When old toys get new life in the classroom

A few weekends ago was our neighborhood garage sale. I am always on the lookout for fun stuff for my classroom, and I picked up this fun thing called a Perplexus for 50 cents. I wasn't exactly sure how it worked but it looked intriguing and like it involved some problem solving skills, and for 50 cents, I couldn't pass it up.

I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it, so I just set it out in my student supply area the pencil sharpener and cup of pencils and didn't think anything of it. A student in my 1st period who sits up front immediately noticed and asked, "Can I try that if I finish my work early?" I told him, "Of course," and as soon as he finished he grabbed the Perplexus. A few students saw him doing it and leaned over to watch. Now students will come in during passing period instead of roaming the halls to play with it. It's a 3-D maze that you have to guide the ball through and definitely requires thinking ahead and problem solving because the track flips and turns and there are lots of obstacles on the way to the bucket in the center.

This thing has become such a hit with my students, and to think just a few weeks it was collecting dust in someone's closet. I started to look around my own house at some toys that have fallen out of favor to see if they could be given new life in a different setting. I asked my son's preschool teacher if she wanted this puzzle and lacing beads for her classroom and she was very excited to have them. My son isn't interested in them at home, but he might be at school, and, like me, his teacher will enjoy having something new and fun to entertain her kiddos.

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