Smart Car

Smart Car is a puzzle game I have used a lot and love.  Build the car in the picture using the four blocks. The finished model will always look the same, with two pieces sitting higher in the middle (see image above). The four pieces are all the same shape and made of solid wood and brightly painted. It has held up well.  The wheels work and the car rolls.

Smart Car comes with a spiral bound booklet that has 48 puzzles. The puzzles advance in difficulty from starter to master, and are versatile enough to use across multiple ages and skill levels. The puzzle book starts out with step by step instructions for building the car (first image below), and then gradually moves to more difficult puzzles, showing just the completed car, a portion of a completed car, or a bird's eye view of the car. There must always be two eyes looking forward when the puzzles are complete.
This game is great for working on visual perceptual skills. Often the individual does not think to turn the piece to see it at different angles and must be cued initially, but with only four pieces it can be a good workout without having time to get frustrated before you are done!
Below are images of puzzle number one, number 13 and number 48. As I say a lot with SmartGames products, it has held up well.

Since I blogged about this product, SmartGames came out with Smart Car 5 X 5. That game has replaced this game. It contains 2 books and one extra piece. The first book uses only 4 pieces and is probably the same book as this game. So in addition you get a puzzle book with 5 piece puzzles and the extra piece you will need.
SmartGames is a brand that makes a lot of one-person logic games that help build visual perceptual skills over multiple challenges that increase in difficulty as you go. I have many of their products. The kids love them and they work very well in therapy. Because the puzzles grade themselves, getting more difficult as you go, you won't have to do the work. If you would like to read more about these kid-friendly logic games, check out my post called One-Player SmartGames
If you are interested in reading more about logic puzzles, check out my post on What's in Your Therapy Box? Logic Puzzles Edition.
Try this:
  • Look over the pieces before you begin. Talk about how one piece can look several different ways as you orient it differently.
  • Work a puzzle to model the problem solving process. Talk out loud as you go, then take the puzzle apart and ask the individual to solve it.
  • Turn to the answer page, which shows how to build one block at a time, if the puzzle is difficult (this view only for the first few puzzles). Then take the pieces out, turn back to the puzzle page, and have the individual try again.
  • Turn a block to the correct orientation and place in the car if the individual gets stuck. Then take the piece out, turn it so it is not in the correct orientation, and give to the individual to reorient and place.
  • Talk through the reasoning process if the individual gets stuck. Such as "the yellow block is taking up two spaces in the picture, so it must be lying on its side".
  • Turn the block in two hands instead of flipping it around on the tabletop.
  • Put the first block in the puzzle if the player can't figure out where to start.
  • Place three of the blocks in the car and let the individual finish the puzzle by putting in the last block. Then start a puzzle and place two of the blocks and let the individual finish it. Work backward until the person is doing the puzzles alone.
  • Give the individual one piece at a time, in the correct orientation, if they are having difficulty learning. After they improve, give them one piece at a time but not in the correct orientation. Finally let them choose their own pieces and orient them.
  • Challenge the player by making sure none of the pieces on the table are in the correct orientation before beginning to build.
  • Work from the finished view.
  • Work on spatial relations, visualization, visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, coordinated use of both hands, manual dexterity, logic, problem solving, executive functioning skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: A wooden car, 4 wooden puzzle pieces, a puzzle book with 48 puzzles.

If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.