In plenty of time for Women’s History Month in March, Ridley’s Games has come out with a couple of products that highlight notable and inspiring women from the past couple of hundred years. We can learn about them and be reminded of their accomplishments and struggles as we put together a 1000-piece circular puzzle or answer fun trivia questions.
My family has assembled the puzzle and played the game, and we’ve learned about many women we’d never even heard of, alongside the ones we’ve known for years (or decades).
The art in both of these products is gorgeous. They did a very good job making the illustrations look like the actual people, and the flat art style is really fun.
The Inspirational Women jigsaw puzzle is 1000 pieces and round, a deviation from the usual rectangular shape. The pieces come in a paper tube bag inside the canister, and it also all comes with a large poster/reference image for doing the puzzle. The image on the tube itself is pretty small, so this poster is pretty important, and helpful when you have two people putting it together.
The puzzle profiles 54 different women, mostly from the U.S. but some from other countries like the UK, Brazil, and Japan. Each one includes an image, their name, and a description of why that woman is notable. Around the outside of the puzzle are the many different professions held by the women.
I found this to be a really fun puzzle to do. It has a lot of replayability for me. The colorful backgrounds in different sections make it easier to find where pieces go. The cardboard pieces didn’t feel like they snapped together securely, but they were similar in quality to most puzzles you find, and it wasn’t an issue.
As my son and I were putting the puzzle together, I loved seeing who they chose to include, including some of my favorites: Anne Frank, Maria Montessori, Sophie Scholl, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Dr. Mae Jemison. I also learned about many others, including some women I hadn’t ever heard of, such as Sybil Lupp, Yayoi Kusama, and Lupita Nyong’o.
I’m extremely saddened and disappointed by the inclusion of She Who Must Not Be Named, however. But don’t let that deter you from this puzzle; her inclusion provides an important context for discussion with your kids about things like whether you can separate the art from the artist, and what to do when it turns out that a hero or heroine holds offensive opinions.
The Inspirational Women circular jigsaw puzzle retails for $20 but is currently on sale for $15.97. Both the format and content of this puzzle have quickly elevated it to be one of my favorites, and I expect it will be in regular rotation among our puzzles. I highly recommend it for those who want to offset the heavily male-centric learning material out there.
In the same series is the Inspirational Women trivia game. Based mostly on the women on the puzzle, but including a few others and some tangential information, the 80 questions include some information that can be found on the puzzle and some that can’t. It’s a fun activity to do after completing the puzzle to see how much you remember, or you can do it ahead of time to see what you already know.
The Inspirational Women trivia game retails for only $8. Its small number of cards limits its replayability, but its low price makes it a good game to have around to pull out occasionally, or to quiz new game night participants. It makes for a great pairing with the puzzle above.
I’m profiling these products early, ahead of Women’s History Month, so you have plenty of time to get them for a Women’s History game night, in case of minor supply chain issues. If only one of these products is in the budget, I’d recommend the puzzle, because it takes longer and you can really focus on the images and the text. But the trivia game is a fun one to pull out when you only have a little bit of time or are killing time between activities. It’s also great for road trips.
Note: I received samples for review purposes.
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