From the Inventor: Pattern Play 3D

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From the Inventor: Pattern Play 3D

By Guest Blogger: Ray Frigard

Pattern Play 3D Packaging


The original concept behind Pattern Play 3D was to reach a broad age range with a self contained block system. Used as a 2-D puzzle, challenges children 3 and up. Ages five to adult will be challenged by the 3-D design cards that increase in difficulty 1-40. When solving the challenge cards there is a natural evolution into exploration and discovery of original puzzle designs and structures that lead to creative problem solving, engaging both the right and left brain. The choice of colors and the storage/building tray was very important for Pattern Play 3-D to be successful.


Background and Benefits: Pattern Play 3D

Pattern Play 3D has numerous solutions when used as a 2-D puzzle challenge. The tray serves to frame the puzzle and keeps pieces from getting lost when stored. The colored blocks can be arranged to form many interesting graphic designs. A fun challenge is to time how long it takes to assemble pieces in the frame from a random scatter outside the frame. Any time under 20 seconds is considered excellent.


The 40 challenge cards test your ability to problem solve given designs. This prompts exploring and discovering original designs of your own which leads to creative problem solving.The tray can be flipped over to serve as a building platform.


Blocks can be built into free form abstract environments that offer unlimited opportunities for engaged exploration.


Stacking blocks to form original symmetrical structures takes both creative problem solving and engineering skill.


Cooperative play can lead to unexpected results. Sort of an open-ended tic-tac-toe game.




About Ray:

Ray Frigard is an inventor, designer, sculptor, and creativity educator. As and inventor he is named on a diverse range of patents: Rollerblades, Trisailer Boats, toys and games, cameras and Indian Motor Cycle. He has won creativity awards from: Parent’s Choice Foundation, iParenting Media and Creative Child Magazine.

Ray is a design sculptor modeling full sized cars and recreational vehicles in the design studios of Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Polaris Industries. Sculpted figures for McDonalds Happy Meals: Disney, Jim Henson (Fraggle Rock) and Jim Davis (Garfield).

He has exhibited and won awards for sculpture in juried art shows, presented at national education conferences and teaches creative problem solving in Minneapolis area schools and businesses, and written two books on creative problem solving: Arthink: Creativity Skills for 21st Century Careers and Funthink: 12 Tools for Creative Problem Solving.


How have you used Pattern Play 3D (and other open-ended puzzles) in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below, and at @MindWareToys on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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