The BAFFLE!® game concept was developed by Diane Hill, M.Ed., while she
was teaching elementary math students. The game helped them learn strategy and
logical thinking skills. Over 25 years later, after retiring as a teacher, she
expanded the game for the public.
Bob Drake, Ed.D., a professor in the Mathematics Education Department of the
University of Cincinnati, is also a consultant with the Cincinnati Public
As a specialist in how children learn math skills, he confirms that BAFFLE!®
is useful in teaching the foundational math concepts in an entertaining way.
As an avid BAFFLE!® player, he also notes it’s challenging enough for the
most advanced players.
Classification skills are one of the pre-number concepts young children must
develop if they have any hope of successfully learning mathematics.
BAFFLE!® provides an engaging tool for young children to begin developing
those concepts. It is not, however, such a simple activity that only pre-school
children will enjoy it. It's an activity that will please students of any age,
while helping to develop important foundational skills for learning mathematics,
even for advanced high school students.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has recognized that "spatial
reasoning" is an important skill that relates to the development of mathematical
understanding, from simple "number" concepts to analytical processes in higher
mathematics. From ideas as simple as counting to factoring quadratic equations,
spatial reasoning is a foundational building block.
BAFFLE!® provides an entertaining activity for developing spatial
reasoning, and does so in a critical thinking, problem-solving context. The game
requires advanced planning in a manner similar to the game of chess, but is much
simpler to learn. It's so simple, in fact, that even primary grade children can
learn. That does not mean that it's simple to master! The game requires
strategy, reasoning, and organizational skills if the puzzle is to be solved.
And solving it once is not the end. There are many potential solutions, and the
player is challenged to identify those additional solutions after finding the
BAFFLE!® is compatible with PC and Mac.