06 August 2011


{:::EDIT: Thanks for the sweet compliments on my last post.  I purchased the little "twister tube" for $2.50 from our local Mardel Teacher Supply store.  But they can also be purchased online for a little more here.  You can also use tape but I really like having the tube as it's less messy and can be put away and reused for a science experiment in the future!:::)

I'm a teacher at heart.  I have my masters in education and LOVE the magic that is watching a child reach their "ah-ha" moment.  This is why I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Oliver become enthralled with tornadoes.  I have dreamed of homeschooling.  I'm not sure if I ever will (all things are up for grabs these days) but I found a fabulous online homeschooling curriculum called Timberdoodle that allows one to be mom and teacher during playtime at home.  I decided to check this company out and was given an awesome opportunity to review a product.

I chose to review these little Snug Bug toys.  They are similar to the Snap-Lock Beads I grew up with.  I chose them specifically because Bennett's Occupational Therapist had recommended some type of pop and snap toy to improve his wrist movement.

It turns out these little toys have very much been favorites in our house.  In fact, I kept putting them on the counter so I could remember to take pictures of the boys playing with them in order to post my review.  And yet, time after time, I would go to the counter to find them missing.  The children would see them on the counter and pull them down to play with them when I wasn't looking.  This is one of the reasons this post took so long to put up - I kept having to go hunt the toys down to borrow them long enough for a picture!   You know a product is good when you have to fight with your kids for it! :)

The boys seem to have love the texture of these soft plastic toys in addition to their bright colors and unique shapes (each bug is different). 

The bugs snap together and pull apart to make a large chain or smaller chains.  They are also perfect for younger children to chew on.  I appreciate the openness and multi-functionality of the toy!  They can be used and played with in a variety of ways.

I would definitely purchase this item as a gift for a child, particularly a young child as it is a toy that can reused and played with throughout several years.

Bennett, 22 months old, loves dragging the chain of bugs around the house.  He loves dragging anything - roped toys, cords and old towels but especially these bugs.  It is evident he loves the feeling of pulling something behind him.  Oliver, almost 4, enjoys imagining this chain of bugs is a tornado (go figure!).  He spins the chain around and around as though the tornado is "revving" up to crush something.

I have seen these little bugs before.  But what made these bugs SO much more useful as a teaching tool was the homeschooling curriculum that came with them.   Timberdoodle provides parents curriculum and guidance on how to use each of their products.  These little bugs come in the baby curriculum.  And I was delighted that someone had thought of how I could use the toy, not just as a toy but as a teaching opportunity.

The toys included the curriculum and a nice folder to store the curriculum.

Timberdoodle suggested breaking down the use of the toy based on age group.  I loved how they suggested that this toy could be extended beyond the infant stage when teaching about colors and patterns.  This made this toy much more appealing to me - to have someone remind me that this toy can be used for Oliver as much as for Bennett.

My only complaint about these Snug Bugs was that the bugs, being soft plastic, turn out to be incredibly difficult for young children to "snap" together.  I end up having to spend the time putting them together, rather than Bennett (who needs the practice).  But, having said that, that's my only complaint.  Otherwise, it's a toy we have definitely gotten a ton of good use out of. 

So, my honest review? I LOVE the toy.  I LOVE the curriculum. I wish the toy was as easy to put together as it is easy to pull apart (so I would recommend a toy that comes in harder plastic for teaching this)...but even this doesn't take away from the fun of the toy and the fabulous curriculum that Timberdoodle offers. I highly recommend this product! Thanks for the bugs, Timberdoodle.  We are enjoying the heck out of them!

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