makes her own instructions when we play and learn. I have found for her this often helps with her learning as it keeps things fresh and unique so she remembers easier and it makes things different. Many thanks gof for sharing.

  34. Natalie Crossan Reply

    Yes we definitely will – especially my little daughter xx 🙂 xx

  35. Laura Harrison Reply

    Yes it looks like good fun and will teach at the same time xxx

  36. Victoria Prince Reply

    I think we would, great way to get the imagination going!

  37. Deborah Mackenzie Reply

    I am sure there will be Free Play, I would be giving my set to my great niece and her gran would be the main person with her.

  38. Nicki Simpson Reply

    My daughter would love this, she loves learning and has a great imagination, I would enjoy playing this with her

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