The Best Speed Cubes for Kids: What To Look For

The Best Speed Cubes for Kids: What To Look For


5 minute read

As a parent or guardian, cubing, the solving of twisty puzzles, can be a great hobby and pastime for a multitude of reasons. Whether it be the new cognitive challenge of solving the puzzle, development of fine motor skills, new social skills and developmental experiences through cubing competitions, or just to get your child off their smartphone or computer, cubing and speed cubing has numerous benefits. However, you may be wondering what type of puzzle to purchase for your child? Here we go over the main criteria you should consider when purchasing new speed cubes for kids.

Types of Puzzles

You may be familiar with the traditional 3x3 Rubik's cube, which is a three-layered cubic twisty puzzle as suggested by its name. This is a cornerstone of cubing, with almost every cuber owning at least one, as it used to teach fundamental cubing skills such as notation and basic solving techniques.

However after acquiring the 3x3, there is a far wider range of twisty puzzle options available. More cubic puzzles that vary in layer amount are readily available for purchase, ranging from the two-layered 2x2 through to 7x7 and beyond. The higher-order puzzles build upon skills learned through solving the 3x3 and add an additional challenge to solving thanks to their additional pieces and layers.

Other non-cubic puzzles also provide a great challenge, being present in World Cube Association or WCA competitions as more events that your child may chose to compete in further into their cubing journey. Puzzles such as Megaminx, a dodecahedral twisty puzzle and Skewb solve slightly differently to their NxN counterparts and create different solving experiences in comparison to their NxN counterparts.

Check out our article on puzzles to learn after 3x3, and Non-WCA puzzles to learn after 3x3.

Criteria

Budget is also an important consideration for many families and parents when it comes to purchasing new items and puzzles for children. 3x3s range from anywhere from $3 USD for the most basic of models to the $65 for the highest-end flagships from renowned manufacturers. We recommend selecting puzzles on a couple criteria, provided your child does not have any specific preferences or requirements

  • Budget
    • Some of the lower end puzzles are less enjoyable to turn due to their lower levels of performance and higher amount of friction between the pieces when turning, although there are certainly some exceptions to this. See below some of our recommendations for a number of different price ranges, from under $10 USD to upwards of $60 USD.
    • To filter by price on our website, simply head over to the collection you would like to filter, for example the 3x3 collections, and sort by "Price - Low to High" or "Price - High to Low"
  • Magnets
    • In 2021, lots of puzzles are readily available in magnetic variants, which "snap" the puzzle into cubic shape at the end of each turn. Magnets are highly recommended since it greatly increases the enjoyability of turning the puzzle, along with helping you or your child align the layers quicker. Magnetic 3x3s are readily available for all price brackets - see speed cubes for kids recommendations listed below
      Read more about magnetic speed cubes here
  • Plastic Color
    • Puzzles come in a couple common color variants, stickered and stickerless black/white. Stickers are what you will find on the original releases of the Rubik's variant and give the cube its classic look, the downside being that with heavy usage the stickers tend to chip and peel. Stickered cubes also allow you to customize the "shades" of the 6 sides of the puzzle, especially useful for cubers and children with specific vision requirements or color blindness. The other common option is stickerless, where the plastic of the cube itself is colored, which prevents the sticker peeling and chipping issue, however looks quite different from its stickered counterpart.

      We recommend stickerless cubes for children mostly as they are quite durable, but if your child has specific vision requirements stickered puzzles are great as you can choose the most contrasting colors. We offer an extensive range of stickers for most popular puzzles - browse our sticker range here.
  • Performance
    •  The latest puzzles allow the cuber to "cut corners" when turning, meaning that the user does not have to fully align a layer when turning the puzzle in order to make the next turn. Whilst the performance does not necessarily correlate to the price of a puzzle, stepping up to puzzles from more renowned manufacturers such as MoYuQiYi and GAN will provide the best performance and enjoyability when turning - that your child will thank you for!
  • Version
    • If you have a little extra room in your budget, consider upgrading to one of our Premium versions. Our premium puzzles boast extensive lubrication and tensioning, bringing out the fullest performance in whichever puzzle you decide to purchase for your child or even yourself. To learn more read our article on our premium options

Read our full article on how to choose the best speed cube.

3x3 Recommendations

Budget

Mid-Range

Top Tier

GAN 11 M Pro 3x3

GAN 11 M Pro 3x3

$ 64.95

GAN 11 M Pro 3x3 is GAN cube's 2020 flagship model and has continued to be the choice of many speedcubers since its release. The great thing about the GAN 11 M Pro is that it is great for any… >> SHOP PRODUCT <<

Shop our full range of 3x3s here.

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