And You Thought Puzzles Didn’t Travel Well {Review}

You know by now that we are full-time RVers. What you don’t know is that when we had a house, we owned a lovely little collection of puzzles and were avid puzzlers. Some RVers take puzzles on the road with them, but not us. That is, until Enlivenze LLC gave us thisĀ Solar System FlipStir Puzzle in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

What is a FlipStir Puzzle?

A FlipStir Puzzle is a puzzle contained within a cylinder. A hooked stick protrudes from one end of the cylinder. You use the stick to put the puzzle together.

Can you picture that?

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The knob pulls the hooked wand in and out to navigate the puzzle pieces. Oh, now you get it!

We have the solar system puzzle, but they also have a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Rainbow Pencils, and the Statue of Liberty. I chose the solar system because we are studying astronomy right now…and dinosaurs are scary. Rar.

Rex and the Rainbow contain straight pieces, but Lady Liberty and the Solar System contain curves, making them even trickier. Doable, but tricky…for some of us.

Now, there’s only so much you can do with a puzzle–assemble…disassemble…assemble…disassemble…. As my fellow RVers can attest, there is little room in a travel trailer for anything that does only one thing…except, of course, a popcorn popper. Mmmm…popcorn.

So that the puzzle could make the travel space cut, we came up with this list of things to do with a FlipStir…I mean besides pausing directly halfway through the trailer door and assembling it and totally forgetting you’re supposed to be doing your math.


Here are other things you can do with it:

  1. Assemble it–duh.
  2. Record your time and try to beat your personal best.
  3. Compete with one another’s times.
  4. Reward a student working hard at astronomy by letting them “play” with the puzzle instead of doing lessons or at the end of a lesson–that’s actually reviewing the solar system planets, but they don’t need to know that.
  5. Sit in a circle, place a piece, and pass it on.
  6. Do number 5 to a timer and try to beat your team’s high score.
  7. Blindfold one participant and have another tell him what to do.
  8. Put the puzzle together with your weak hand.
  9. Put it together backwards. One side of the puzzle is white, so if you angle it properly, you’ll end up putting together a pictureless puzzle. Tricky!
  10. Buy two and race head to head. Woo hoo! It’s like the Olympics all over again, without the tape to hold your body together.
  11. Use it as part of a race–run down to a table with the FlipStir on it, put one piece in position, run back, tag the next person. It’s best with two teams and two FlipStirs, because racing against air is lame.
  12. Assemble it behind your back while someone else tells you what to do. I think that’s ridiculously hard, but I have yet to assemble it frontwards. My kids and hubby can do it. We all have our gifts.
  13. And my favorite: not groan over missing pieces. Woo hoo! Let’s have a cookie over that one, shall we?


Hey, fellow RVers, here’s something you’ll appreciate. The puzzle is lightweight for the most part, but it holds up to the abuse that life on the road (at least our life on the road) throws at it. The flip and stir stick is metal, which translates into sturdy, so when your one-year-old hypothetically throws that baby across the trailer, it should hold up. Don’t you love vivacious one-year-olds. So full of life, such good pitching arms–they’re excellent FlipStir Puzzle durability testers.

And conveniently, these fit into Christmas stockings. There you go. Now you all want one.

Look…he did it! Clever lad.


He doesn’t get that from his mama. Everyone played with the puzzle. Everyone except one person solved it. Thus ends the discussion of the FlipStir Puzzle.

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