Kanoodle 1
If you are a fan of Kanoodle and Kanoodle Genius, Kanoodle Extreme, from Educational Insights, is for you. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like—an extreme workout for the brain.

However, be rest assured—kids ages 8 and up can start Kanoodling, and adults will love to play just as much. There is really no age bar when it comes to playing with puzzles—and here you have 303 brain-busting combinations.

The exciting part is that the puzzle builds in two dimensions, as well as three. It all depends on you: Are you up for the extra challenge?

Kids might fall for the good looks the new box presents. I sure did. It’s sleek and compact, easy to carry, and easier to clean-up. It comes with a black carrying case, and a grey inside case. Both serve as a frame to build the puzzle with small holes engraved on each.

These holes have a shiny surface that makes them look like diamonds in a jewelry box. The jewels you will need for the game are 12 brightly colored noodles. Each is a combo of five small spheres stuck together, just like molecules that come together to form an atom. Solving this puzzle is a simple lesson in science too, showing how different elements come together to form bigger compounds.

Each alignment of the noodle is different. Kids can try holding them in their hands to feel their shape. Trust me, it will help them make a mental map of the piece, and solve the puzzle more easily.

To start off, try your hand at the Sliding 2-D puzzles. You will need the instruction booklet at all times. Insert the booklet into the grey inner case, and slide the black outer box on top to hold it in place. The top grey box on each page of the booklet is what will peek out of a window to help kids proceed. Each challenge has five puzzles (A, B, C, D, and E). The window will reveal the give noodle pieces used in the puzzle 1A. Arrange these to solve the first part of the puzzle. As you slide the black box from right to left, the difficulty level will increase.

Sounds difficult right? I struggled with the sliding 2-D puzzles too, so don’t feel bad if you do because you get better with time, practice, and patience.

Kanoodle clicked

Now, let’s jump to 3-D puzzles. These are way easier than the sliding ones. You just need the grey inner case and the noodles for this one. Just look at the diagram and fit the noodles in the slots. It’s just like copying from a blackboard. But, you won’t fit all, just 11 in the first puzzle. Naturally one slot will be empty. Your job is to find that last piece and put it where it belongs. As you proceed, more pieces will be missing from each puzzle, challenging to players to work a little harder to make the missing pieces fit. will go missing.

As you play, you get more familiar with the noodles and can figure out how they combine with one another to make bonds that work. Of course, by the time kids are done solving at least 10 of these, their spatial reasoning and critical thinking skills will be much stronger.

To get started with 3-D puzzles, use the top of the black lid. Follow the diagram on the guide to slot 11 noodles into their place, then proceed to higher levels where more pieces go missing and there’s more to figure out. Start with the bottom of the triangle and work your way up.

This is where junior architects will begin to think three-dimensionally and start visualizing the pieces in their head before slotting them.

As kids solve less than half the puzzles, the initial fear of not being able to make sense of these noodles, will begin to vanish. I know that I started to feel calmer, almost meditative, and more confident in this problem solving game. It’s sort of the same feeling of satisfaction you get while organizing a chaotic cupboard, making DIY furniture, or stacking utensils in place. For all you know, this time around your Kanoodle-trained kids will lend you a helping hand.