Usually, a globe only includes planet Earth, but Learning Resources’ Solar System Puzzle Globe gets all the planets in our solar system in on the fun.
Learning Resources is a company best known for its STEM toys, and it certainly has a lot to offer any kids in their outer space phase. There’s a Space Explorers Building Set, a Shining Stars Projector, and an Alien Experiment Lab to name a few. For an out-of-this-world option for learning more about the planets around us, kids can turn to the Solar System Puzzle Globe.
Recommended for kids ages 3 and up, this 3D globe puzzle includes puzzle piece versions of all the planets in our solar system, plus the sun, all with circular flat tops. The back of each planet (and the sun) features a different shape jutting out to slot into the larger globe. Once a kid has figured out where everything goes by matching the shapes together, there are also labels they can place on top of each piece that name what celestial body it is. Kids and parents can work together to label all the planets correctly.
The puzzle bit is pretty simple, being just a shape-matching game. That said, kids older than the recommended preschool age will likely still get some satisfaction from the toy. Though the puzzle will be easy for them, the resulting solar system globe makes for a nice room decoration for any space-obsessed kid and can provide an opportunity to educate kids about the different planets.
You don’t have to hop on the internet for that educational opportunity. The included instructional booklet has fun facts about the sun and each of the planets. Kids can learn things like why Mars is called the red planet or which planet is the hottest. Parents may even learn a few things alongside their kids!
This globe has the latest science on its side, as well. The featured planet pieces include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Despite those who don’t want to see it go, this globe does not include Pluto. Though there is plenty of love for the little dwarf planet, it’s nice to see this puzzle reflecting the most recent planet count.
There are also small astronaut and ship figures to explore the stars with, once kids have put everything together. Speaking of stars, kids also get a number of glow-in-the-dark star stickers to stick to the globe, following the pattern of constellations Little Dipper, Big Dipper, and Cassiopeia. Parents might want to grab some glue for this bit, as I found the stickers peeled a bit even with some hearty sticking down. The resulting constellations look great around the planets and really make the globe feel full.
The Solar System Puzzle Globe is just as fun to display as it is to put together. Kids who want to be astronauts when they grow up will have stars in their eyes with their new room decor encouraging the dream.