Math, Art, Crafting and More in a Box!


Disclosure: I was sent one of these kits in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share with you a fun building kit. It involves some crafting, math, art and more and I always love when you can make learning fun. Mind-Blowing Paper Puzzles by Haruki Nakamura does just that. 

When you open the box you will find an instruction book and pages of thick paper with perforated cutouts you will need for the projects. There are ten projects in the book and box. I love how the projects can be used in geometry for studying solids, Platonic solids or tessellations as well as used in studying M.C. Escher's artwork, animals and can just be done for fun and many are puzzles to be thought over later. Talk about a lot in one box. Oh, and there is even a globe project in there so you can add in geography and/or planet study too. The instructions are very easy to follow. The book suggests using an Exacto knife or something of that sort to remove the pieces so they are not ripped but I had no problems with the perforations and removing without any tools as long as I worked carefully. 

As you can see there various shapes and puzzles to be made in this book. From the tetrahedron to an icosahedron and wheel. When studying solids there are many ways to look at the shapes. Of course naming them matters and learning about regular shapes. Regular means that all the faces are congruent as well as the angles. A cube is a regular rectangular prism. The tetrahedron has the smallest number of faces in polyhedra. It is also called a triangular pyramid. There is also the Platonic Solids. The Platonic Solids are five regular polyhedra that represent the different elements. The tetrahedra represents fire. The octahedra represents air. The hexahedron or cube represents earth. The icosahedron represents air and the dodecahedron represents the universe. Four of the five Platonic Solids are in this kit. Then there is also the math lesson to find Euler's Formula. I have shared this previously. 

Another great lesson for beginners in geometry would be to understand the difference between the two pyramids. The tetrahedron when put together is a triangular pyramid. The Pyramid Box is a square pyramid. These are named for the shape of their base. 

I tried both pyramid projects. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. The gluing however is not all that easy. I think I need quicker drying glue. My Pyramid Box I had trouble getting the lid to fit properly on the base and forget putting the secret box inside it. But this was also the last project I did last night and I was getting tired. I also should have used more care on all of my project but some of those small tabs are hard to get to stay in place. I loved how easy it was to get them somewhat in the correct places though. The cut-outs are made for ease of putting the shapes together. 

I also tried the Regular Dodecahedron Bears project. I love how there are two bears with the bottoms that fit together to be similar to the environment the types of bears would live in. The polar bear has what looks like ice and snow and the brown bear has leaves. A perfect extension would be talking about their habitats. Mine again did not fit perfectly together or at least will not stay together without a hand on them. These were the first projects I did. All the projects have difficulty ratings as well in the book. This was one of the easier ones. 

I have not tried any of the tessellation ones but these are perfect whether studying tessellations or M.C. Escher's work. The one pictured above is the Birds and fish and as you can see they fit together like a puzzle. M.C. Escher has similar pieces of artwork using birds and fish as a tessellation. And of course the lizard cube on the cover of the box is also similar to one of M.C. Escher's famous tessellations. 

The instructions in the book are easy to follow. The pieces are all labeled so you know where each tab needs to go. The instructions include pictures to show you where you are to glue. I used a bottle cap and toothpick to glue the small pieces. 

There are so many extensions you can do with this kit as well as this kit being an extension to a lesson you are teaching. I hope you will check it out.