Monday, November 30, 2009

Ebeanstalk Test: Puzzibits

Back in July, I received an email from asking if I might want to join a team of toy reviewers. It sounded fun to me, so I signed up. I didn't hear anything until last month, when they told me my first toy was on the way! In the meantime, I've checked out the website, which is very user friendly. You can shop by age or developmental milestones. Ebeanstalk is dedicated to selecting good, safe baby toys and kids toys.

The first product I received was one of their Puzzibits Monster Madness (I say "first," because I'm hoping to receive many more unique toys such as this!). The first thing that I noticed is that they are made by Manhattan Toy, a brand that automatically receives my respect for producing creative toys that inspire imagination.

The other thing that impressed me, as a mom, was that these building pieces are soft and flexible. Any of you with children who enjoy building have likely experienced the joy and the pain. The joy of seeing them focused raptly on something, expressing their ingenuity as they build (in Kyle’s case either a “contraption” or a “robot.” But the pain – the pain of stepping on one of those rogue pieces left on the floor sometimes is a quick override of all the joy!

The toy is recommended for ages 6 and up. Kyle is 5 1/2, and he loves it! He does need help to hook the pieces in when they are joining one or more, but he's played SO creatively with this little pieces, from stacking them up to make "hamburgers" (yellow piece, black piece, red piece, yellow piece), to making chains, to trying to follow the patterns included to make the monsters. It has captured his attention for long minutes (perhaps even hours!). He likes it so much that we've added other Puzzibits kits to his Christmas wish list.

At Thanksgiving, we had an 8-year-old visiting who enjoys building, so I gave him the box to see what he thought. He played with them for quite a while, easily figuring out the diagrams and how to put the monsters together. He still needed a little bit of help hooking in a few of them into tight places, but he had the motor skills to be able to learn how to do it with time.

Even big sister (11-years-old) Amanda enjoyed the challenge:

This unique toy is definitely going in my list of gifts to buy for young boys, and I've already been talking it up to all the moms who have sons who love tinkering. At under $10, it's at a great price point for birthday gifts.

**I received this toy in exchange for my honest review and blog posting. I received no other direct compensation. My opinion is my own (and quite enthusiastic!).


Carrie said...

That looks really cool! I've seen those at our local toy store, but wasn't sure if they'd be a popular pick or not. Good to know! Thanks!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Very cool. I just saw some cute holiday sets of these at Barnes & Noble -- a candy cane, a snowflake, etc. Each box had 100 pieces and they looked they they'd be a fun project for kids over Christmas break.