I must confess I was one of those people who went through a Sudoku craze. I loved doing them so last year when I spotted that Activity Village had a Sudoku for kids pack in their shop I naturally wanted to give it a go. When I opened the download I was initially impressed with just how many puzzles they had included (the whole document is 120 pages of which 70 pages are just Sudoku puzzles – yip 70 pages of Sudoku puzzles, the rest of if a brief introduction including tips and of course the solutions for all the puzzles).
My youngest took to Sudoku straight away, but then he is the one who loves puzzles and most logical thinking challenges.
My oldest did not initially “get it.” And she was a bit frustrated that her younger brother understood it so easily. My oldest is a very visual, tactile learner so I decided to try and explain it to her using some coloured snap cubes. We went back to the easiest example and we used 4 colours – one colour for each number. Then we placed our snap cubes on the numbers and we talked through where would the colours need to go.
Just being able to pick up her snap cubes and place them in the correct place made a huge difference for her. And she did a few more all by herself using the snap cubes.
Once she was confident with this method we introduced another step. For each number we used a different coloured pencil. Eg 1 was blue and 4 was green. So although she was not using physical objects to help her so was still using colours to help her with the patterns.
She loves this and even now that she is more confident doing the puzzles she likes sticking with the coloured pencils as it makes the page look “more cheerful”.
The Sudoku puzzles are split into different groups.
4×4 puzzles – 20 different puzzles
6×6 puzzles – 30 different puzzles
9×9 puzzles (standard) – 30 different puzzles
9×9 puzzles (moderate) – 15 different puzzles
9×9 puzzles (tricky) – 15 different puzzles
hidden code – 10 different puzzles
What I also like about this pack is they have included symbols on each page which tell you how difficult the page is. So apples are the easiest, then a chicken until the hardest have a lightbulb on them. I have not actually pointed this out to my kids but I use it as a check to make sure no-one is trying something that is just going to be extremely frustrating.
And yes I know you can buy Sudoku books almost anywhere these days but the beauty about the download is once you have bought it (£3.95) you can print and reprint the pages as often as you like which is a bonus when friends came over and want to give it a go.