Archives for posts with tag: Mom review

I think I will start this blog off by saying….I found an old friend. Not a friend-friend, meaning a person, but an old friend non-the-less. And his name is POP-TOOBS.

We used to have these things years ago, when Elizabeth was really young. This was in the phase of her life when her Sensory Processing Disorder( SPD) was really affecting her days. And I found these tubes and she loved them, I really could not believe how much. I loved them so much because she loved them so much. We had a whole bunch of them back in the day. She was always carrying one around and playing with them. It was one of the few items that she would use willingly at the time.

But I digress….let me refocus.

The Slinky POP-TOOBS are brightly colored tubes of plastic that are ribbed. You pull them and the tube stretches as they make a really satisfying RRRPPPPTTT sound. After you pull them, the slinky pop tube is really long and then you can hold each end and work it back together until it is the same size it was before. It was discovered, years ago, by my oldest child, Emily, that when they are at their longest, and you swing them around in circle with your arm, they make a great whistling sound.

The thing about the Slinky Pop tubes is that they are such an easy therapy tool to help create some good sensory input for your child. They are fun and quite addictive. Honestly, they are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to add to your child’s sensory diet. Because they do not really require a learning curve to use, they do not make the child frustrated when they first see them. This used to be the case for Elizabeth. When she would want to try something, she would find out her Dyspraxia would make it difficult for her to succeed, then she would become frustrated and defeated and then quit. But these tubes are easy to work.

And by work, I mean the POP-TOOBS do work the fine motor skills of the person using it. The stretching part does work their arms and hands, but it is the wiggling and fine motor adjustments that you need to do to get it back to its original form, that is the work. You cannot just shove the slinky pop tubes together, you have to guide it a bit, so it takes some motor planning, fine motor strength and patience. But all that is actually lost in the fun of working the tube back into the way you found it. Elizabeth would hold the opened slinky pop tube like she was holding handle bars of a bike, then work her hands and arms to get the tube closed. She did not quit on this one, and I think it was because the fun of opening it again drove her to keep working.

So please take a look at the Slinky Pop TOOBS guys, they are actually an option for a stocking stuffer even if you child does not need them in their sensory bin, trust me. Michael, my 11 year old, saw the red tube, pulled it apart, squeezed it back together again and said “YEESSSSS! Can I have this?” I said “yes” and he took it upstairs to his room. So I am giving it a thumbs up from Michael.

I am ordering a few for our fidget bin. Maybe you can too!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele

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One of my favorite things to do with my children, when they were younger, was to build things. I think I loved it so much because it was time spent just sitting with my kids, no T.V. on. Nothing but us just talking and building. What we were building did not matter and if I am being truthful, sometimes it was an unidentifiable thing we created, but the fun was being together.

Emily loved play dough and clay to create things.

Michael was more of a Lego kind of man.

And for our beautiful Elizabeth, due to her sensory processing disorder, she did not have a favorite but we were always encouraging her to participate in all of the above. Sometimes she did and it was great and other times she did not wish to participate and we tried to understand.

So when I came across these learning blocks, I immediately knew who my go to person was for help to tell you about them. And it is my beautiful 11 year old son, Michael.

He is my side kick and my assistant for toy reviews. What follows is a combination of his thoughts and mine about the building blocks called: Elemenosqueeze

They are alphabet blocks but so different from any you will find.

First off their colors are not in the primary realm of red, blue, yellow and green, but come in orange, moss green, pink and red. So this is something that, right away, caught my eye. Partially because the colors are different but mostly because the colors are soothing. It is a nice change from the traditional color options in most children’s toys.

The Elemenosqueeze blocks come in interesting shapes. Not just square, triangle or rectangle but in curved ones like a bridge, long ones like pillars and ones with rounded corners. So the building will be easy with these choices and allow for more creative play. 

But aside from that, on each alphabet block there is a letter, hence the name, as well as a raised imprint of a word that starts with the letter and an animal image. Thus, the Elemenosqueeze blocks help with letter, animal and color identification while promoting fine motor skills and imagination through building. 

Nice! Right? I think they feel nice in your hand and come with a zippered carrying case to take them with you. The only thing I have to say is that the case requires the blocks to be put in in a certain way to get the zipper to close. So to be realistic, it might be a good idea to take them out of the container they came in and put them in something that will allow your child to throw them in. It would just make it easier. Also, the letter “X” has an imprint of a fish on it with its ribs elevated. So just know I think they are going for X-ray here. But you may have to explain it to your children.

But other than that, the Elemenosqueeze is a perfect addition to the toy chest or the classroom, especially for sensory seekers! 

Now here comes Michael.

He opens the bags and takes out some of the blocks. He immediately squeezes them and when they make a noise, he looks up at me and smiles. “Listen to this!” he says. “I love that they do this!” So the sound made is a high point in 11 year old land.

And because he is a chewer, think shirts, pillow cases and the like, he reads they are PABA free and puts one in his mouth. He is immediately happy with the fact that these can become “chewies” and continues to work with the Elemenosqueeze as he happily chews on the moss green pillar.

His final thought is actually a question “How cool is this?” And it refers to the fact that the b toys building blocks, when filled with water make some “really nice squirt guns!” “Mom, seriously these would be so fun in a pool”.

I then told him to squirt the remaining water out of the rectangle. Which he did in an unhappy fashion.

Michael gave the blocks a great rating on the fun scale!

Add the Elemenosqueeze building blocks to your sensory diet, bathtime fun, and/or  the sensory table today.

Ohh, and they were also rated Best Baby Toy of 2011. So there’s that too! 

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele

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