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WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
While we’re all in favor of science, reading about how human beings maintain our sense of balance is pretty yucky. From Wikipedia:
“Movement of fluid in the semicircular [ear] canals signals the brain about the direction and speed of rotation of the head.... Each semicircular canal has a bulbed end, or enlarged portion, that contains hair cells. Rotation of the head causes a flow of fluid, which in turn causes displacement of the top portion of the hair cells that are embedded in the jelly-like cupula.”
Ew! Well, now that we know how balance works, let’s talk about how we can have some fun with it, by playing the Suspend game from Melissa & Doug. This game is a complex balancing act that tests your hand-eye coordination: players take turns perching colorful rubber-tipped wire rods on a tabletop base. Keep building the structure taller, and don’t knock it down!
Suspend structures have a nifty modern-art look, and are lots of fun to build; of course, little kids will get just as much delight out of knocking pieces down as they will out of hanging them successfully. And playing this family game teaches kids patience and strategy, as well as steady nerves and steady hands. The Melissa & Doug Suspend Game includes a wooden base with 4 frame rods, a colored die, a wooden connector, and 24 hanging pieces; for ages 8 and up, 1-4 players.
Travels easily, fun for all ages, good brain exercise, easy to learn
The game is a hit! Whether it is played by the rules or the players just take turns trying to build and balance, it's good exercise for the brain on a variety of levels, as well as lots of fun. We're seeing it enjoyed by friends and family of all ages--kids to seniors. Moreover, it looks cool!
I first learned about it at Magic Beans (yay!) and purchased two--one as a gift for our 4.5 year old son and one for our friend of the same age. I suspect that more purchases are in our future!