Squigz Starter Set by Fat Brain Toy Co.
Pros: Creative, Fun, Alternative Construction Toy
Cons: Choke hazards and not recommended for unsupervised play in three year olds and under
Building blocks and Legos allowed creative young minds plenty of opportunities to develop hand-eye coordination and begin establishing a foundation for constructing objects. Today it seems there is always something new on the market to replicate or enhance those experiences but a 16-month old toddler and a 3 ½ year old boy recently introduced this former blocks and K’nex lover to a fascinating building concept.
Squigz, from Fat Brain Toy, appealed to the toddler, the young boy, and most of the adults in the room. The toddler worked on hand-eye coordination, colors, counting and attaching/de-attaching while the 3 ½ year old let his imagination go wild while also developing an understanding of how to attach suction cups to each other to construct larger sculptures. Everyone enjoyed the popping noises made when taking them apart, especially the toddler who now has her own new sound.
Squigz are brightly colored silicon-rubber suction cups with bulbs or collections of other suction cups. Some have just one, light blue ones have two opposite each other, red ones have three radiating out at 45 degree angles from each other. They are all connected in the center by a soft rubber globe. There are more. Purple Squigz have two at right angles, bright green ones are longer than the light blue ones but in the same orientation, and a white one has six suction cups.
It all began with a moment of boredom and crying and sticking a few of these on the window with the toddler. She was having so much fun placing them that the older brother couldn’t resist. He proceeded to attach Squigz to each other rather than the just the flat hard surface and window. Then others joined in to build space ships and bridges. Squigz go beyond the rigid construction toys into the land of soft, bendable shapes. It’s an entirely new concept. It is a journey into the abstract.
The Squigz Starter Set has 24 pieces. The Deluxe Set has 50 and the Benders Set has 12 benders and six of the original pieces. Each has a name: Pip, Gobnob, Grippities, Doodles, Skootches, Yoinks, Wonkities, and Zorbits. They stick on glass, metal, mirrors, tile, polished wood, fiberglass, polished stone and any other smooth, flat surface. There is a choking risk and should not be left for unsupervised play with toddlers; however when placed on a high chair tray with an adult nearby these will provide creative distractions for a long time.
I’ve been playing with these off and on for the past two weeks. When I return home I’m planning on developing my own set of Pips (orange), Grippities (green), Doodles (light blue), Gobnobs (red), Skootches (yellow), Yoinks (purple), Wonkities (cobalt blue) and Zorbits (white) for the next time young children or silly adults visit my house. I might build a holder to prop up my Kindle. The fun is superbly silly as well as crazily creative.