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Flipzles Farm and Color Your Own Speed Way: Car Play Set & Puzzle Review by Karen Waide

Vicki Hyde Lewis
Vicki Lewis Originals, LLC
3500 NE Etna Rd
Woodland, WA 98674

I don’t know about your children, but mine love puzzles. They also love to use their imaginations. So, I was intrigued when I learned about these puzzle play sets called Flipzles from a company called Vicki Lewis Originals, LLC. This company is owned by a stay-at-home mom of four children who personally designs and hand crafts the images in watercolor for all these unique puzzle play sets.

Currently she offers 10 different designs and has the goal to create two a year. You can choose from the following puzzles:

  • Castle
  • Dinosaur Volcano
  • Fairy Land
  • Farm
  • House
  • Nativity
  • Pet Mansion
  • Pirate Ship
  • Rescue Station
  • Speed Way

Some of the Flipzles are rectangular in shape, while others are square. The majority of them are fully colored, however, there are a couple that come uncolored so the child can personalize them. The Flipzles are made out of eco-friendly basswood, and the colored ones have a full color laminate image adhered to the wood, making them easy to wipe clean. Most of the Flipzles come with a zip-and-carry vinyl case to make them easy to take along with you. For some reason the Color Your Own Flipzles do not come with a carrying case.

Each of these puzzles has two unique pictures, one on the outside and one on the inside that is uncovered after the puzzle pieces are removed. What makes Flipzles more unique is that the puzzle pieces themselves are play pieces. They may be people, animals, or objects which are then combined with the inner tray scene to provide children with imaginative play time. These pieces are cut out in the shape of the object.

We received the award-winning Farm Flipzles Puzzle and Playset and the Color Your Own Speedway.

Let’s take a closer look at the farm. This Flipzles Puzzle has a picture of a barn with silo. As you remove the 12 pieces and flip them over, you will find people, animals, and objects that belong on a farm. There are horses, cows, chickens, a pig, a dog, a boy feeding a lamb, a horse with a couple of riders, a girl gardening, a boy with a lasso, a tractor with a driver, a tree and some hay. These puzzle pieces are nice and thick so they can stand to be used for imaginative play. Once the puzzle pieces are removed the inside of the barn and silo are revealed. There are fun little details like a basketball hoop in the barn loft, horse tack on the walls, and chicken and eggs in the nests. If you lean the puzzle tray against something to hold it upright, it becomes the scene for your child’s imaginative play. I did note that the company actually sells a little easel that can be used for this purpose.

Now let us take a closer look at the Color Your Own Speedway.  All of the designs on this Flipzles Puzzle are black line drawings on the wood. This puzzle has a circular raceway with 4 roads leading into it from the sides and corners. There are a pair of checkered flags in the center. As you remove the 12 pieces you will find that the pieces are various vehicles and a gas pump. There are cars, ranging from old fashioned to zinging race cars, a truck, a motorcycle, and a bus.  No need to prop this tray up, the inner picture is a raceway just as the top picture is. Children will race the cars around the track. Not only does a child get to play with the cars in this playset, they have the added pleasure of coloring all the pieces however they want it to look.

Once the child is done playing with the pieces, they are then able to put the puzzle back together. They may choose to do this multiple times if they love doing puzzles. I have to admit, these puzzles are quite challenging for my son who is 4 years old. He usually gets help from mom or older sisters. The unique shapes make them harder to fit together. I did notice that the farm puzzle was easier to put together than the speedway was. I think it is because the designs at the sides of the picture help the children to locate the correct placement of the pieces.

I admit, I did not have Harold color the outer layer of the speedway yet. I figured coloring the puzzle would be great fun for him. And yes, I think it was. However, his coloring skills are still that of a preschooler and the coloring on the cars wasn’t done very neatly. He also got tired of it and was not interested in finishing. So, the outer picture is still just black line drawing. What helps to figure out the speedway puzzle is that the roads/raceway are in the exact same spot; however because of the irregularly shaped pieces, it is it still quite the challenge.

The children have enjoyed playing with the Flipzles puzzles, mostly the creative imaginative play part. It seems they love to have races and have the cars run out of gas. Sadly, they also crash and have to go to the hospital (which is in the corner of the tray). My daughter especially enjoys the farm. These are great for imaginative play and working on fine motor skills along with spacial skills. The child really has to take note of how the puzzle pieces are cut to see where they fit.

Flipzles are great for a range of ages. Harold enjoys playing with the pieces, but as I mentioned already, he has trouble putting them back together. I would think this would be the same for other children in the 3-4 age range. I do think he was a little young for the Color Your Own puzzle as well. A child should have decent coloring skills so that the images on the puzzle are still able to be made out or the puzzle may become too difficult to put back together. My daughters are 6, 8, and 9, and they have a much easier time at putting the puzzles together. They even enjoy using their imaginations with the pieces.

We definitely love these unique puzzles. They are well made and sturdy. I have to admit, I prefer the Flipzles that come already colored. I do wish the uncolored Flipzles had the carrying case. It is so much easier to keep track of the pieces that way.

You can purchase the award-winning Farm Flipzles Puzzle Play Set for $17.95.

You can purchase the Color Your Own Speed Way: Car Play Set & Puzzle for $15.00.

- Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016