Way back in school, so may people said “What am I going to need Geometry for when I grow up?” I’m a mom now and I can say that geometry is crucial in knowing how to cut things to prevent sibling arguments. Think cake, brownies, pie, sandwiches. Yes, geometry is a necessary evil.
But I was a math geek so aside from the PITA teacher I had, it didn’t bother me to learn geometry. Good thing, too, because when I received a box of Toobeez to review, I was amazed at all the possibilities. When we opened the box, Miss M and Miss K sat down with the creation sheets and pointed out all the different things they could make. Miss M said “We can use it in the water, or make an obstacle course or…or….” So the girls picked what they wanted to build – a tent – and we constructed it. While the pieces were a little difficult for 4-year-old Miss K to snap into place, Miss M had it down in no time flat.
They played with it until almost bedtime when I told them we needed to take it apart and put it away. As I was disassembling it, I noticed that one of the walls could serve a different purpose. Miss M’s assignment for the evening was to practice emergency exit routes. So I told the girls we would work on the fire drill and they needed to start in their beds. Without telling them, I said “If you see a fire, you need to find a different way out.” I stood my “fire” up in the hall then sounded the mom alarm. “Eerr. Eerr. Eerr.” Over and over while they attempted to escape. I was quite amazed that they recognized my ‘fire’ and found a different exit route. Hooray! They returned to their beds, I moved the fire and we did it again. And again. And again. I’m one proud mama knowing they are learning such important safety measures.
We set it up again the next day and I showed them how pieces can be connected in a way that they move. The girls were able to spin the piece in the middle of this contraption. I have to admit that I’ve had a lot of fun working with the Toobeez set.
There is so much you can do with these that it’s really more than just a toy. While I was reading the material provided with the set, I was amazed to see all the supporting literature. It’s one thing for a company to claim that “This product can be used for…” It’s a complete different approach to provide the tools to make it happen. Not only do they provide training manuals to help make the most of your Toobeez (from a non-toy perspective), but their website is filled with sample videos on various team building exercises. You can also check out Project-Connect “to learn more about Toobeez and how you can use them for team building, collaborative efforts and different therapies.” Teachers take note – Toobeez provides a great deal of written literature on utilizing their product for math, science and language arts. It is truly a versatile product and I find myself torn at calling it a toy!
If this seems up your alley for the kid (or teacher) in your life or if you have a work budget that allows for team building material, pick up a set!