Day & Night

The story behind the creation of Day & Night

Raf Peeters, January 2009

“Day and Night” is a wooden puzzle based on an older SmartWood item I designed many years ago. The product was named Fantasy Blocks (which wasn't exactly the most creative name for it).


However, it’s not only the name that’s more interesting in this new version for SmartGames. You still need to construct an image as shown in the challenge by placing blocks in the right order onto the sticks. But this time, half the challenges only show the contours of the blocks, similar to seeing just the silhouette of something at night. In this way it becomes something like a very simple 3D tangram.

There are a few design choices here that I made for a specific reason. The yellow block looks square from the front view, but is in fact cylindrical. Something like this can be obvious to adults, but not to children. The left and right sticks are different heights. Young children often muddle up left and right. If they do this when solving a challenge, one of the constructions will fall down. Also, most blocks fit very precisely on top of other blocks, making it possible for several blocks to look like one solid shape in the night challenges.

UPDATE 2018: This year we updated the product. It now includes a wooden stand and separate challenge cards, because they are more durable than the paper stand (still visible on the image below).

example of a “day” challenge (left) and a “night” challenge (right)

A wooden puzzle game with 48 challenges I designed for Smart


From 18 to 36 months: Use only the wooden parts without the challenge booklet/ challenge cards (depending on which version you have)! Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are developed as the youngest players stack the blocks onto the wooden game frame base again and again. Warning! The challenge booklet is not suitable for children under 3 years.

Ages 3 and up: There are two faces to each challenge. Swivel the challenge booklet around and you move from the “day” side of a challenge (see challenges 1-24) to the harder “night” side (see challenges 25-48).

1) Choose a challenge according to the player’s age. Position the challenge booklet so that your challenge is facing you.

2) Arrange the playing pieces to construct the scene shown on your challenge which is either in detail or only in outline, according to the skill level of your challenge card.

3) When you’ve finished a “day” challenge, compare it carefully to the scene shown on your challenge card: it should match it exactly! Check your “night” challenge by swivelling the challenge booklet around to look at the scene shown on the “day” side of your challenge – it should be identical!

Website ©2009 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart