Raising smart kids: What tablets (still) can’t do!

Whereas everyone in the toy industry is talking about touch-screens and e-books for children, a Belgian company revisits the classics and unveils a brand new educational game, Puzz Story, which combines a book, a puzzle and a poster… Why?


[dropcap style=’1′]T[/dropcap]ablets for kids are number one in sales this holiday season. A wide range of applications allow them to read, play the piano or adopt a virtual pet by sliding their little fingers on the screen. This trend is good for parents as well as game developers. For parents, it means no toys on the floor, no cumbersome piano and no pet to walk or feed every day. For game developers, it means no production, no shipping and no quality testing. Then why did Hormes sprl. develop a game that comprises a 33×33” hard magnetic poster, 96 thick wooden puzzle pieces and a hardcover book?

Puzz Story is the first puzzle that tells a story. Children read or listen to a story, and, based on the descriptions, find puzzle pieces which represent key elements of the story. They place the pieces in the correct locations on a large magnetic poster, vividly illustrating the adventure. More details

Puzz Story children

Let me first explain where the idea of Puzz Story comes from,” says Marie-Hélène Bocquet, the co-creator of Puzz Story. “When my daughter Amber was little, her dad would tell her short stories about countries he had just traveled to on business. During the story, Amber would play with a magnetic world map she had in her bedroom, where each country was represented by a magnet. By the time she was 20 months old, we suddenly realized Amber – who couldn’t even speak yet – was able to place all the countries of the world in the correct spots on the map! What happened is that the routine her father established with her accidentally activated the three types of memory that children use to learn: auditory, kinesthetic and visual.” Read the full story

By simultaneously activating auditory, kinesthetic and visual memories, Puzz Story produces exceptional results in learning and long-term memory. Children all learn in different ways. Stories are great for children with strong auditory memories. Puzzles are good for children who need to manipulate and try things. Posters suit children with strong visual memories. Because Puzz Story combines a book, a puzzle and a poster, no learning style is neglected. Even better, the three elements actually enhance one another, creating positive synergies.


“We tested the Puzz Story formula extensively and chose not to develop a tablet application because the real manipulation of thick puzzle pieces and the size of the poster are important to maximize learning in children less than 10 years old,” explains Marie-Hélène. “Puzz Story offers something unique. My husband and I were amazed at how quickly Amber was able to learn using the combination of story, puzzle and poster, and the single idea behind Puzz Story is to give parents everywhere the same feeling of pride and astonishment. Hence, every decision regarding the design of Puzz Story was made to optimize learning alone.”

This decision of reinventing the classics, however, has proven to be strategic for other reasons than learning alone. First, book clubs and teachers have endorsed Puzz Story as a good way to introduce books to young children because their attention span being limited, they like the interactivity between the book and the puzzle. Second, direct environment does influence children’s development and home decoration magazines have featured the magnetic poster of Puzz Story as a must-have in children’s bedrooms. Finally, many pediatricians are worried about the increasing number of hours that children spend daily in front of screens (TV, PC, tablets, video games) and the Learning Care Group recommends traditional puzzles and books for children under 10 years of age.

Puzz Story is available from Amazon.com with free shipping.

Discover the first title of the Puzz Story collection: World History in Twelve Hops: Tim’s Journey Through Time

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