Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2014
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Pettson's Inventions 2

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Boost logic and problem-solving skills with these fun puzzlers

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Creativity
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Science
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K-5
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Challenges increase in difficulty, and kids receive gold stars for completing them.

Cons: The game lacks variation in how kids complete tasks.

Bottom Line: Increasingly difficult building and engineering tasks boost kids' thinking skills as they create fun inventions.

Pettson's Inventions 2 is a fun way to bring logic and problem solving into the classroom. You could display a challenge on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and have students work together to solve it. These puzzles could also be a fun start or end to the class day, or as a brain warm-up before a heavy math or science lesson.

Individually, students can complete challenges as part of an enrichment activity or as a way to keep their brains sharp when they finish classwork early. They could also play in small groups during a science-based stations activity or during enrichment time.

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While the original Pettson's Inventions engages kids in building zany and unique contraptions, Pettson's Inventions 2 shifts to more traditional engineering-based tasks. For example, kids must place pipes to help water flow, maneuver pieces to build a track, and connect wires and light bulbs to scare ghosts out of a room. Though the challenges are less quirky, they're still tons of fun. Once kids successfully complete a task, they receive a gold star and praise from Pettson. This builds kids' confidence to help them tackle the 37 increasingly difficult challenges.

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In completing Pettson's challenges, kids can strengthen the ability to use logic and think creatively in solving a variety of fun tasks. While some of the challenges may mirror those that students have encountered before, most will present them with new and unique scenarios. The game still offers only one correct way to complete each task, but it focuses less on creativity this time around and more on logic. This makes kids feel as if they're solving a complex puzzle rather than just building a silly invention. And the puzzles offer enough of a challenge to keep kids motivated.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Unique tasks and increasingly difficult puzzles keep kids interested, though some challenges may be extremely frustrating.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Puzzles focus on building logic skills and continually increase in difficulty.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids could benefit from a hint feature or a guided completion option on the more difficult puzzles. Materials automatically stick in the correct spot, making it easier to complete the task.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Steve I. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
William Annin Middle School
Basking Ridge, NJ
Pettson's Inventions 2 offers more of the same, more puzzles, not much in terms of variety from Pettson's 1.

I find that the player is inclined to fumble around until they solve the puzzle(s). There is a lot of clicking and dragging to determine if something fits somewhere within the puzzle which detracts from authentic problem solving. The puzzles seem very similar to those in Pettson's Inventions 1 and I am not sure that many people would feel the need to continue with similar puzzles. I'm sure many players who enjoyed the first edition would be happy to continue and complete the new puzzles, but I don't believe it offers much in terms of varied gameplay.

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