Learning geography can be tough for kids, especially when they’re used to looking at flat maps. Globes bring a whole new dimension (literally) to your child’s grasp of where they are in the world, and the Ravensburger XXL Children’s Puzzleball Globe brings the world into your child’s hands!
Disclaimer: I received this item for free to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.
Ravensburger XXL Children’s Puzzleball Globe Review
What you first notice about the Children’s Puzzleball Globe is the quality, which shouldn’t be surprising because Ravensburger is known the world over for their high-quality puzzles and games!
The puzzle pieces are made of a sturdy, thick plastic that is curved just so. The front of each piece is quite colorful and when properly aligned show case not only the continents, countries, and bodies of water that make up our planet; but also the major cities and native animals!
3D puzzles, especially round ones, are notoriously difficult but Ravensburger made this puzzleball a bit more accessible by numbering each piece. The pieces wrap about a temporary base and snap together in numerical order. This takes the guesswork out of the puzzle but for an extra challenge you can always keep the pieces color-side up.
But here’s the cool thing about this Puzzleball: Once you assemble it, you have a globe that your child can refer to in their other lessons! It’s not the most detailed globe around, but it has markings for continents, countries, state/province boundary lines, major cities, and major landmarks or animals of the region.
The completed globe is about 10″ tall. Each puzzle piece is roughly 2″, making them a good fit for a child’s hands. The Puzzleball is made from 180 pieces, doesn’t require glue, and comes with a small booklet containing interesting facts about the world.
When your puzzleball is complete you remove the temporary stand, insert pins on each axis, and hook the globe into a display stand. The display stand looks like a traditional globe stand and I thought that was pretty awesome. And it spins!
While the completed globe is sturdy enough to display the globe, it will implode if it’s heavily bumped or if your two year old pokes it. For longer preservation you may want to spray it with puzzle glue and put it up out of reach when not being used.
The age recommendation is 7-12, but I found it to be pretty challenging despite my 40ish years of age. My 9 and 11 year olds attempted the puzzle on their own but eventually sought help from my teens. Together, it took my teens about 40 minutes to assemble the globe. After he saw how to assemble it my 11 year old was able to do it on his own, however, my 9 year old wasn’t able to assemble it independently after several attempts. My children, however, aren’t big puzzlers. If your child loves puzzles this one should be a fun challenge for them!
What did my kids think about the Ravensburger XXL Children’s Puzzleball Globe?
The Artist (17): “Challenging, but not impossible. I can see how younger children (here he gave his siblings the side eye) would get frustrated but it wasn’t that bad. I would like to try a more difficult puzzle.”
The Scientist (13): “I don’t really like puzzles but I love geography, so this was fun. Can I keep it in my room?”
Mister Man (11): “I don’t really do or like puzzles, but it was better than expected. I’d do it again!”
Mister Giggles (9): “It was definitely better than expected. I was not frustrated at all, but I did need some help.”
So there you have it folks! The Ravensburger XXL Children’s Puzzleball Globe was a hit with my kids, even the ones who don’t like puzzles!
Buy it: Timberdoodle (on its own or with the 3rd grade kit)
Time: 40 minutes+
Reading skills: N/A
Common Core Status: N/A
Parental Involvement: Recommended for easily-frustrated kids